5 Eventual House Upgrades

In addition to the basic fixes we need to implement once we’re in the house, there’s a few things I’d like do to it, once we’re in it. (Fifteen days until we closing!)

1. Insulate/update garage.
It’s already partially insulated, of course, but I’d like to put up insulation and drywall on the left side, as part of making it into a heated, usable workspace. In fact, that’s pretty much a must-do by mid-October. I’m going to hire/bribe my father-in-law to help me run electrical conduit on the wall, and get some extra fluorescents hung so that I can see what I’m doing in there. Once that drywall is up, I’m going to paint a large version of the Pallas Athena head badge on it (once that’s done). Eventually, I’d like to go so far as to install some fancy-schmancy storage systems, a metal-tile floor, and put a utility sink in for soaking the flux off of bike frames.

2. Hardwire for Ethernet.
Nobody can understand why I’d want to do such a thing. Well, for a couple of reasons, really — first, it’s shit like this. Secondly, I’d like to get a small RAID, for backup purposes, installed on the LAN and hardwired ethernet is still much faster than WiFi. I’ve already tracked down pricing on a 1000′ spool of Cat 6, and my brother-in-law has run Ethernet before, so we should be able to do this with a long Saturday and a case of beer. We do plan to keep WiFi for our laptops, the iPad, and other mobile devices, but I’ll be changing the setup to a non-broadcasting mode (which, while helpful, is not secure) and changing the password on a regular basis. Given that this whole project will probably cost less than $500, it’s worth it.

3. Solar.
I really dig the idea of getting 2 kilowatts of panels on the roof of the house, along with a battery system in the garage or utility room. This is something further out than items #1 and #2. Probably a couple of years out, at least.

4. Gardens/Landscaping.
There’s a slightly-busy road that runs along the south side of the property. Kate and I had discussed planting a line of hedges along the fence — this would both obscure the chain-link and act as a sound baffle. I’d like to plant some gardens, as well — mostly basic vegetables, but I’d also like to plant some hops, as well, for brewing my own beer. We’ve also discussed planting a tree in the backyard, which I’m all for.

5. Skylights.
One of my only issues with the interior of the house is the lack of natural light in the master bedroom. With it’s vaulted ceiling, getting a couple of skylights installed wouldn’t be terribly difficult, and it would really make the room feel more open and airy. This is just sort of an off-the-cuff idea I had at the start of this post and I haven’t delved into it too much, but it seems to have some merit. Must discuss with Kate.