Monday, May 9, 2011

Improvement is the Process of Perfection

I am obsessed with improvement and the goal of perfection, even though I realize there is never an end because perfection is unobtainable (because change is a constant and we must adapt and improve based on the constant changes). But I am okay with this because I realize that I am more interested in the process than the end result when it comes to working toward perfection. In fact, one of the main reasons I started this blog was to document my design process/progress. However, I just decided that because my obsessions of tweaking, arranging, and rearranging extend way beyond graphic design and because I spend the majority of time outside of my day job obsessively tweaking things around my house in a continual effort to improve my space and environment, and because I love it so much, I decided that I would post about these processes as well. So, this post marks the beginning of my postings about my home improvement, inside and out. I can't think of a more fitting or appropriate time to start than with the biggest and probably most important home improvement project to date, the foundation. 

Living in Oklahoma, with our crazy and extreme weather conditions and our clay soil, the foundation is probably the most important area to plan around when it comes to home improvements and maintenance. As such, I decided to have some foundation repair experts come take a look to tell me what I would need to do to repair some existing foundation issues and correct some humps in my floors as a result of the foundation sinking. I naively thought that all they would have to do is to lift the house and install some steel piers, but after inspecting under my house, the guys noticed that I would need a lot more than that. Apparently, the original inspector that I hired when buying the house did not catch that I needed more beams to support the structure. Not only would I need new beams installed but since my crawl space was so shallow, they were going to have to remove the original wood flooring (house was built in 1939) and work from the top. I had no choice but to part with my original wood flooring and after the work was done, have someone install all new oak wood flooring.

As I write, the foundation is now repaired, beams installed and all and the wood flooring guys began working today to install new floors. But here is the original damage, before the foundation work began.

While my house was being broken down to build it up, I was busy improving the backyard landscaping. (I couldn't leave the post with pure destruction) My backyard was thoroughly neglected before I purchased the home and for the two years I've lived in the home, I've been focusing on the front yard landscaping because curb appeal seemed like a more important priority as more people see that than the backyard, especially since the backyard belongs mainly to my dog. First of all, my backyard has zero grass, which I believe is due primarily to the amount of shade. So instead of attempting to grow grass, I decided to reduce that headache and go for a cottage feel backyard by primarily installing garden beds and walkways around the beds. Since my dog has formed a natural trail around the yard from obsessively pacing as she guards all sides of the yard, I decided to work with that by building the garden beds around the natural trail. This is the first bed I finished and I am currently working on finishing laying the pea gravel paths. This is just the beginning so stay tuned!

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