We are back to Jersey and happy that we accomplished most of the items in our list and stayed under budget.  The drive to VA was smooth and we came back tired from so much work.  We got to know some of the neighbors who welcomed us to the neighborhood.  We met some relatives of the first owner of the farmhouse.  We found a little bit of history thru them and had daily visitors who admired our work and told us stories of what the place used to look like.  We found out that the farmhouse was the best home on that area in its glorious days.  It used to have beautiful gardens and fruit trees.  Unfortunately those are gone due to years of weeds and neglect.  We only saw two apple trees, and those were partially covered by overgrown trees and weeds.  Hopefully we can get it back close to what it used to look like.  We do not want to change it, just restore it. 

Our main goal was to have the windows installed.  Everything went well and the installers did an exceptional job.  The frames were intact with no damage and the job was finished the same day (Thursday).  That opened up some funds to buy a small shed.  The cost of the windows was $3400, mostly due to the fact that the windows had to be custom made (12 windows) and except for three of them, they are large windows.  They are also of good quality, energy efficient, and qualify for tax credit.  They carry a lifetime warranty.  The crew was friendly and skilled. We love the result.  Here is a picture of the old windows and the new windows.

The old windows were boarded and broken.
View from the side with old windows
New windows
View from the side with new windows.
Once the windows were done, we were able to proceed with other tasks.  We cemented the porch which was broken, painted the columns, installed a new door and a storm door, and painted the porch floor as well.  These were not easy tasks considering that we have no electric power, or water.  We relied on a generator and took water from Eddie’s invention to collect water, which we transfer there from Jersey. When we left we took all imaginable tools that we might need, water containers, and the plants for landscaping.  The Dodge Ram was packed to the max.
Here is a picture of how we solved the water problem.
Eddie set these containers in the back of the house to collect rain water.  It helped when we needed water to mix concrete.
The old door and storm door were replaced and painted.  Here is a picture of the old and new doors.
Porch with broken floor and old door.  The storm door was broken.  To the right this is the painted new door that we installed.
This is the new screen door.
I painted the door during a very bad electrical storm that scared us, since we could hear the electricity hitting the ground. I was so scared that I could just keep painting and painting.
Here is a picture of the porch floor during fixing.  We had to pour cement, and wash the siding.  We also had to clear all the bushes and deal with all the critters that made homes:  tons of yellow jackets, spiders, roaches, ticks, and other stuff I don’t even recognize.  We went thru seven cans of spray to kill hornets.
With most bushes cleared we painted the columns and started to fix the floor.
The color we chose for the porch columns happens to be the first color that was on the porch.  It was a coincidence, we found out when we scraped  the ceiling.  We also scraped the columns and the floor.
We also started to pour cement on the broken steps.
BEFORE
DURING
Here is a picture of progress being made.  We also removed the old broken wooden ramp.
AFTER
Here is a picture of the after.  We washed the siding, painted the floor and columns, new windows and I even put some of the plants where the old wooden ramp was.
I was able to transplant my Jersey garden here.  I had to improvise and used part of the wood from the old ramp and some stones to create a border, at least for now, since we ran out of time.
We also took care of the overgrown grass that was left on our last trip because we did not have enough time.  We used the help of a neighbor we met and hired him to finish it with his tractor.  In less than an hour he was done, it would have taken us more than a day and we did not have the time since we had other projects.
Part that was left from our last trip – it goes all the way to the neighbor’s house.
Now we can see our neighbors
Since we had some money left, we decided to use it for a small shed that was needed.  The shed that is in the property is in need of fixing and is full of debris, garbage, old tires and chairs, old televisions, and many bugs.  We were able to fix the door on the old shed, but that was the only thing we did.  We put a fogger inside and some moth balls as well to see if the critters stay away.
Here is a picture of the old shed with a door that we recycled.
We only had time to fix the door recycling one of the doors from the inside that we will not need.

We ask our nephew Eric to help us install the new shed, which came in parts, with tons of bolts and screws.  It was very difficult to do, took two days and it tested our patience.  Thanks to him who is good at solving puzzles we did it.  The shed cost $295 plus the material to make the floor, nails, brackets, cement … – a total of $513.  Here are the pictures.

Building the floor for the shed.
The finish product.  We also built a ramp for it.  Both days that we work on it rained in the afternoon, I should say it poured and we had bad thunderstorms.
In addition, we finished to collect all the garbage that was around and left the grass nicely trimmed.  We did not have enough time to trim all the bushes.  We were able to do some demolition in the inside and get rid of all the garbage that was laying around – old mattresses, bags of garbage, old TV, table, kitchen cabinets, sofa, chairs, and other stuff.  We got rid of an old refrigerator that had an old rotten turkey inside.  As promised here are some pictures.
Some kitchen cabinets and sink
Packing the truck with stuff.  We found were the recycling center for the area was thanks to a good neighbor.

The nightmare of a kitchen – we took all those cabinets out. 

Other side.
More garbage
Old mattresses
The refrigerator with the rotten turkey.
More crap.
Other stuff.
Old bed.
We were able to clean the entire place and throw all the garbage out. It was time consuming and a lot of work to do, but we did it and we did it in nine days.  Total window cost $3400, the rest of the items and work we did – $1271.95  Food and gas cost – 378.10
I think we did pretty good for two people doing all the work.  Until next trip.

 

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