Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My Cheap Landscaping Design and Temporarily Conquered my Fear of Bugs!

I'm so proud of myself! For the first time in 20+ years, I temporarily conquered my fear of bugs/spiders and did my own decorative landscaping/mulching.  A good friend of mine inspired me to buy the ugly rubber boots from Walmart LOL and get out the house and do some yard work.   She said it was fun and relaxing and boy was she right!  Plus it was very rewarding to see the end result! And no bugs LOL! Oh, except for the dead baby bunny. Yikes LOL!

My younger son got it started in the far right corner and taught me how to spread it which was super easy.  About midway through the bed before we ran out of Mulch.  Apparently this stuff is really popular. Our Costco Sold Out of 300+ Bags within a couple of days so I had to drive to another store a little further to get more.

My dad stopped by later and I asked him about the little trees on the corner of the house because they're brown, I thought they were dead.  He said oh no, just reach down in their and cut the brown pieces off and it should be ok.  I was like YEAH RIGHT!  That ain't happening LOL!!!  I haven't reached that level of bug therapy just yet LOL!!! I'll replace it before I go sticking my hand in that thing! LOL!

What We Used:

20 Bags of Rubber Mulch w/Color Guard Lock from Costco - Last 12 Years with Zero Maintenance $8.99 Bag
Large Stones (Free - You can usually find these on your lot or hillside if you have one)
3 Bags of Pond Pebbles (Walmart - $3.44 Bag)

Total Cost $190


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Update: Before and After Kitchen Photos w/ Lowes Stainless Steel Appliances

The first thing we did when we moved in was upgrade the standard Black Appliances that we got from Ryan Homes.  We did not want to pay for them for 30 years in our mortgage plus we saved quite a bit by getting them on sale at Lowes.  We were blessed enough to sell the Stove and Dishwasher within 1 day of listing them on Facebook Fleamarket and Craigslist!  Sold the Stove for $325 and the Dishwasher for $260.

For now we have the kitchen table in the center of the kitchen where the island would normally go.  So the next big project will be to get the Gourmet Chef Island in the Kitchen.  This one may take some time but hoping to have it by the end of the year. 

I must admit, at first, I was worried that there would be no room for all the pots and pans and small appliances.  But there is ample space to fit EVERYTHING between the kitchen cabinets and the large pantry!  I love love love this kitchen!

Before with Ryans Black Standard Appliances

After with Lowes Stainless Steel Frigidaire Appliances

After with Lowes Stainless Steel Frigidaire Appliances

We went with Frigidaire Gallery line of Stainless Steel Smudge Proof Appliances - All Energy Star:
  •  Frigidaire Gallery 26-cu ft Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Single Ice Maker
  •  Frigidaire Gallery 1.7-cu ft Over-the-Range Microwave with Sensor Cooking Controls
  •  Frigidaire Gallery Smooth Surface Freestanding 5-Element 5.8-cu ft Self-Cleaning Convection  Electric Range
  • Frigidaire Gallery 53-Decibel Built-In Dishwasher with Hard Food Disposer

Bad Starter Lawn Job PLUS My DIY Sprinkler System

I must admit we have not done much with the yard due to the fact that Ryan Landscapers did a crappy job with our starter lawn.  There are huge flat boulder rocks and large tree branches still embedded in the dirt.  Some of our shrubs they planted are dying already, but we plan to redo the landscaping anyway so not too concerned about that.

But as far as the lawn is concerned, I informed my PM and he is going to have them come back out and redo it properly and get the rocks and branches out and reseed once it cools down a bit.

In the mean time, we ordered a DIY Sprinkler system setup that seems to work pretty well so we can start properly watering the lawn.  I had a heck of a time trying to get the hose onto those fan sprinklers and then once I did get it on, I couldn't seem to get it to cover the entire front lawn...it just doesn't have the coverage required or maybe I'm just dum when it comes to sprinklers and didn't have it set right.  Soooo needless to say after spending nearly an hour trying to screw the dum hose on and cutting my knuckles in the process and it STILL DIDN'T WORK RIGHT....I gave up!!!

After a day or so of calming down and revisiting the lawn ordeal.  I said, when all else fails and you don't know what to do or how else to do it - Youtube it LOL!! ;) 

So the setup I'm going with consist of the following:

(2) Orbitz Digital 2 Outlet HT Timers - 1 For Garage and 1 for Backyard (Lowes.com)
(3) Rainbird 25 Impact Sprinkler Heads (Lowes.com)
(3) Orbitz 58197N Step Bases for Garden Hose and Sprinkler (Amazon)
(3)  Melnor Metal Quick Connection Set (Home Depot)

All seems fairly easy to setup. So I went to Lowes and they didn't have anything that I needed!  UGGGHHH!  They had the timers but all the packages were opened and damaged.  So I had to order everything online except the Melnor Connectors those are at Home Depot.

So if you're interested or struggling like me, which I'm sure your not LOL, I got the setup idea from watching the below Youtube Videos.  Seems pretty simple.  I will share the video or photos once I set it all up in a week or so  :)

Videos I Watched:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Noisy Main Vent by Garage Driving me CRAZY!

My mom had this same problem in her Sienna.  The vent that is located right by the garage door, right above the Coat Closet is sooooo LOUD!  Like not a little loud, but real loud!  It sounds like a big industrial fan blowing!  I told my PM the first day we moved in and he told me it's because it's energy star and it's suppose to sound like that.  YEAH RIGHT LOL!!  I don't think so!  I'm sorry but I've lived in bigger homes and smaller homes and I've never heard a vent be this loud!

So before you close, make sure you stay in your house long enough during your walk through to notice if your Vent by the garage sounds like a big high powered fan and if it does make them fix it right away.  It has 2 levels of noise, one being worse the then other.  The first level it's not as loud but still annoying, then when it really kicks on, oh boy, get your ear plugs (shaking my head). 

Now I guess I'm expected to wait until my 30 days if I want to complain again....I think NOT!  I'm confident that my second complaint won't be handled the same way and that they have the HVAC people look into it.  It's just really annoying, you can hear it all the way in the Kitchen and Family room.  A few other people who have Romes already told me it's not normal.  So I think I will be calling them this coming week to come check it out again.  I seriously hope they can found out what the problem is and quiet it down.

Spent 4 Hours Raking up Hay and Rocks! What a PAIN!

So since our closing was delayed it gave our grass a chance to grow.  We still have to Reseed and Till some of the rocks out of the front yard though.  So today me and my wonderful son who just loves to help his momma (rolling my eyes) LOL, spent about 3-4 hours raking up hay and also alot of rocks that were left in the yard.  Sheesh, they could do a better job with getting the bigger rocks out!  And that hay is just a pain in the butt!  I do not like yard work so I was screaming every time I saw a bug and complaining the entire time LOL.  Needless to say I'm not looking forward to doing the sides and back of the house LOL!

Mistake with Guardian Wiring! BEWARE & CHECK at Pre Drywall Meeting!

Yesterday Comcast came to do the Prewire for my Business Internet.  So when he went to the side of the house to find the wires they were not there!  He came to the conclusion that no one put the wires on the outside of the house prior to the Siding and Drywall going up and that the wires were stuck behind the drywall!  He said the only way he could do it  was to drill through my siding and he said it wouldn't be as clean as if they were to have done it properly.  I was panicked and immediately called my PM.  Luckily he was right up the street in my plan so he rushed right over and saved the day!

Initially he thought they were stuck behind the siding.  He popped a few siding pieces, nothing!    However, he knew where they were supposed to be. So he went in my garage and sliced open the drywall right below my Electrical Panel and there they were!   So Guardian forgot to pop them through prior to the siding going up!  He said he never saw that happen before.   So he drill a hole and popped them through and problem solved.  He will come back to repair the drywall next week.  My PM is the BEST!  :)

So when you go to your Pre Drywall Meeting MAKE SURE that Guardian left your wires on the outside of your home.  They are usually over by the where your Air Condition etc is located.  If you don't know where they are suppose to be, just ask your PM and make sure they are there!  If my PM wouldn't have showed up so quickly I would have had to wait another week to get internet!

Ps.  Darla - That's why the comcast guy was snooping around your yard trying to see how they did your wires lol...sorry! :)