Wayne came down on May 12th to help get the boats out. I dug down to the septic tank and had Bousefield pump it out. No problems noted, but this year we went ahead and installed a riser to reduce the level of digging needed for access. We should pump it every 4 to 5 years, according to Bousefield. Location diagram and Bousefield contact info is at the bottom of this page.
Reinstalled boardwalk. This time I filed out the rope holes so that the rope can slide more easily. We should NOT need to remove the walk as a matter of routine, but would do so in times of hurricane high water.
I painted the upstairs railings and stairs with Benjamin Moore floor paint (same as upstairs hallway floor) on my first trip down. Over Memorial Day weekend Chris and Jen painted the ceiling and hallway (paint code). I removed the front door, planed the bottom where it hit the floor and epoxied the stiles and rails together and strengthened with long deck screws at the bottom.
I think the biggest improvement for 2014 is the matching Tropitone furniture donated by Suzy. It's all on the deck. The blue table and chairs are out front and the yellow chairs are on the porch. A few chairs that are falling apart (including the chaisse lounge) are being stored in the attic for eventual restoration.
The linoleum in the kitchen is peeling upwards along the walls and particularly under the doors, where it gets hit by the door and chipped off. I was able to trim it next to the deck door and install an aluminum threshold there. For $50 worth of materials I nailed painted (matched for color at Pocasset Hardware) shoe moulding around the perimeter, which holds the linoleum down nicely. The first photo shows one piece installed compared to the section next to it. On the broom closet I used a piece of moulding to fabricate a threshold there as well. I still need to install some unpainted strips along the base of the cabinets, although those sections are not too bad.
I put a gate latch on the shower door, which should prevent the door from banging in the wind and getting torn apart every year.
The rear hatch on one of the kayaks was broken and discarded. If this happens on the other one, a simple solution is to cut a piece of cutting board and attach it to the opening with longer screws. It will keep water out of the hull in wavy conditions.
Kostas from Budget Blinds came to measure the windows in Suki's room. The total cost for replacement with composite blinds was around $1500, installed. A sample is shown. All of the windows are slightly different sizes and each blind would be customized for each window. The Board will discuss whether we want to proceed with this improvement. The existing blinds are almost worthless, however.
Kitchen utensils - Suzy donated a few boxes of glassware and kitchen utensils. I cleaned out the drawers then put lots of duplicate items into a plastic storage container moved to the attic after selecting an assortment of the best looking items to keep in the kitchen. We really don't need ready access to a dozen spatulas or 18 kitchen knives, or many of the mis-matched glasses, etc. They are all still available if anyone has a favorite that they'd rather have in the kitchen.
Keyless entry - battery replaced, new code entered.
New vacuum cleaner - a bagless Kenmore that Suzy ordered and seems to work great.
Deck repair - as the 20 year old coated screws rust out and decking loosens, we should use stainless steel screws to repair loose ends. There are 2 lengths of torx head stainless screws in the garage, with some drivers in the same drawer - probably easiest if we don't mix up head styles.
Major electrical issue - Laurie had reported flickering lights and electrical smell when vacuuming, so Wayne wisely had her turn off the main breaker. On our return over Memorial Day weekend and after an initial evaluation and consulting with John Becer by phone we determined that there was likely a major fault in the neutral wire coming into the house. The power company responded within minutes, replaced the pole connections, and recommended we hire an electrician. Joe Morrison was contacted (electrician from Wareham, found via internet) and he altered his plans to come over right away. After some baffling events, which included a temporary 240 voltage spike into the house circuits, he temporarily bypassed the neutral wire from the pole to the breaker box with some cable he had and the problem was resolved. He will return after Memorial Day and replace the entire SEC (service entry cable) with a new one with copper neutral wire instead of the aluminum, as well as provide a braket to hold the attachment away from the house, an issue of concern to John Becer in the past. We were very fortunate to have this issue resolved the way it did, as it is a common cause of house fires. I did need to replace several of the GFCI breakers in the house, as they were destroyed by the voltage issue. The stove was also damaged (electrical panel that controls the oven is inoperative) and hopefully that will be replaced under warranty. I'm confident that the problem is resolved, and was very pleased with our choice of electricians. Joe Morrison's contact information is on the Improvements page.
The seats and seat brackets for the canoe had broken completely. I made new seats and brackets from mahogany and epoxy coated them (more details here).
THANKS, to Linda, Chris and Jen for returning over Memorial Day weekend to get A LOT of work completed!
Update: Joe returned as promised and replaced and re-located the entire service entrance cable with copper neutral wire (which is MUCH better with the salt water environment) and Wayne negotiated the repair of the oven under warranty.