Journal #2 - Old House Phase

5/03/03 The process of readying the house for rental begins. Much furniture moving, house cleaning, repairing, etc., needs to be done in the next few weeks.

The rental listings for both the studio and the upper unit are posted on the Web. Two weeks are taken on the upper unit.

5/07/03 I arrive at the house to begin the transformation for this summer's rental.
5/08/03 Meeting with Rich Tagland (Bill's brother) of Studio Tagland to discuss their renovation plan .
5/09/03 It has been raining continuously since I arrived. Indoor repairs continue, but the outside is most in need of work. Bad news: The dishwasher has a busted control clock mechanism. A new clock costs $140. A new dishwasher costs $190. It's time to shoot the old dishwasher.

More bad news: The studio unit stove, which we knew didn't work, is corroded throughout its inside. I guess this is to be expected from a 60 year old appliance. Like the dishwasher, the stove must go to the junk heap.

Jayne, Jackie and Austin tonight arrive to help over the weekend.

5/10/03 The weather clears long enough to do some outside work. The pine trees get trimmed. Jackie and Austin discover the Lee Avenue curb, which had been long-buried. They proceed to uncover it.

Jayne orders the new dishwasher from GE.

5/11/03 I am able to remove the green stains from the siding and the concrete walkways by scrubbing with buckets of bleach and soap.

Jayne is cleaning the kitchens and baths with Jackie's help. Many repairs underway.

5/12/03 Jayne orders the new stove from GE.

The cable service is scheduled to be turned on.

5/14/03 Jackie & I begin four-day repair and cleaning tour.

The new stove and dishwasher arrive at the house.

The new phone lines are activated.

Jackie removes studio entrance door and begins refinishing.

I install vinyl composite molding to replace rotted wood around studio entrance.

5/16/03 I install the dishwasher (upstairs unit) and the stove (studio unit). Dishwasher initially leaks due to a gasket that had been flattened in transit..

Studio countertop gets coated with epoxy mix. The solvent smell is severe and permeates both levels.

Jackie cleans the track lights, upper window and ceiling fan.

5/17/03 Another major Noreaster hits LBI. The surf gets extremely rough. Waves reach the dune pathway at high tide. Rains are torrential and falling sideways.
5/20/03 Jackie and I begin a seven-day repair and cleaning tour.

After a fine arrival day, it rains almost continuously for the next six days.

I further trimmed the pine trees on the west side of the house

Second floor toilet is removed and reseated. There is some old water damage around the flange that needs significant repair if this is not the last season.

A better plywood base is built for the studio stove unit.

The rusty studio kitchen cabinets and drawers are cleaned, sanded, cleaned again, and painted with two coats of Rust-O-Leum white. They look good.

The studio refrigerator frame is straightened and the unit is leveled.

Studio sink area wall is painted blue to match the front door. Weird vinyl-coated wall panels need three coats of paint to cover.

5/23/03 Jayne and Austin join us.

Jayne puts plants in the two yard flower boxes. She also finds an evergreen tree and pot for the north side of the house. It looks great.

I straighten out the phone wiring that is strung all over the outside of the house and in the storage area. Most of it turns out to be unused or redundant. I hook the second phone line up to the studio unit (it was previously wired to the upstairs second bedroom).

5/29/03 I get an early morning phone call from Con-Way Trucking. They have the futon and bunk at their Lakewood, NJ terminal, but can't find "South Salem NJ" anywhere on the map. The shipper mixed up the billing and delivery addresses. With that straightened out, the truck will be in Harvey Cedars by afternoon. Yipes! It normally takes me 3 hours to get there. I jump in the car and arrive just ahead of the truck.

I need to lift the boxes up to the second floor. Naturally, it starts raining and I need to hurry.


The futon is a nice unit with excellent hardware, but the Indonesian assembly instructions are a nightmare. Many unidentified parts need to find their proper place.

In between rain showers, I finally get the lower level doorways scraped, sanded and primed.

6/05/03 A lot has been done in a month, but much remains before rental. We've had problems getting the outside work done due to the weather. There has only been one day without rain in the last week, and only about 4 days in the last month without rain.

Jayne, Austin and I drive to Harvey Cedars for a 3-day work weekend. My fingers are crossed, as I need to be finishing the exterior painting before next weekend.

6/09/03 We end our weekend and drive home. The rain prevented us from completeing everything.

The studio unit, however, is fully completed. Patio funrniture and the outside gas grill are repaired and in place, though I ended up doing the work in the cold rain.

I still need to complete items for the upper unit deck.

Austin got to see part of the east coast skim boarding competition. Of course, it was held in the rain and spectator turnout was sparse.

The nearly-continuous rain, along with temperatures running about 10 degrees below normal, have greatly depressed the rental market. There has not been a single sunny weekend this spring. Potential vacationers are not even thinking about rentals.

6/15/03 *** Rental season begins.***

Continue to Journal #3 - Planning the New House