#5. There is a bottomless pit called “home improvement”.
Also accompanied by a bottomless pit of money. Oh, I mean debt. Sorry, I was imagining I won the lottery for a second. But I suppose you have to actually PLAY the lottery to WIN it.
I love our house, but it’s 27 years old and in need of some updating. And since it was built in a series of additions, it needs some revamping to really make sense.
For instance… The master bathroom is separated from the bedroom by an open office area. We can wall it off and connect the two rooms to make a master suite, but then you would need to go into the master suite to take the stairs to the basement. Therefore, I need to move the stair access into the office space (there’s still enough room for a desk and cabinet area). In order to do that, I need to put an actual floor in that part of the basement, cut into an eye-beam, and re-route some gas lines. It’s complicated and daunting, but doggonnit, it will work! I’m determined that it will.
The nice part about moving the stairs is that if we ever finish that part of the basement, we can put another bedroom where they are now, which is the only area that has full-sized windows down there. Plus the stairs are behind our bedroom closet, which would open that space up into a nice big walk-in.
For some reason (if there was a good one, I don’t know what it was), the contractor painted the whole exterior in a pasty, manila-envelope yellow. I’m not much for yellow in the first place, but when I saw what was under it, I really had to question the thought process behind the new paint.
I noticed the doorjamb of the front door was left in its original state- a beautiful gray blue stain that shows the wood underneath.
Now, color aside, a good painter knows you are not supposed to use latex paint over stain. (I’m not a good painter… I got that info from my dad.) It started peeling a couple months after it was painted, and you can see the blue behind the cracks.
My intentions are to try to power-wash the yellow off and see about re-staining the house to its former glory. Yeah, I’ll let you know how THAT turns out…
The kitchen leaves something to be desired. With the exception of the refrigerator, there’s no evidence that it’s ever been updated since its birth in 1984, and the cabinets and countertops are in sorry shape.
My mom and I did paint the walls and cabinets (thanks Mom!), which helps the appearance until we’re ready to overhaul.
Please ignore the mess. The kitchen is currently being used as a nursery.
For plants, not humans.
The nice thing about the kitchen is most of the appliances are in tip-top shape, so no need to replace those anytime soon. I’ll certainly be hanging on to the professional grade gas range for a long time.
My plan is to gut this space entirely and change the floor plan to add a couple feet to the dining area. The faux wood paneling will come off and wood floors will replace the tile. Yes, this is a huge project. Yes, it will cost some dough. But if there’s one thing I learned from my parents, it’s how to be frugal—DIY and research shopping are no strangers to me.
These are the cabinet pulls.
Aren’t they cute? I found them on eBay for $1.19 each!
And then there’s the pond and patio to put in out back, and the stone steps to go down to the creek, and the bamboo screen to plant between us and the neighbors, and the man cave………
So in order to do all these things, I estimate I need about a billion dollars and a major sabbatical from my job. Of course, these are the big projects— some that we want to start soon, others that can wait a while. There are many, many other smaller things that need to get done in meantime.
But as we start to check these off one by one, I will be using this blog to document our progress and ask for advice. And then, once all these things are done, we can die from exhaustion and it will need updating all over again because it’s the year 2079.