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Last year I wrote about the major things we wanted to get done around the house, and just recently stumbled across it, so I thought it would be a good idea to check in on how things fell for last year's list, and spell out a few of the things I want to get done this year.

This is our 2012 In Review

  • Tree Removal in the backyardDONE – I had this taken care of in March last year, right after a spell of warm weather that made it easy enough to do.  The tree had to come down in pieces, as it was hanging over the deck and there was no clear path anywhere else that wouldn't have put houses, play structures, or other trees (that belonged to the neighbors) at risk.  I also had three other trees on the smaller side taken out, as I wanted a big open area where the kids could play.  We also had the stumps ground, and I took it upon myself to level off the areas, backfill them, and seed them.  It turned out great.  It also had the side benefit of giving the yard a lot more sun, so the grass back there thrived, so much that it used to get to the point where I could skip most of the backyard every other cut, but this past year the backyard produced the most clippings of anywhere on our property.  And, we still have over 30 trees back there, so we still have plenty of trees (and leaves to rake in the fall).
  • MulchingDONE –  I didn't have this on the list but I realized it needed to be done. The benefit was that the tree trimmer used his chipper to turn our cut-down trees into mulch.  Usually the mulch I need costs a couple of hundred dollars, so although the tree trimming was pretty expensive, having the cost of mulch offset was a nice benefit.
  • Replace the dishwasherNOT DONE – Our dishwasher developed a small leak that I was alerted to by a beeping water sensor I'd place underneath for that purpose.  I figured that meant the end of the dishwasher, but I instead found that the leak is very small (probably less than a quarter cup during each cycle) and has not gotten any worse since discovering it over a year ago.  I slid the lid of an unused storage bin on the floor.  This catches the water, and the fact that it's such a small amount plus the heat generated from a normal load, combines to evaporate the leak very quickly.  It's a patch, for sure, but to look at it from the front, you'd never know there was anything wrong.
  • Re-landscape the area between the front of the garage and the front walkway DONE – We have a side entrance garage so there were overgrown bushes between the front of the house and the walkway to the front porch.  They made the pathway smaller and smaller, even with regular trimmings, and in the winter they got caked in snow, which would later fall right onto the sidewalk.  I hated the bushes and wanted them gone.  I actually had the guy that trimmed the trees rip them out of the ground for an extra few bucks.  The area stayed bare most of the year, but in my mind that even looked better than the ugly bushes.  Finally, at the end of fall, I had someone come and do some tasteful decorations.  A small batch of ornamental grass is on one end.  There are two juniper bushes which flank a few little rose bushes n the middle.  We haven't seen it yet for a full season, but it should hopefully look good and last a long time.
  • Re-paint the deckDID NOT DO – We put it off another year.
  • Replace the kitchen sinkDID NOT DO – We're still using the same, cruddy, chipped white porcelain sink.

The only other bigger cost item that we incurred last year was having to get the roof re-done on our camper.  It is a 2004 model with a rubber roof, and when I took it in for a check-up, they indicated that it had never been done and that we had been lucky that it lasted that long.  They did find some patching that had been done by the previous owner that probably wouldn't last long, and they also found that some small leaking had been taking place because of a manufacturers defect with the way the roof mounted air conditioner was installed.  They re-did all the seals, re-coated the roof, fixed the air conditioner problem, and took apart the entire ceiling to make sure that the small leak that had happened hadn't caused any mold or any other issues (it was fine).  It was quite expensive to get done, but I'd like to keep the camper for a few more years, and water damage is always my biggest fear, so hopefully this will keep it in good shape for a while.

All in all, 2012 was a pretty good year.  We didn't get everything done that we had wanted, but that's cool with me.  Obviously most of the major stuff we had centered on things on the outside of our house (or in the case of the camper, not part of the house at all) but that's fine.  I'll be posting our 2013 goals next and I think the trend of the outside of the house is likely to continue for at least another year!

How did your 2012 turn out for getting projects and such around the house?