Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mommy's Project 52:14 Fixing

When we bought our house in 2003, we knew the house needed lots of work.  When I say lots, I don't just mean new carpet and some paint, I mean this place needed serious work.  We knew about most of what the house would need, but as we dug into different projects, new ones would pop up.

Now, there's putting work into your house and upgrading it, and then there's the list of things that always need fixing.  If only we'd just needed to tighten a few screws here, slap some paint on there.  Nope. If it's any indication, we did get offers for matches and gasoline.  We didn't think it was *that* bad at the time, but in hindsight, it kind of was.

Of our many renovation projects, the first major one was the kitchen.  Yes, the heart of the home, the one thing which, at the time, was guaranteed to bring a return to the home owner and increase the value of the home.  The kitchen adjoins the family room and the dining room entry is right off the kitchen, so we tackled all three rooms at once.  The biggest change was in the kitchen and family room.  We took the kitchen down to the studs, and installed a new floor in all three rooms.  Did I mention that we started this the year after we moved in?  While I was pregnant?  Ya, I don't recommend gutting your kitchen while you're pregnant.  Don't do it.

Anyway, the fruits of our labor are as follows:
 
Kitchen before - Z-Brick!
Kitchen after - look at all the cabinets!

The family room was a little easier.  Sort of.  We added lighting and replaced the floor.  The room was originally paneled, which we removed when we moved in because it was super dark.  We replaced the French doors with sliding doors, too.  Some new furniture, and it looked good as new!

Family room - before
Family room - done 2004
Before you go thinking we stopped there, we did not.  The fireplace was still something we weren't happy with, despite all the work we put into it to make it look less outdated than it was.  The room has taken on several different functions and appearances since 2004, the year we had our first child.  It's been overrun with toys, it's hosted many parties, and has seen its fair share of redecoration.  So, in 2010, we embarked on yet another upgrade in the family room, with this result.

The room closer to completion, and minus the baby swing!
Everything is grand when you first finish a project like this.  Shiny new appliances, beautiful new furniture, what could go wrong?  You use your appliances, you sit on your furniture, and you have kids!  Today, the faucet always needs replacing tightening, one of the cabinet doors has a crack that we've been too lazy to repair, and a few other annoying minor adjustments need to be made.  Still, we are in love with these spaces!

We've redecorated just about every room in the house now, and with each project, it turns out to be more than just redecorating.  There is a sizable repair needed in just about every room.  Today, we need to complete the master bath (gut) remodel, add knobs to closet doors in a couple rooms, get a new roof, add some minor finishing touches in the kitchen, repaint the foyer and living room, and the list goes on.

Along with the house and kids comes broken toys.  I can only scratch the surface of the list of items which currently need repair.  The kids are good with their toys, but there are some items made better than others, and those falling into the latter category fall into our "bucket of despair", as I sometimes call it.  Items which need more than a little super glue, which Mommy and Daddy set aside to fix on a rainy day.  Well, we've had lots of rainy days, but the toys still need fixing.  One needs a battery, one needs a wheel glued back on, the yo-yo came apart and doesn't snap back together, the doll's leg broke off at the knee, you know the drill.  They pile up so quickly, and soon it's like a toy graveyard.

Whether you have kids or not, something always needs fixing.  The list never seems to get shorter.  All you can do is become handy and get to know your Friendly Hardware Folks!  We know ours quite well, and they know us as soon as we walk in the door!