A Year of Renovations

What’s better than rocking a cowboy hat? Sporting Infinite Vampire glasses at the same time!

In 2017, I published the first 5 books in the Infinite Vampire series. I did it, but it was a brutal amount of work and it nearly killed me! After the last book was published, I took a short break and finally found a house we wanted. We bought it in Nov. ’17.

A year has passed, and I’ve done very little writing. I’ve done a lot of legal work on the Infinite Vampire brand, ran promotions, fixed all known typos and tweaked the book covers, and I worked on setting up the audiobooks, but I didn’t publish anything new. What I did make over the last year, though, were a ton of changes to the house.

I’ll start out by saying that I wasn’t just me doing all this work. I had help and support from my family too. Also, some of the jobs were dangerous, technical, or required professionals…so instead of doing something dumb, I hired out to local contractors. I project managed it all, and I helped the pro’s by being a complaint-free grunt, essentially. I was pretty much the first man on the job and the last man off it, all year… Here’s a list of what got done:

  • Roof replaced
  • 2500 square feet of 3/4 red oak flooring installed, sanded, and finished. (I did the sanding and finishing, and I thought the oil-based polyurethane’s fumes were going to make my eyes bleed. Instead of finding out if that would happen, I bought swim goggles and put them on so tight that only the skin around my eyes felt like they were bleeding.)
  • 4 load bearing beams installed to engineer’s specs, 4 walls removed
  • Sewer ventilation pipes rerouted
  • Ductwork all around the house repaired and rehung
  • A voice-over studio designed and built (I love it!)
  • A ridiculous amount of carpet and underlayment removed
  • 3 layers of linoleum …(3)… removed from the kitchen floor
  • Cabinets sanded and repainted
  • French doors installed (mostly, I still need to shim the hinges a little)
  • Kitchen ceiling and lights replaced
  • Dining room floor re-leveled (it was extra outta whack!)
  • 2 bedrooms finished and painted, other walls here and there also painted, lol (lots more to go!)
  • Hood vent above stove installed and ducting ran outside
  • I built a bunch of various furniture pieces: a tv stand, a craft/sewing table, an office table, a large lightbox/fake window, a closet organizer, a full-wall wardrobe with slide out drawers, an end table, and a huge kitchen table made from welded steel and reclaimed NC barn wood
  • A couple doorways widened
  • Subfloor reinforced on both levels of home
  • Stairway torn out and rebuilt
  • Master bath expanded, shower-basin expanded, plumbing moved
  • Yard-pit filled (yeah, the last owner was “eccentric”), huge garden fencing torn out (needed a tractor with a loader to do it!), garden area re-graded and tilled
  • Perimeter fencing installed to keep the doggies safe, but with wide gates to allow tractors in 😉
  • Crawlspace moisture barrier installed
  • Path between old-grown backyard trees cut
  • 5 problematic trees removed, a dozen oak seedlings planted
  • 26 rose bushes planted (they were cheap because they were dying, but I got about 18 to survive!)
  • Gutters repaired
  • Wall sconces installed in a couple spots
  • Bathtub re-siliconed and tile wall re-grouted
  • Electrical gremlins hunted down and beheaded like the vermin they are! (Electrical gremlins are weird oddities that just happen, turns out the biggest one was due to a very old, malfunctioning outlet).
  • A total of 4 tons of material recycled or thrown away! (and my back moved most of it…)

And those are just the big things. It was tons of work, and now that most of the house is usable, I’m gearing back up to write again. Whew.

Dash approves of the renovations…
New ‘dog’ Rook also approves.
(Obviously he’s not a dog).