Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Obama and Martin Luther King Mural - MLK & Mellon

I am reposting this blog from Congress Heights on the

Obama and Martin Luther King Mural - MLK & Mellon

Designed by two tattoo artists at the tattoo parlor above the mural this mural is located on the corner of MLK Ave. and Mellon St on the side wall of the Quality Convenience Store.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stanton Gets a Rooflift

One thing I've experienced often is roof leaks. I've had it in Galveston and Stanton as well as MLK.

One thing I've done over and over again is patch up the roof with roof patching compound especially around the chimney -- and like a boat, I keep on throwing money at it.

My patience was running thin and I felt I needed to take care of my tenants who didn't appreciate calling me about water dripping from the ceiling after a big rain storm.

So, I finally broke down and decided to go ahead and shop around.

As expected, I went to Hector Navas (who did an ingenious job with Galveston and Martin Luther King Ave )

Hector is a pro and can command great prices. But since money was tight, I had to negotiate for the best price or go looking elsewhere.

I checked prices on Angie's List and Craigslist.

Finally Hector came back with the best price possible. He knew I was a repeat customer, and he knew that I would treat him well. Likewise, he would do a fantastic job ensuring my roof replacement was complete and would never leak again, as long as I was alive or the house sold.

and hired Hector Navas to redo my roof. He did it for $4,000 including replacing the bad plyboard. Apparently, the roof was extremely old and some of the plywood had rotten.

The $4,000 was recorded as an accounts payable (just like the water bill for Galveston) for me and as an accounts receivable for Hector, since I did not pay him until the work was fully completed.

For the back end of the roof, Hector installed the rubber roofing membrane than coated it with aluminum roof coating -- looks super clean.

The rubber compound and aluminum paint in the back and addition.

Here is the house with the new roof. Looks like a champ and I'm enjoying the house

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Charming Atlantic Street

Atlantic Street was one of my first houses in DC. It is an old charming house built just after WW I. One of the neat things about the house is the gable type roof with a nice dormer for the bathroom -- a type of house that is no longer built.

I remember distinctly getting an email about the fire. I was in Guantanamo Bay and what was nerve wrecking was that there was not much I could do. I could not contact anyone and worst of all, I could not visit my tenants.

The firemen had also broken all the windows as well as cut a hole in the roof to vent out the smoke.

I didn't know what to do with the hole, so I decided to keep the hole and install a skylight.

The fire wasn't bad, but the smoke damage was. So instead of repainting it, I decided to take down the ceiling.

We also opened up the crawl space attic and created cathedral ceilings. It was tricky creating a vaulted ceiling, but we made it work, but when we were done, it looked fantastic.

We also opened up parts of the dormer for a space that was not been used and converted it to a den.

Read the assessment of the house to include fair market value:

Pictures taken before we installed the siding.

The quaint gable-roof house on Atlantic Street sometime after the fire. Notice the heavy-up by the side of the house.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Two Years Later, Atlantic Street Gets A New Skin

The house been built in the 30's, the paint along the side of the house began to peel. I was tired of having to paint it, so I decided to install new siding.

Milton Daley and Company doing work on the front, side and on the dormer.

Before the siding was installed, we installed rigid foam insulation siding to ensure energy efficiency.

The siding we chose was light gray which resembles blue from the distance. (Special order from Home Depot in Oxon Hill.)

We also installed maroon shutters to the side window

The total for the labor and materials was $6,831

The entire house was completed with the exception of the addition in the rear. Also we installed new shutters for windows on the side and painted the bannisters the same maroon color as the shutters.

In this picture, you can see that we had to work around the heavy-up electrical cable.

In March 06, I refinanced the house. It was a debit cash for $94,500 and a credit notes payable to Indymac Bank for $94,500.

* All photos taken by owner

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Wall with a View

Ever since I saw the house five years ago for the very first time, I fell in love with it.

It all started in Feb 2003, After a horrendous snow storm, Old Man Winter was started to pack his bags and head up north to hibernate.

For five days, a record breaking snow storm blanketed DC resulting in over 20 inches of snow.

I was exploring the area in our minivan, just excited that we could finally drive around now that the streets had cleared up.

I stopped at an intersection. What seemed to be quiet a neighborhood turned hectic all of a sudden.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a bunch of kids came up behind me. Within seconds they were all around me, all eight of them -- there was no where I could go.

The kids looked no older than 12. But at this point and time, they were bullies, thugs, and they had held me hostage.

Then they came up in front and started pelting my windshield with twigs and rocks. The branches pelted snapped against my windshield, and there was not much I could do but to keep the door locked and to shift up the moment they would let me go.

Because of the freak incident, I took a turn up a hill, unsure of where it would lead, but for now I was running away from these thugs.

That's when I headed up the hill into a dead end street.

The street offered a beautiful view of a heavily-wooded and secluded park.

When I looked down, I could see the panoramic view of the Capitol, the Washington Monument and the Union Center.

The beautiful view of the US Capitol from the front yard

The view of the museum ship USS Barry (DD-933). Barry was laid down on 1954. During her illustrious almost 30 year career, she participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis as well as operations off the coast of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Barry has deployed with numerous aircraft carriers including Coral Sea and Enterprise.

Since I am by trade a surface warfare officer, with a longing to return back to the Fleet -- perhaps this was the real reason that drew me to this house.

USS Barry's underway replenishment in the Atlantic Ocean, mid-1960's.

Here is the beautiful red-brick house with the lovely, secluded woods in the background.

I had Milton remove the atrocious awnings from the windows -- makes the house open up more and also brings in more light inside.

I also installed a plastic white-picket fence around the front. This served to remedy a DC Housing Authority inspection. But it was a great idea since it not only provided safety, but also improved the cosmetics.

I used Long's Fence as the supplier and Milton Daley as the contractor.

Green Street has a brilliant view. So with the beautiful view from up on the hill and the collapsing side yard that was making it more difficult to walk across, I decided that it would be ideal to build a brick retainer wall, 40 feet long and 4 foot at the highest

The wall became a smash idea. It would cost $5,000, but it would make the yard more retro and more aesthetically appealing.

Milton Daley would do the work -- For four days, he worked hard and the wall looked immaculate.

If you walk alongside this wall, you are offered a splendid view of the Capitol and downtown DC.

** All pictures of the properties were taken by Chito Peppler