May 4, 2012

We bought a house

Or — more accurately — Amy and her mother bought a house in which they, I, and Amy’s sister live. I’ve learned a few things by living in an owned home for the first time since I started college.

  • Mowing an acre with a push mower is no less ridiculous now than it was when I was in high school
  • I don’t have nearly enough tools
  • There are certain things you should pay someone else to do.
  • If it can be done with a hammer, pliers, a screwdriver, and a utility knife, you should probably do it yourself
  • Don’t trust anyone to whom you will be giving money
  • Sometimes you have to put the cart before the horse for your own sanity

Any tips on home ownership/maintenance would be welcome.


  1. Rob Reid on May 4th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Regarding mowing, if you’re not bagging the trimmings consider a reel mower, you know, not gas powered. They’re *tons* lighter. So they’re not as tiring, more nimble (cause that’s what you want in a mower), and quieter. That last bit means you can listen to your tunes and cut really early when you won’t wake anybody up and it’s coolest. Also, you don’t have to worry so much with doing it around kids. The only way I’ll buy another gas-powered mower is if I have to get a riding mower because the area is just so large.

  2. steve on May 4th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Don’t let things leak and always get your furnace checked in September.

  3. Sheila Ryan on May 4th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Remember that water is your mortal enemy.

  4. Michael Grant Smith on May 4th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Termites will never say, “This shit sucks, let’s go out for Thai tonight.”

    “To do” lists are like digging post holes in soil with high groundwater: they fill up from the bottom. Digging posts holes is probably on the list as well.

    Buy your tools from someplace with a liberal return policy, because you will break things.

    A Sawzall reciprocating saw, cordless drill, Channellock pliers, nylon zip ties, and a Lowe’s card are your most important assets.

    You will dream of salting your yard and then raking the dirt only when you feel like it.

  5. Dave Vogt on May 4th, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    @Rob: Too big of a lot for a reel mower, unfortunately. We got a self-propelled Toro that I usually don’t use the self-propulsion on, and I bag every other mow. I wish now that we had opted for a rider, but maybe next year.

    @Steve: good tips both. Hopefully this winter will be our current furnace’s last, as we hope to transition from oil to gas (just not in the budget right now, see below)

    @Sheila: Tell me about it. We’re having to tear up and renovate our septic system due to certain stupidity by the former owners.

    @MGS: Trying not to buy many tools, borrowing what I can for now. Salting the earth doesn’t sound like a terrible idea as it stands, and I’ve only mowed twice.

  6. Andrew Simone on May 8th, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I feel better about that tweet you had yesterday. I was worried for a bit.

  7. Casey Cichowicz on May 8th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    When big stuff needs doing, check up on your contractor’s reliability as much as humanly possible. Reliability over price, for sure, because otherwise you’ll pay twice anyway.