So glad you will be staying in Westport, will be looking forward to having you over to see the house we just completed on Elm St. We removed all of those ugly gutters, and planted several large fast growing bushes around the foundation to encourage siding protection, and just to make sure those plants don't suffer any during the dry season when the roof isnt dumping water on them, we installed a subterrainian soaker hose connected directly to the home's water inlet to keep the foundation nice and damp all year long.
In the basement, we decided we didn't like the color of the asbestos tile, so after sanding that nasty slick surface really good, we applied a generous single coat of a latex paint we found on sale at Home Depot. Instead of using messy brushes and rollers, we just taped rags to our boots and poured the paint onto the floor. We found that just walking around with those rags left a very nice stone look to the paint finish. We only had to touch up the job twice before we finished the house.
Also in the basement, we wanted to add a drop panel ceiling, but the head clearance was too low, by about 3". To make the headroom, we applied a sawzall to the bottom of each joist, and removed 3" of each and every joist. Because this just barely gave us enough headroom, we just used velcro on the joist bottoms and stuck the panels to the joists.
Of course, our downstairs modifications led to a slightly noticable "sponginess" to the main floor, so we opted to install an additional 1" particleboard subfloor before installing our hand painted 4" floor tiles throughout the main floor. The tiles were done with more of that wonderful paint we found on sale, and we found that by letting them dry in the sun, the paint was cured enough to walk on several times before it showed any "wear".
In fact, that paint did all kinds of handy things. We renewed the bath tub and sink with it, made a privacy window with it, and used it to hide the rust on the door hinges.
I can't wait to have you over to show you how we used old credit cards to retile the shower enclosure!
Best regards, Martha. Could you send that pine sawdust stuffing recipe when it's convenient? My inlaws are coming for dinner this weekend.