Things around here are always prioritized…into steps and phases.
Rush to get this house liveable one year ago. Check.
Rush to get yard cleaned up a bit after we move in. Check
Rush to get pine trees cut down before major storm comes through and the leaning ones crash into our “new” house. Check.
Repair this. Fix this. Rig this. Figure out why that is leaking. Check. Check. Check.
Hunter and I are project people. We are. But, sometimes I wonder if this house that I grew up in (and now live in) is trying to drive us to madness.
Our living room about one year, 4 months ago. Just before we moved in.
There’s always something to do, to fix, to make better. It was in disrepair for so long. We all just ignored it. But when we needed a place to live, it was our saving grace. We poured the pennies we had into making it a place we could live, safely, with less stress and give ourselves time to recover from what had been a terrible few years financially, emotionally, and physically. We are total DIYers on this. The only thing we hired out was having a friend who is an electrician come swap out some outlet for a different one for the dryer and to check all the outlets and such. Hunter has amazed me with his ability to figure things out and put this house back together. Because, yall, at one point, the kitchen had a giant hole in the floor and he was standing in the crawl space and the kitchen at the same time putting it all back together. He’s an amazing hard worker and has rebuilt our home into a safe place to live.
But after we got moved in and settled, well, we rested. We just lived here. We let everything stay as it was unless we absolutely had to do it. We just needed to rest. t took a year and a half of hard work (mostly on Hunter’s part as I worked full time and was pregnant for much of the time) to get the house back to a liveable status before we moved in. We were home improvement burn-outs.
For about six months now, we’ve slowly been finishing things out though. Which is a nice, refreshing change. Some successes:
We finished baseboards in the kitchen and some finish trim around the upper cabinets. Oh and that stuff that goes under the cabinet to finish it? Toe kick stuff? Floor trim? Not sure what it’s called. We still need quarter round but oh, it looks better.
We put flooring in our closet (it was sub-floor before that…the other closets still are). Dust is SO much less.
I bought a bamboo blind for our bedroom window (just a sheer curtain before that). It will definitely help in the summer with cooling.
I started touching up ceilings (crappy painters, we are). I hate ceilings. And popcorn ceilings. And ceilings.
We bought a built in dishwasher. STOP THE WORLD. I’ve used a portable for 10 years. This is like a whole new world. I love, love, love it. The not dragging a dishwasher over because the wheels don’t roll right. The not having to move it back in the morning. The dishes that have to be washed basically before the dishwasher because the water pressure just isn’t enough….this dishwasher is glorious.
I slipcovered our chair. Ugh. We won’t talk about how nasty it looks even though we had it cleaned prior to Rhett coming. Never buy a fabric couch or chair. Just buy leather. Seriously. It’s on my “dream list.”
So it is all coming together. Slowly but surely. Right now, we have a few projects going on:
Hunter is building a shop. He’s been using a container (one of those shipping containers…like this). We were going to take on a bit of debt and buy a building but he decided he could built on to what we have and make it what he wanted for less money. I’ll try to get some pictures this week. It’s a slow and steady project.
I’m slipcovering the couch. Nothing fancy. Just drop cloths for the fabric. And there won’t be a tutorial because I am winging it. It’s not perfect. Pin. Cut. Pin. Trim. Sew. Fit it. Add next pieces. repeat. I have the cushions left to do.
We still don’t have doors on our upper kitchen cabinets but I am working on them. I polyed some this weekend and stained others. Of course, the ones I stained look darker so…I may have a redo there. I am supposed to work on the remaining ones on Wednesday but it’s supposed to rain so we’ll see. And I need to decide if I want to leave the hardware as is or spray paint it. Some is in pretty bad shape.
Once we have some progress on the shop, Hunter is going to try to get the coop built for me. It too won’t be fancy and will be done as cheaply as possible. One thing we’ve learned these past few years is to do with what we have, when we can. Financial ruin can do that to you. :)
We also have a porch to screen. I’m supposed to be pulling old staples out. Supposed to be. Screening won’t take long when we have time. And it’ll make the outside look better.
There’s also a back deck to be built. We have back door and a 3 foot drop. Worse case scenario, a set of stairs but we’re hoping for a small deck.
We have landscaping that we want to do and a row of screening trees to install. Living in town again is new and different. Living in the small town where you grew up where everyone knows your business and your family mostly all lives on the same street…its….challenging. We’re working on it.
There’s a lot more we want to do like repair damaged siding, treat the beetle issue we have going in the crawl space, install a heating and cooling system (because right now, we use a wood stove mostly, a propane stove in the dining room as a supplement and 3 space heaters in bedrooms as needed, ugly window units in the summer), paint the house that hasn’t been painted in 34 years, replace the hollowed out porch rails (thank you carpenter bees), redo the sloped sidewalk, put in more gravel in both drives….but its all “plans.” We’ve learned that plans go by the wayside and that we just have to roll with the punches. And the funding. We prioritize, shift our priorities, balance things out, change our minds, and end up using the money somewhere else for something more important. But in the end, its the right place and a good decision.
But progress is a beautiful thing and we’re having a good time watching it all come together into something that is just right for our family.