tree, side yard (largest) – 91 – after 3 major cuts ($500) (also main room window now painted) – IMG_3080 (20110614)

tree, side yard (largest) – 91 – after 3 major cuts (0) (also main room window now painted) – IMG_3080 (20110614)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
Three *major* tree cuts (0) done, after Farmers and Progressive/Homesite told us trees can’t touch our roof. After we did this work, they changed their tune to "trees can’t be OVER the roof". I don’t think that should be legal to tell the customer they have to make certain specific changes, then turn around and say those exact specific changes were no good. FUCK PROGRESSIVE. FUCK HOMESITE. FUCK FARMERS. DO NOT USE THEM.

This is also a good "after" pic of the now-painted main room window sill. The gutter has not yet been repaired in this picture.

Note the condition of the shingles. Progressive insurance (Homesite insurance) dropped our insurance giving us a list of reasons. We fixed the items on that list. They then dropped us a 2nd time for new reasons not included in the first list, including "curling shingles" on my roof. The shingles certainly aren’t perfect, but do these look like something that’s going to fly off my roof and cost an insurance company a lotof money? Of course, we survived Hurricane Irene AND the post-Irene flood storms JUST FINE … With zero water in our house. Progressive did not even cite our roof the first time they dropped us. Quite simply, Progressive Insurance/Homesite insurance are ASSHOLES. The roof sure as hell does not need to be re-done if it is functioning just fine. Plus, I just patched it with roof cement to strengthen it up even more! Be smart. Stay away from Progressive. Their low prices aren’t worth it. The State Corporation Commission has been notified, but since Virginia is a Republican state, our regulatory agencies barely have any teeth.

Also since then, additional gutter guards have been deployed, and they are uniformly and 100% covering the front gutters at least. Had to cut some into custom-sized pieces to get full coverage.

In case you’re wondering how a gutter gets damaged: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/4481727978/ … Yes, it’s all you people who keep wishing for snows’ fault. Also, here’s a picture of how bent up our front-right gutter was: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/3596132314/

Homesite insurance, Progressive insurance, gutter, gutter guards, house maintenance, tree, tree cuts, tree removal, window.
Homesite insurance sucks. Homesite sucks. Progressive insurance sucks. Progressive sucks. after painting.

side yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

June 14, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: So our homeowners insurance (Farmers) canceled our policy due to having peeling paint on our window sills, and tree branches touching our roof (among other things). So we switched to Progressive and they dropped us for the same reasons. So we renewed our Progressive policy, had 0 of tree work done, and rectified most of the list they gave us. Progressive dropped us a 2nd time for new reasons, including changing the tree requirements from "no branches touching your roof" to "no branches over your roof at all", so even after following their specific advice regarding the trees, they still canceled our policy again. It’s simply not possible to satisfy Progressive when they give different reasons the second time around. Most of the reasons used by Progressive to drop us the 2nd time were never given the 1st time, even though those conditions were present then as well! PROGRESSIVE SUCKS AND IS NOT WORTH IT. INCONSISTENT! And then they try to bill you after you cancel them! Anyway, we paid The Care Of Trees 0 — the cheapest of the 15+ companies I contacted — to do 3 major cuts (0) and remove the pine tree behind our addition (0). I also bought a 0 pole saw (basically chainsaw on the end of a 10 foot pole) to handle the smaller trees (i.e. the cases where it’s possible to do it yourself).

yard, front – fence – painted – poor Home Depot color matching – IMG_3308 (20110720)

yard, front – fence – painted – poor Home Depot color matching – IMG_3308 (20110720)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
Extra paint on the brushes at the end of the day went to fence post tops, then fence posts, then fence tops, then sides, then bottoms. We ended up doing the entire fence with "done for the day" brushes, even though we hadn’t intended to paint the fence.

Home Depot’s color-matching skills with Behr paint-with-prime vs Behr paint-without-prime leaves a lot to be desired. A LOT. Our color mis-matching here is what you get when you take the same paint back and ask them to match the existing paint. They, er, uh… don’t. No refunds! a gallon paint-with-primer, a gallon paint-without-primer, tons of brushes, paint thinner, rags, elbow grease — And you get this! Mis-matched color!

It’s hard to tell, but the gutter in the background has been painted gray as well.

Home Depot color matching, fence, gutter, house maintenance, mismatched paint.
after painting.

front yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

July 20, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: While dealing with Farmers insurance & Progressive/Homesite insurance’s dropping our policy for us having peeling window sill paint (among other things), we had to do a bunch of house repairs. While painting our window sills, we also painted other surfaces that needed painting, such as doors, railings, soffits, stairs, gutters, pipes, and cinder block walls.

door, front, downstairs – painted (inside) – IMG_3303 (20110720)

door, front, downstairs – painted (inside) – IMG_3303 (20110720)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
It’s gray, not white. Love how the storm door down there is rotted through in parts. This is a new custom storm door we paid like 0+ for from Hechinger right before it turned into Home Depot (2001ish). It’s half the age of our front/back storm doors, and yet is rotting out while they are not. Screwed by contractors yet again — contractors are the worst scum on earth and will perform shoddy work that screws the customer close to 75% of the time. Our utility room storm door rotted out to the point of literally falling apart and leaving only a frame, but it was wood, so that is understandable. THIS door is supposed to be vinyl. Obviously not all vinyl is the same! Some of it is made up of discarded different types of vinyl left over from other processes. Like a hot dog being made of different meats. That was one of the point Thompson Creek made to us about their windows: It’s all the same kind of vinyl, and it’s high quality. Unlike this storm door, our windows came with a lifetime warranty transferrable to the next owner of the house. So I tend to believe them. Whereas Hechinger? They went out of business. This is probably a part of that.

I can’t believe I paid the door guys to put a peephole in this door so many years ago. These days I could probably do a better job myself for free!

ADT sticker, Secured by ADT sticker, front door, house maintenance, screen, stairs, storm door, wood.
after painting.

front yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

July 20, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: While dealing with Farmers insurance & Progressive/Homesite insurance’s dropping our policy for us having peeling window sill paint (among other things), we had to do a bunch of house repairs. While painting our window sills, we also painted other surfaces that needed painting, such as doors, railings, soffits, stairs, gutters, pipes, and cinder block walls.

door, front, downstairs – painted (outside) – IMG_3304 (20110720)

door, front, downstairs – painted (outside) – IMG_3304 (20110720)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
It’s gray, not white. Love how the storm door down there is rotted through in parts. This is a new custom storm door we paid like 0+ for from Hechinger right before it turned into Home Depot (2001ish). It’s half the age of our front/back storm doors, and yet is rotting out while they are not. Screwed by contractors yet again — contractors are the worst scum on earth and will perform shoddy work that screws the customer close to 75% of the time. Our utility room storm door rotted out to the point of literally falling apart and leaving only a frame, but it was wood, so that is understandable. THIS door is supposed to be vinyl. Obviously not all vinyl is the same! Some of it is made up of discarded different types of vinyl left over from other processes. Like a hot dog being made of different meats. That was one of the point Thompson Creek made to us about their windows: It’s all the same kind of vinyl, and it’s high quality. Unlike this storm door, our windows came with a lifetime warranty transferrable to the next owner of the house. So I tend to believe them. Whereas Hechinger? They went out of business. This is probably a part of that.

ADT sticker, Secured by ADT sticker, front door, house maintenance, screen, stairs, storm door.
after painting.

front yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

July 20, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: While dealing with Farmers insurance & Progressive/Homesite insurance’s dropping our policy for us having peeling window sill paint (among other things), we had to do a bunch of house repairs. While painting our window sills, we also painted other surfaces that needed painting, such as doors, railings, soffits, stairs, gutters, pipes, and cinder block walls.

door, kitchen – painted – Home Depot color matching – IMG_3450 (20110822)

door, kitchen – painted – Home Depot color matching – IMG_3450 (20110822)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
The kitchen/back door. Rarely used. Accidentally painted the storm door shut, and have not not opened it since. Opted not to paint the door itself out of laziness, and the fact that it’s in alright condition other than a permanent stain from ripping kudzu off of it back when the kudzu had gotten under the storm door and grown to the ceiling. Stupid kudzu.

We also opted not to paint the ceiling at the top of this picture — the bottom of our bedroom overhang — because the green paint underneath is actually in excellent condition. That is pretty much the last remaining green on the house other than the west side soffits, which we could not paint due to electrical wires all over.

A few weeks later we dug a trench and added proper drainage to the gutterin this picture.

Anybody need a birdfeeder? They bring birds to us — but they bring far more rats, so they sit empty at our house.

Home Depot’s color-matching skills with Behr paint-with-prime vs Behr paint-without-prime leaves a lot to be desired. A LOT. Our color mis-matching here is what you get when you take the same paint back and ask them to match the existing paint. They, er, uh… don’t. No refunds! a gallon paint-with-primer, a gallon paint-without-primer, tons of brushes, paint thinner, rags, elbow grease — And you get this! Mis-matched color!

But still. This will do. It’s not peeling all over anymore, which is what’s really important. The colors just aren’t going to quite match.

BY THE WAY, see the pipe that comes out of the house on the left, then back into the house by the door? That was part of our house purchase settlement agreement. 12/1998, they had to fix the laundry which had been draining into the back creek for… 58 years. So they simply fed the drain back into the kitchen under the sink. Basically skirted the agreement with minimal expenditure. I’m sure this pipe will break someday… And then *I’ll* let the laundry drain into the creek until the next people by the house. And the cycle continues. Muahahha.

Home Depot color matching, bird feeders, birdfeeders, cinder blocks, gutter, house maintenance, kitchen door, mismatched paint, storm door.
after painting.

back yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

August 22, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: While dealing with Farmers insurance & Progressive/Homesite insurance’s dropping our policy for us having peeling window sill paint (among other things), we had to do a bunch of house repairs. While painting our window sills, we also painted other surfaces that needed painting, such as doors, railings, soffits, stairs, gutters, pipes, and cinder block walls.

door, utility room – 1 – painted (Home Depot color match problems), DSL line not hanging so pitifully, concrete wall painted – IMG_3302 (20110720)

door, utility room – 1 – painted (Home Depot color match problems), DSL line not hanging so pitifully, concrete wall painted – IMG_3302 (20110720)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
Well! Much better now! Still bad, but at least now it looks like a bad paint job instead of a door about to fall apart. And the DSL line is much better now too.

Our utility room door. Not opened since the 1990s — had to be pried back shut. Used to have a wooden storm door, until one year it just collapsed and disintegrated from the elements (which is why there is a piece of wood attached to hinges on the right). The cinder block wall to our patio (left) is in crap condition too — but maybe the paint will help keep out the moisture and make it last a bit longer.

You can see where the cats ripped open the blinds so they could look open the window. This is an orange cat thing; our other cats didn’t do this.

You can see our DSL line hanging down. Originally it was worse, with cracked/missing wire insulation exposing inside wires all over the place. Combination of what I can only assume was cheap wire, combined with snow, ice, rain, and kudzu twisting the wires taut all the time. I used many many feet of electrical tape to patch up the outside of the water, and to preemptively cover up cracks that were going to end up getting worse later ("a stitch in time saves nine"). I wedged it behind various trim pieces whenever possible, with the extra slack hanging around our electric meter. DSL saved! The internet and phone companies will NOT fix this line for less than 0 per visit if it breaks. Last time it took them two visits because I wasn’t there to point at where the wire was broken. COVAD are dicks. This shit is important. It shouldn’t be considered inside wiring, but it is. Once it’s past your junction box, it’s all "inside" wiring, even if it’s outside! Typical corporate doublespeak; outside becomes inside in the world of profiting off your consumers. I am the 99%, goddamnit.

Damn kudzu is already climbing up the door again, despite us weed-wacking the hell out of it just weeks before.

Home Depot’s color-matching skills with Behr paint-with-prime vs Behr paint-without-prime leaves a lot to be desired. A LOT. Our color mis-matching here is what you get when you take the same paint back and ask them to match the existing paint. They, er, uh… don’t. No refunds! a gallon paint-with-primer, a gallon paint-without-primer, tons of brushes, paint thinner, rags, elbow grease — And you get this! Mis-matched color!

DSL line, Home Depot color matching, cinder blocks, concrete wall, house maintenance, kudzu, mismatched paint, utility room door.
after painting.

side yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

July 20, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: While dealing with Farmers insurance & Progressive/Homesite insurance’s dropping our policy for us having peeling window sill paint (among other things), we had to do a bunch of house repairs. While painting our window sills, we also painted other surfaces that needed painting, such as doors, railings, soffits, stairs, gutters, pipes, and cinder block walls.

well – now painted – 20110620 – IMG_3102

well – now painted – 20110620 – IMG_3102
Virginia Homes For Sale
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
The well (and front door), now painted. A good "before" picture of the well and front door: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/4435076513/

This story also demonstrates another moral of our home: Always keep a spare mailbox on hand! I’m up to mailbox #3 (and mailbox post #3, paid for and installed by the government 3 months after they destroyed the last one) in just 12 years. Always keep a spare. at a yard sale vs + for a new box. If somebody baseball bats my mailbox, they are hurting me for , not the they think they are. Joke’s on them.

Also since I don’t have a proper shed, we keep a lot of supplies here in the well. They sit on a piece of wood (LIFE TETRIS!) that was originally part of the bunk bed I slept in as a kid. WASTE NOTHING.

In case you’re wondering how a gutter gets damaged: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/4481727978/ … Yes, it’s all you people who keep wishing for snows’ fault. Also, here’s a picture of how bent up our front-right gutter was: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/3596132314/

chairs, garbage cart, gutter guards, house maintenance, roofing cement, spare mailbox, stabilizing fluid, storm door, washer fluid, wood filler.
after painting.

front yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

June 20, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: While dealing with Farmers insurance & Progressive/Homesite insurance’s dropping our policy for us having peeling window sill paint (among other things), we had to do a bunch of house repairs. While painting our window sills, we also painted other surfaces that needed painting, such as doors, railings, soffits, stairs, gutters, pipes, and cinder block walls.

yard, front – front of house – all sills, doors, fence painted, gutters repaired – IMG_3448 (20110822)

yard, front – front of house – all sills, doors, fence painted, gutters repaired – IMG_3448 (20110822)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
An "after" pic of the window/door/soffit/gutter/fence painting and gutter repairs, and the now-cleared stone steps with solar lights (still not recommended for guests, though).

The gutter guards are now 100% covering the front gutters, and are uniform in their coverage. Had to cut some into custom-sized pieces to get full coverage. The front-left gutter is also AMAZINGLY straight compared to the "before" picture, thanks to re-doing (and adding new) gutter nails/crews. The front-right gutter, while still obviously damaged, is in way better shape before — it had actually pulled the end of my roof off, and I had to nail my actual roof frame back together!! Gutter-caulk was successful in making it so that you can stand at our front door in the rain without getting water on you anymore! The gutter guts! It hasn’t done that in years!

When we first moved in, the front looked like this: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/90504353/ and this: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/90504591/ (and also www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/96737295/ but you can’t see the green in that picture)

In case you’re wondering how a gutter gets damaged: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/4481727978/

Note the condition of the shingles. Progressive insurance (Homesite insurance) dropped our insurance giving us a list of reasons. We fixed the items on that list. They then dropped us a 2nd time for new reasons not included in the first list, including "curling shingles" on my roof. The shingles certainly aren’t perfect, but do these look like something that’s going to fly off my roof and cost an insurance company a lot of money? Of course, we survived Hurricane Irene AND the post-Irene flood storms JUST FINE … With zero water in our house. Progressive did not even cite our roof the first time they dropped us. Quite simply, Progressive Insurance/Homesite insurance are ASSHOLES. The roof sure as hell does not need to be re-done if it is functioning just fine. Plus, I just patched it with roof cement to strengthen it up even more! Be smart. Stay away from Progressive. Their low prices aren’t worth it. The State Corporation Commission has been notified, but since Virginia is a Republican state, our regulatory agencies barely have any teeth.

camping chairs, cooler, groceries, gutter guards, house maintenance, ladder, storm door, windows.
after gutter repair. after painting.

front yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

August 22, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

… View my camping-related blog posts at clintjcl.wordpress.com/category/hobbies-activities/camping/

BACKSTORY: After all of the first-world-bullshit we had to go through (described in the backstories of the other pictuers), it was nice to be able to take this "after" picture, and be done with it (for this year, anyway)! (Next year: Retaining wall repair, concrete wall patching.)

window, bedroom – 3 – front, right – now painted – 20110620 – IMG_3098

window, bedroom – 3 – front, right – now painted – 20110620 – IMG_3098
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
This is the overhang window of our bedroom after repainting, as viewed from the right. We also had to paint that pipe going down, as its paint was all green and peeling. The soffits on the left were much easier to get to thanks to me having something to lean on in both directions. The addition in combination with the overhang creates this strange little pocket of yard. At the very upper right you can see how our addition has plastic soffit covers — like most new construction. People don’t realize just how much painting maintenance it saves to have those. My house was built before the rise of plastic. My soffits get no protection. They peel. They rot. They need repainting. They’re a pain in the ass to get to. You can barely see what you’re doing when you do it. And then you do it again every 10 years. It sucks. I should have paid the extra ,000 for them to add soffit covers back when we paid ,000 to add siding to our house (which was to avoid a ,000 painting job).

bedroom window, gutters, house maintenance, light socket, pipe, plastic soffit, window, wooden soffit.
after painting.

back yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

June 20, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: So our homeowners insurance (Farmers) got dropped due to having peeling paint on our window sills (among other things). Weak. It was a LOT of work AND money for us to repaint all our sills. Wood windows SUCK!! Modern vinyl windows are MAINTANENCE-FREE!! Wood windows… You gotta re-glaze the panes when they fall out, and then the wood itself is always going to slowly rot away. We already had our cats knock a pane out, so we already had glazing compound for pane repairs. This came in handy when we painted our various window sills, as some also needed glazing compound.

It was quite a pain, because it cost so much money and had our living room in disarray for so many months, and the whole insurance basis for the situation was pretty bullshitty in the first place. We’re not going to make a property damage claim due to moisture that occurs because our paint was peeling! Ridiculous…

window, main room – 2 – painted + roof shingles JUST FINE after Irene – IMG_3459 (20110828) (uncropped version)

window, main room – 2 – painted + roof shingles JUST FINE after Irene – IMG_3459 (20110828) (uncropped version)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
The gutter, now repaired and painted. Loose gutter nails were replaced with gutter screws, and a drill was used to double the number of screw holes, adding many more gutter screws (about /ea) to help keep it up and straight. Gutter guards now finally cover 100% of it too, with some custom cuts having to be made. (Which was a lot eaiser with my yard sale aluminum snips than with scissors.)

Our main upstairs room’s front window (totally blocked from inside for privacy/anti-sun/anti-TV-glare purposes) after repainting.

If this picture looks familiar, it’s because it’s an alternate crop of an "after hurricane Irene" picture. That stick on top was from the hurricane. I realized it was also a good pic of our house maintenance later. This is a different crop of that same picture.

gutter, house maintenance, repaired gutter, stick, window.
after gutter repair. after painting. before painting.

roof, front yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

August 28, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: So our homeowners insurance (Farmers) got dropped due to having peeling paint on our window sills (among other things). Weak. It was a LOT of work AND money for us to repaint all our sills. Wood windows SUCK!! Modern vinyl windows are MAINTANENCE-FREE!! Wood windows… You gotta re-glaze the panes when they fall out, and then the wood itself is always going to slowly rot away. We already had our cats knock a pane out, so we already had glazing compound for pane repairs. This came in handy when we painted our various window sills, as some also needed glazing compound.

It was quite a pain, because it cost so much money and had our livingroom in disarray for so many months, and the whole insurance basis for the situation was pretty bullshitty in the first place. We’re not going to make a property damage claim due to moisture that occurs because our paint was peeling! Ridiculous…

Main room window when we moved in: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/90505377/