2015 was a big year for significant improvements.
Natural gas was installed by We Energies in the spring. They put the main line on the north side of the street and bored under the road to my gas meter location. No trees were cut down and no trenches were dug. Then all the appliances were converted to natural gas. Orifices were changed and three pressure regulators were all professionally installed. The furnace in the house and garage and the fireplace were cleaned and inspected. Later the propane tank was drained, moved and picked up by Lakes Gas.
A new Richmond self cleaning 50 gallon water heater was installed in May. The self cleaning feature swirls the water in the bottom of the tank to prevent sediment build up. The water heater was an upgrade from our old one and has a 9 year warranty.
The entire exterior of the house has been refinished. All of the old oil based stain was removed because of mold and mildew. A solution of TSP and bleach was applied and brushed onto the surface. That was removed by carefully pressure washing. After letting the cedar siding dry for 7 days, Pittsburgh Ultra Advanced stain in Clove Brown was applied. This water based stain will do a better job of preventing mold and mildew than an oil based stain that promotes its growth. Notice in the photo that you can see before and after the stain has been removed. To do a quality job of staining, proper preparation and clean wood is imperative. Also notice the care that was taken by covering plants and the brick siding with plastic.
The lot to the east went up for sale late in the summer. It's 3.27 acres of nicely wooded land. To protect my privacy, I purchased the land. It is a great investment because the lot is perfect for a house with a walkout basement. It also has so many plus factors like underground electricity, cable television available, and natural gas, making it a great investment. Of course it's available for purchase with my house unless you want close neighbors.
The photo above is a shade garden that I made to the east of the house. The shade prevents grass from growing so I transplanted some ferns from the forest, planted vines that love shade, added 18 bags of mulch and a rock border. It's another beautiful addition to the property. A couple of other projects included installing new landscape timbers around the edge of the driveway between the house and pole building and pumping the septic system which I do every year as preventive maintenance.