Our house is somewhere around 100 years old, give or take 20. The front door lock is original. Over time, the door frame itself has sagged, and the latch bolts no longer lined up quite right with the holes in the latch plate. This created a lot of resistance whenever you locked or unlocked the dead bolt, to the point where we had to lift the whole door upward (by the door knob) in order to (un)lock it. The brunt of this resistance was absorbed by the brass knob for the dead bolt, and it eventually broke. Since I'm easily distracted, we spent the next ten months (un)locking the front door with a screwdriver before I finally got around to repairing the lock. The fix was so simple, I should have done it right away.
A couple weeks ago, my son and I were out at our new acreage clearing brush away from the tree stumps that our pine wilt infestation left us. Despite the various implements of destruction, we spent plenty of time handling the felled foliage as we loaded it into the trailer and later back out again at the dump site. A couple days later, I discovered the hard way that there must have been some Poison Oak in the mix. This was the second time in a few years that I'd dealt with this weed, so I figured it was time to learn more about it. Here's what I found.
After several rounds of redesign with our architect, we've finally got a plan that's close enough to what we want that we can send it to our builder to get a reasonably accurate cost estimate. That's been our goal through the last couple months of meetings with the architect--not to get a final plan, per se, but to get something that was close enough that we could give to our builder so that he could give us a reasonably accurate price. Once we have that, we'll know whether we can run with this plan, or whether we have to readjust things to reduce the cost.