Spoiler: the house we bought has radiators.

All the heart eyes, however the roommate wanted to rip them out. When I lived in a rental after college the house had radiators and I LOVED them. A hint of nostalgia as they were prized possessions back in their day! No longer is your house riddled in soot, radiators were invented! These hunks of metal have heated the home for over 100 years (it's since (thankfully) gotten a new boiler attached), how cool is that! 

The thing I love the most about radiators is the consistent heat. In my last house we had forced air which had it's perks (AIR CONDITIONING), but I recall in the winter when the system wasn't on, all the hot air was at the ceiling, and I unfortunately was on the ground. Yes, heat still rises in this house, but it's less of a rapid change than before. We plan on installing AC next summer in the attic, with that will be ducts and a fan, which when we run next year, will make this house even more cozy in the winter bringing the warm air back down.  

ANYWAYS. The radiators in the house were, at some point, painted. They were in horrible condition when we moved in and we knew we'd have to do something about that. So, what do you DO?! I asked around, read online forums and posts and the ideas were scattered. The BEST way to refinish them is to take them outside  and sand blast the paint off before re-coating. I mean....maybe if this was our forever home? Maybe. I mean, we took out one radiator and it almost broke Dan's toe. So, to take out 8 doesn't seem like a walk in the park, not even considering draining them all to do so. SO, other options please?!

One recommended Aluminum paint, another recommended a high heat paint. Both only come in a spray bottle and are highly toxic. SO, other options please?!

When we had the boiler tuned up I asked the technician if he's ever painted radiators or seen them painted...and what paint they used. He suggested a good primer and paint. WHAT? You can use wall paint for this? So, then I asked the kind people at Sherwin Williams about it, because I was there on other business (which once I actually resolve the issue i'll dive into it withya). And she suggested their paint and primer combo to brush on. WELL THAT SEEMS EASY. 

There were portions of the radiators with rust which I had some concerns about. She sent me home with a product to prevent that from seeping through. Thankfully, I only needed to use this on one of the radiators.

First thing we did was clean them all (omg gross). Using a wire brush we got off all the paint that was chipping (we tested for lead, thankfully there wasn't any).

Then we washed down the radiators with soapy water to get off any grease/dust that had collected over the likely 60 years since they've been painted. This was the radiator that had some rust on the bottom, so I tarped/cardboarded off the area to spray that so it wouldn't bleed through the paint.

Once that dried it was time to paint! Took one night, one quart of paint, 5 episodes of the office and a vodka tonic to get them all done.

We painted all the radiators on the main level the same color as all the walls (Navajo White). We noodled the idea of painting them black (GASP) but we decided to let them blend into the walls as opposed to letting them stand out. They are shy like that. Before and after for ya?

 The previous owners painted that blue color EVERYWHERE. There is only one baby sliver of it left upstairs then it will NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN.

Oh hi Christmas tree! Quick shot of the lovely radiator in the corner in our dining room. This room still has a ways to go (light fixture, rug, chairs etc. etc. etc) but progress from the shot above? No?

ANYWAYS! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and happy new year! Thanks for reading along in our progress, we are VERY excited to see what's to come in 2018 for this place :)

Trimming Oak Trees

Did you know that you can only trim oak trees in November? I had no idea! Apparently if you trim them prior they are more susceptible to die/rot (THE MORE YOU KNOW). Not exactly sure on the science but we had a few tree trimmers over for quotes and that was the unanimous time to trim!

We have 4 huge oak trees on our property, two on the front lawn, and one on either side of the house. Three of them had branches that were overhanging our roof a bit. When we first moved in, we were greeted with an army of ants. A few inside, but mostly all over the siding. We had our pest guy come over and spray, and he highly recommended getting those branches trimmed. He said little buggers will climb the branches and drop onto the roof which is no bueno for the future of our ant-less house.

The branches were not all that large, so falling on the house wasn't a concern of mine, but a re-occurrence of an ant army was. So, we got a few quotes, and had them ring up a few other items on our daunting landscape to-do list....SO! I thought i'd give a little exterior update.

The main areas of concern were two trees to the left of the garage (currently hitting the neighbors power line & our NEWLY INSTALLED garage roof line), the forest to the right of the garage, and a tree that has been entangled in our house's powerline just ASKING for it to snap.

So, while they were there trimming the ol' oaks, we had them chop down the three trees, and clear out the brush on the side of the house.

YES, we could have cleared the brush on the side but wanna know something? Dan got poison ivy 2 years ago. And that my friend is something neither of us ever wants to live through again! Also, sometimes when the price is right, ya go for it. We wanted to clear the side of the house as basically a 'prep' for next spring. Next year is THE YEAR OF LANDSCAPING. And we have SO much work to do, so a jump start was necessary.

So the crew came, and within 4 hours they had 3 trees cut down, 3 oak trees trimmed, and cleared out ALL THE BRUSH from the side of the house. 

Do normal people landscape their trees with concrete rubble? Is this a new trend CAN THIS BE A NEW TREND? We knew there was a bunch of concrete over there. Apparently there used to be a large dog kennel back here (OMG SAD), but the fencing was taken down (all but one post) and the concrete has since been broken up and left there. Another great treat from the previous owners.

ANYWAYS, so after the landscapers left Dan and I stood and surveyed the land to see what to do next. OK we can rent a dumpster to throw the concrete into, a jackhammer to break up the concrete, and have someone deliver dirt to level out the area...totally doable...probably $400 and a weekend of work...

THEN, the next day the landscapers texted me and were like..."hey girl, want us to get rid of the concrete...and backfill with dirt...and make all your landscaping dreams come true?" YES PLZ.

So, they came back, this time it took a bit more time to level everything out, and dump the dirt etc.etc. but THEY DID IT.

And then it snowed, so just imagine how great that area is!

What's next, you might ask? Well Winter. Then we need to edge/mulch the ENTIRE yard surrounding the house. But for that back area, we have been noodling a few ideas...including A CHICKEN COOP.

To further convince Dan it could work, I drew up a plan. We have the garage (white box), the black cylinder is a tree...and I want to grow some veggies next year so that's what the two planter boxes are for. The chickens would (eventually) be able to roam the area behind the garage...but LOOK HOW CUTE IT COULD BE!

What do you guys think...SHOULD WE GET CHICKENS? Do you have chickens? Can you tell me all the things? Please?!