Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Home Improvement......

We have lived in our humble abode for 17 years this weekend. 17 years! I have achieved a personal goal, which was to remain in this house until all my kids graduated from high school. Once the youngest graduated this past June, we started to contemplate our choices - stay in this big house or sell and downsize? Since three-fourths of our kids still live here and the cost of living in the Seattle area is astronomical, making it impossible for them to move out any time soon, we decided to stay. So, we started the process of refinancing our mortgage and jumped feet-first into the rabbit hole of "updating" the home.

First on the list is getting the hardwood floors refinished. And while we were at it, we decided to also put wood floors through the living and dining rooms. Why not? So, we got several bids and finally settled on our contractor. He's a one-man show, and I'm really nervous about that, but he starts this week and there is already a huge load of wood in my now-bare dining room, so here we go!

My husband has done a lot of prep work already - pulling up and disposing of the 17-year-old carpet (gross), moving several large pieces of furniture, and pulling off the baseboards so we can give them a spit and shine before they go back on next to our gleaming new hardwoods.

I've tried to help but I kind of suck at moving large, heavy furniture and stripping up carpet has never been my forte. So, last night I decided I could help by removing all the nails from the baseboards once they had been removed from the walls. Pretty simple, right?

Except the nails they used were about the flimsiest things on the market. Every time I attempted to hammer them through so I could pull them out the other side, they would bend and twist. I resorted to cutting them off shorter so I wouldn't have so much to hammer, but that presented its own problems. For one thing, the wire cutters on my pliers suck and would only bend the nails, not snip them off. For another, it was HARD. It required strength, which I do not possess, and I not only cut a finger, I developed a blister on my hand.

Now, I'm not even sure my tetanus shot is updated, and blisters hurt! I decided I'm not a big fan of manual labor, but I AM a huge fan of paying someone to do that type of work. Even if it does add up to hundreds of dollars and less than stellar handiwork.

I noticed, when I removed all the pictures and paintings off the walls, that the living room walls need to be painted desperately. I attempted to rope in a painter (ok, I posted a request on social media) but no luck. However, the walls still need to be painted so now I need to find a painter to do the job AFTER the gleaming new hardwoods are installed instead of now, when the floors are bare and ugly and one would not even notice a paint spill.

The other complication is that this project requires us to vacate the house for a WEEK! We did not plan well, so now we are all seeking refuge in other places, further complicated by the fact that we have pets. And, just to make things more interesting, we got a brand-new kitten two days ago. Because, we thrive on chaos.

And now that the hardwoods will be beautiful, it's clear we will need new carpet. In the entire house. So, that will be the next project (after the painting) and I also noticed we really need new window coverings. And so it goes.

This never-ending spiral of home-ownership and its subsequent updates should keep us busy for the next 30 years or so because that's how long we chose for our refinance. Which means we will never really "own" this house. We're just paying very, very high rent.

And these kids will move out eventually. Then, we will have a house full of echoes and two people and a dog knocking around the vastness. But until then, these walls can barely contain the noise, chaos and general clutter. And they still need to be painted.