DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

Tree Removal

We had some trees on the property line taken out. We had hoped to have it done this winter but the snow-cover prevented it. The tree people were also very busy dealing with ice-dams. Big Cherry Pickers are the only way to safely remove ice dams so if you ever have a freak winter, start calling tree removal companies. pro-tip.

Trimming the Yews

Before:
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And after Yew Removal:
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It’s amazing how creepy overgrown brush looks.

Here is the crew just starting to trim back the Yews:
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After:
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I suppose it also looks creepy to have a big pile of trash in the driveway but my guy Valentine is coming soon to haul it away!

Tree Removal

Here is the before picture. We are removing the right 2 trees. They are Norway Maples which are an invasive species and a very weedy tree. The one on the left has bark like a sugar maple and leaves like a Norway. The Tree guy was unsure but it is an older tree with a very strait trunk and seems to be healthy so we elected to leave it. You can see the 2 on the right are younger and have some waves in the main trunk. Norway Maples grow too fast, leaf out too early, and retain their leaves too late. An early or late snow storm brings them down all over town. Add a shallow root system and you really have a recipe for disaster especially when they are spaced as tight as these 3. It is now illegal to plant or cultivate Norway Maples in Massachusetts as they are deemed a damaging invasive species. They make terrible city trees and can cause a lot of damage. It is always sad to see trees of any variety torn down but it was time for these guys.

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Here they are from the neighbor’s side of the fence. The owners of this property are out of state and you can tell that these trees are certainly causing damage to this property. They have branches resting on the roof. You can hear the squirell infestation from our yard not to mention the roof damage! I think the owners were pleased we were taking the initiative to get these torn down. They split the cost of removal but it’s nice to have someone else schedule and plan the whole thing. The crew would also have needed to use our driveway regardless.
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The first thing the crew did was strip all the branches from the main trunk. We watched from the second story window, from my office nook.
Cherry picker cutting off the branches:
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First tree ready to come down:
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We watched all the brances come down from the 2nd story window:
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The back yard was filled with branches:
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They used a little bob-cat to drag all the branches down the driveway to the chipper on the street. We had to get to work so we didn’t get to watch them.

After the trees were gone:
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I’m not sure it necessarily looks better.  We do have a much less restricted view of the neighbors but it was a necessary step.  The sugar maple will fill out to the right and we can add a smaller tree decidedly on our property to help give a little more privacy.

I’m hoping we won’t even notice they are gone once the trees have leafed out.  Soon!

Sarah

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Toe Kicks

It’s been a long winter but we are back to our old tricks. Here is one little project we worked on while it was still very much winter in early March.

We have finally added Toe-Kicks to the Kitchen Cabinets. It’s a little change that makes the room feel so much more finished. For the uninitiated, toe-kicks are the piece of trim that go underneath the cabinets. In this picture from our 1 year anniversary in 2012, you can see how each cabinet has a gap in the toe-space underneath the cabinet. The toe-kick covers those gaps and is painted white to match the cabinets. It also covers any shims you used to level the cabinets.

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Wow, the cabinets have been in since December 2012! These toe-kicks were way overdue.

We also built a little cover for under the dishwasher. The toe-kick piece of the dishwasher is black so it needed to be hidden. It looks so much better with this little additional touch.

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Here is a detail of the dishwasher cover. We just tacked it onto the dishwasher with hot glue. It will pop off if you tug on it but was just enough hold to keep the cover from falling over.

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I should be back to blogging more regularly since the snow is gone and summer is upon us. We have pulled out the Tandem bike but it still isn’t quite warm enough to ride. We’ve made progress on a couple more projects I will be sharing soon. And, it is just about time for an early spring garden post. I’m hoping the cherry trees bloom this weekend!

Sarah

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Then and Now: Back of House

March 18, 2012
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November 9, 2014
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Pressure Wash the Deck

A coworker of mine just bought a house and he got our Pressure Washer going on the vinyl siding of his now blue house. While we had it up and running, I had Stefan Pressure wash the front porch. Just in time for Halloween!

We squeezed in one final tandem bike-commute to work by coming home at about 2:00 so Stefan could pressure wash. It was an unseasonably warm Tuesday in October. After the end of Daylight Savings on Nov 2, the bike-commute season is over unless you fancy riding your bike in the pitch black darkness that is 5:00 PM in this part of the country.

The Porch floor was in rough shape. I’m not sure why it was so bad but I think the Thompson’s Water Seal we used to seal the deck never fully absorbed and the dirt stuck into it. Maybe we put it on too thick. I’m not sure. I think we’re going to switch to a different sealer product.

Before, it was bad, real bad and After, it’s a pretty reddish brown wood color!

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It was a satisfying change. It seems the Thompson’s Water Seal did it’s job. The water still beads off even after pressure washing and under all the dirt the wood has hardly grayed at all. If it didn’t hold onto dirt like it does, we would be super happy with it.

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Stefan hit the Porch swing with the pressure washer and discovered some peeling. I’m thinking of painting it a lavender. I’ve got this vision of a lavender porch swing and lavender rocking chairs on the porch. The porch is currently cream and the house will been a mossy green at some point. What do you think?

For now, since the water still seems to be beading, I think we are going to toss a layer of the water Seal on the steps for the winter and leave the porch floor as-is. In the spring, we are going to use a decking cleaner/sealer system on the floor. I still need to do some research on what products work the best. I’ll let you know what we decide.

If you have any suggestions, let us know in the comments!

Sarah

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  1. 11/12/2014 | 10:50 am Permalink

    I think lavender will be stunning.

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