This week marks the one year anniversary of the most significant home damage event we've ever experienced.

Yes, one year has passed since our four square, in the midst of the coldest week in the DC area in over 100 years, had a boiler failure and a subsequent whole home freeze.

The resulting damage destroyed our home's oil fired boiler...

...ruptured plumbing lines throughout the house...

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Comments 9

Who doesn't love a project that's quick to complete and offers major impact? 

With our new house we've been spending the last year on what seem like massive, slow moving projects. Besides refinishing the wood floors and sprucing up the shed, nothing else in the house really felt like we were actually finishing anything. Completed projects being few and far between made us feel like we wanted a quick and easy win this winter that wouldn't break the bank.

When it comes to quick, easy, and generally inexpensive, there are few more impactful projects than low voltage outdoor landscape lighting. Everything you need is easily purchased, straight forward to install, and you don't need to worry about electrocuting yourself since all of the wiring is low voltage. All you need is a vision, a plan, and a handful of hours.

If you're not familiar with our new house, it's a white clapboard house that's about 108 years old. Its style is a mishmash of four square and late Victorian farm house with a giant wraparound porch. But most notably, its "front" is situated to the back to give it a great view of the water...

...while its "back" is actually the front and faces the road. This means that the road facing side of the house is full of interesting angles and details that surround a nice sized brick patio where we plan to spend many nights around the fire pit.

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Comments 4

Snowzilla (aka Winter Storm Jonas) rolled into town, dropped a lot of snow, and went on its way, and boy was it a great storm!

I've posted the full timelapse that takes us from the start through everyone shoveling out their cars in particularly futile efforts.

I have to believe that snow etiquette dictates those who dig out their car have the right to reserve their hard earned spot with an orange code or garbage can, right? I would assume so. Otherwise I'm sure we'll see fisticuffs and a Mad Max Fury Road fight to the death over parking when someone decides to snake someone else's spot.

The other day just before sunset I took Lulu around town for a little stroll. She loves playing in the snow when it isn't an active blizzard, but it was taller than she is in most places, so it made it a little tough. At certain points she looked like she was walking around in the Hoth Rebel Base. (High five if you get this reference.)

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Comments 5

1/24/2016 - 12:45 PM Update

The live feed is still going down below, so be sure to scroll down to catch the latest look out our front window. However, it's been up and down this morning as the power and Internet has been on and off. Fingers crossed our flickers are behind us.

Here's the full timelapse of the storm through 1/24 at 3:29 am. 

This storm was truly no joke. This morning people are trying to dig their cars out under the bright and sun filled blue sky. I'll tell you one thing, things are already getting a little bit testy between some of the diggers and those either looking for parking spots or trying to make some cash by digging people out.

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Comments 7

If there's one thing I absolutely love about old homes, it's their plaster!

With all of the beautiful details that fill any home of a certain age, my love of a traditional lime wall covering may seem a bit odd. Given the more modern trend to rip out old walls in favor of modern gypsum drywall, I feel like plaster walls are one of those things that give an old house its soul. The slight irregularity to the finished surface, thicker feel, insulating qualities (both sound and temperature), smooth finish, and ability to withstand centuries of use with regular upkeep make keeping and restoring plaster walls a no brainer if they can be saved.

If you've read our posts on plaster in the past, there's no doubt you know the lengths I don't mind going to in order to retain that classic plaster look. Whether we're restoring our own plaster or detailing how our friends decided to go with new plaster instead of drywall in their old house, we have no shortage of plaster shoutouts in our blogging past. In fact, we've gone into enough detail over the years that one of our favorite magazines, Old House Journal, actually contacted us to see if we minded if they include us in a DIY plaster repair article they have in the January 2016 issue. 

Their article features several of our favorite tips and even a few of our photos, including that awesome photo of me sanding while sporting a mustache. That photo was taken during the one week in my entire life where I had a real mustache (we go all out for our Halloween costumes), and much to Wendy's dismay, it's now immortalized as part of a magazine article. She's a lucky lady, y'all.

However, as much as we've talked about plaster repair and restoration in the past, the simple fact is that I've not been doing it in an truly accurate and appropriate manner, especially when it comes to skim coating. Yes, that's right, we've been doing it wrong and didn't really realize it for quite some time! 

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Comments 7
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