3.21.2013

That New A/C Sure is Umm...Big. Outside Improvements pt2

In case y'all didn't know, Texas is hot. Like, 'I think I've just entered the third realm of Hell,' hot. Two summers ago it was 105+ for three weeks straight. And there's always just enough humidity in the air that when you step outside, you instantly become a puddle. I left here when I was 17, and just moved back a few years ago. For the last several years, it seems I've only lived in colder climates. Alaska, Germany, Minnesota, Wisconsin. Now that I'm back, summers are no longer any fun for me. Come April, just give me a cold room and a glass of ice tea, and I'm good till October.


So when we started having problems with our air conditioner, life wasn't so pleasant around the 'ol Blackmon Homestead. No, it was 85 just inside the house, and a fine layer of sticky covered everything-including us. It made you feel like you just couldn't escape it. Tempers flared, sweat ran, the cat hid...wherever cats go when it's hot...and life was just generally crappy. That is, until our neighbor got a new A/C and referred us to the company.

Turns out, our unit was over 20 years old and only putting out like 9 SEERS, (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) when it should be somewhere around 17 for our size house. There was no just putting a band aid on it and calling it cold. Factor in it sounded like a dying Tauntaun right off our deck (shout out to my fellow Star Wars geeks-holla!), and we couldn't even carry on a normal conversation out there with our friends that bring their kids swimming...it was time for it to go to A/C heaven. And what better replacement than a Trane.

Not just any Trane. Ionized filter that never needs to be replaced, allergy filtration system, digital wifi control that talks to the system, can be changed by an app on our phone-and shows picture slides, and dual fan system...where if you have it at say-73, the whole A/C doesn't have to kick on to keep it at that temp. A smaller fan does to lower it to that temp, saving on the electric bill. Guaranteed to keep me at a chilly 73-even if the sun falls out of the sky right on our house. 'Nothing moves like a Trane.'

All that power comes with size.


Our grass looks really good here. Not so great right now.


This is right off our deck, to the right of where we sit. I don't know why, but it can't be moved anywhere else.

This is Mission Control.


I wanted that big honker to have its own little house. I Googled and researched, but there aren't many options online. So, I decided to make our own. I got some scrap wood from the ReStore. (Those of you who regularly read must think I live there, but I honestly don't. I just get a lot of stuff when I do go.) I set up a makeshift cutting station and got to work.

I first dug some holes for 3 posts. Well, I dug one. Mark got the others for me. We set them in place with some Quikrete, and let them dry overnight.


Ignore the big door. That's going to be my new chop saw table top.

I cut my pieces to go from post to post and laid my pattern out on the ground. I wanted it to have a random wood look, and in-between each slat of wood, I put bamboo rods from a bamboo screen I got at Ikea years ago.



Then I just started putting them up with the nail gun.






On the right and around the back side, I left room for the A/C guy to be able to access the panel. We planted hedges that we pulled from around the pool that will eventually grow to hide the unit from that side.

The guys started cutting down the big dead palm before I could snap a pic.



But I had them leave part of the trunk, and Mark chiseled out a hole for me to plant some stuff in. I want the ivy to look like hair.




And this is the area as it stands right now. We still have to trim out that block window.

I planted white caladiums all through the black mulch area.




I planted pink caladiums in the corner where the house meets the addition below...



The ground cover between the stones is moss, lemon crop succulents, and another succulent I can't remember. Ignore the dead tulips in front of the A/C screen. The lady who owns the flower company that sells to Home Depot gave those to me for free because she was going to throw them out. I can't wait till next year to see them alive.


See the corner of the roof? That white area is our master bath we had lifted, which is the addition I mentioned in Outside Improvements pt1. That's how much it had sunk and stretched the roof out. Yet another thing to fix...



I put this piece of fence there because we were just staring at a white wall. I made it from a piece of fence from (where else?) the ReStore.




 The hinges I found at an antique shop for $5.


The black iron scroll thing is a find from the ReStore. The lantern is from Lowe's.


The white piece of decoration in front of the fence is from the same antique store I got the hinges, LaSalle Shops. I also planted pink flowering bulbs in front of it. The tall porch railing is from the ReStore.

And for the instant replay...



I wish I had taken more before pictures. I started this area before I started blogging. Trust me, it was bad.

I hope y'all like my little courtyard off the deck. Even though I hate summer here, I'm over the moon excited to see everything in bloom. I think it's going to be really pretty now, and will make things a wee bit more bearable.

Join me next time for Part 3 of the Outside Improvements! Our-under $300 complete deck addition!

Y'all come back soon!

Cheers,
Jodi

1 comment:

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