A new home on the web (don’t worry, we’re keeping our physical home)

Just a quick note for the dedicated readers: this blog will now be hosted at house.youngram.net. It was previously hosted at house.youngram.com, so if you have it bookmarked, update your bookmarks. Someone contacted me with an offer to sell the youngram.com domain and offered enough money to make it worth my while, so that domain will soon be leaving my control. If you get this newsletter by email, you will be unaffected.

Garden Bridges

As part of the rain garden, I had dug two channels to carry water from the downspouts to the basin. The infrequently used path on that side of the house crosses those two channels. Once I got them fixed up nice with aluminum edging, I wanted to do something at the crossings to prevent the edging being crushed and cut down on debris being kicked into the channels. I decided a couple tiny garden bridges would be in order. There are a few houses in the neighborhood with very cute little bridges that served as inspiration and gave me a rough idea of what I was aiming for.


The other half-finished big-ticket project that came with the house (besides the chimney) was central air conditioning. The house had been fitted with supplies and a return for high-velocity air conditioning, and lines had been run for a condenser and air handler, but no units had been installed.

How to plan a garden, part one: the vision

With our new house, I was very excited to start planning our garden and landscaping, but to be honest also very intimidated. I had done a bit of gardening at our rentals over the years, but always at a fairly small scale. I knew I wanted to go much bigger with my ambitions, but I didn’t have any experience in landscape design.

The first-year garden

I had maintained a small garden at both of the last two places we rented, so now that we had a place of our own I was excited to get a garden going. However, we closed on the house at the end of April, and were consumed with moving and some of the more pressing move-in issues after that. The timeline meant that I wasn’t going to have time to do almost any prep work before planting time rolled around.

Basement Egress

The basement was mostly finished when we bought the house. It still needs drywall and ceiling and a few other finishing touches, but it was already waterproofed, insulated, and had a new cement floor with in-floor hydronic heat. Time will tell if we actually take advantage of it being finished or continue to use it as a basement, like we’re doing now.

The Chimney

A recurring theme of this journal is going to be a comment our inspector made concerning the previous owners of our house: “they had a lot of start in them, but not a lot of finish.”

The Garage

We’ll start this blog with the first true project we tackled after moving in: the garage. This was an obvious place for us to start because it felt like a very doable entry point, and because it was pretty urgent. Why? Let’s review.

What to expect from this blog

This is as much my personal house journal as it is a public blog. I’ll try to keep it interesting, but if you’re expecting a lot of polish, you’re probably in the wrong place. In order for this thing to work, I need to keep posting to it. The only way that’s going to happen is if I establish an achievable bar for myself and the amount of time I have available to me: no masterpieces.

Our Old House

In April 2017, we became the proud owners of a beautiful old house in Minneapolis.