Boring Maintenance

We do a lot of tedious maintenance-type work around here that never makes it to the blog. Like cleaning out the gutters.


After all the flash flooding and wind, we apparently had trees sprouting in our gutters. Stupid acorns and leaves and seedlings. Constant work. You know. You have a house.

When we bought this house, the inspection revealed that the in-ground sprinklers didn’t work. We proceeded anyway because is it really the end of the world if you don’t have a working sprinkler system? It was the type of thing that helped us snag a great deal here and we knew we’d get around to fixing them someday. I have no clue how, but I came home from Lowe’s and the sprinklers were running.

The hubs did a bunch of digging with our little helper to get to the pipes. I’m not sure what exactly he/they did to fix the system, but I know it didn’t cost a single penny. Hooray!

shovels dig

digging sprinkler

I’ve been working inside…

Do you remember that there were doors into my kitchen?

kitchen doors kitchen door

A little bit weird, right? But I suppose it was pretty normal in the early 80’s when this house was built. This entrance is at the front off of the hallway (which used to not be a hallway) and there’s also a doorway into the kitchen from the back of the living room (but no doors there).


I removed the doors a while back because they were never, ever used and my youngest son thought they were fun to swing on. Totally pointless. No function for us whatsoever. Just in the way and annoying.

no doors

I guess if we held fancy dinner parties in the formal dining room, our kitchen staff would walk through these doors into the dining room. But we don’t. We homeschool in there and the kitchen staff all got fired. Or at least they should. Totally not doing their jobs very well.

So I had these spots where the hinges had been. I used paint sticks to patch them.

hinge paint stick

There were also some holes up top once I removed the hardware that held these doors closed. They weren’t regular doors with door knobs; more like closet or laundry doors where the knob doesn’t turn but you just push or pull the door latched into the little metal hook up top. Make sense? I didn’t get a pic before I removed the hardware (and I have since thrown it away), but here are the holes.


I filled those, as well as the edges around my paint sticks, with wood filler.

wood filler

I also removed the door stops since they were unnecessary at this point. Thankfully they weren’t glued on and just popped right off with a wood chisel and hammer. I also used wood filler in those nail holes.

door stop doorstop staple

Once my wood filler was dry (it took more than one layer, built up slowly so it wouldn’t crack), I gave everything a good sanding.

filed hole

Paint uncovers a multitude of sins, so I tested a thin layer over my patches to make sure I really had the wood smooth. Sometimes it may seem perfectly patched, but once painted you can really see all the imperfections. Sand, sand again if needed.

paint test

Paint will also make it obvious where you need to caulk.

needs caulk

The baseboards in this hallway got painted back when we added the classroom, but they’ve butted up to natural wood for over a year now.


Much better.

painted doorway

(We’ll get to that bare kitchen floor at some point.)

patched painted door frame

Slowly knocking these tedious little projects off the list. The house should be completely updated just in time to start the process all over.