Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Labor of Home Improvement

Alright, it must be almost time for my next home improvement project. Home improvement is kind of like a birth experience for me. I get some labor pains off and on in the beginning. Then they become much closer together and more painful each time. Finally, I've had enough and find myself swinging a sledge hammer at something (well, that's not with babies, just my house).

Last time, I had enough of staring at this crumbling walkway we had leading away from the back patio. I'd been staring at it for years wondering what the hell I would do with it. I got tired of looking at it one day, got out the sledge hammer, and starting swinging. Enter my husband, halfway through the demo, with that all too familiar "oh-my-hell-what's-this-gonna-cost" look (which often resembles the "oh-shit-what'd-I-do-this-time" look). Two months later, in the ruins of the walkway, we had a 9X12 ground level cedar deck. What I thought might become a $50 zen rock garden exploded into $600 worth of wood and galvanized deck supports. Damn, I did a great job, though (props to dad for his help).

Prior to the deck, I'd gotten sick of the atrocity that was our front hedge. I called my father-in-law to bring the chainsaw. He cut the labrynth of intertwined shrubbery down to the ground, and voila, we had a brick paver area with landscaping and a park bench 3 days later. The list goes on and on. My modus operandi seems to be that I have no idea what the end result will be until after I demolish that which I hate. And I end up doing it mostly myself because my husband HATES home improvement (I probably would, too, if manual labor was my day job). But for him, basically, our home is improved by some little lumber sprite or drill fairy.

I'm not quite sure which piece of crap in my house is next to go, but I've been eyeballing my tub and shower. Here's the real deal: our house is 40 years old and the grout and tile suck. It's been my biggest pet peeve about this place. The soapdish keeps coming ungrouted from the wall because my husband refuses to believe that grout and caulk need at least 24 hours to completely set. I'm tired of watching him in there with the bullshit-grout (in the aerosol can) every two months making a bigger mess every time.

I'm a little intimidated to start this one in case I rip it wide open and find out our plumbing sucks. We don't have the cash laying around to fix that shit. And of course, being the only shower in our house, this will set us out to bathe elsewhere for at least a week. I hate bathing at other people's houses. It just kind of grosses me out.

So, maybe I will have to settle for painting or reorganizing stuff. Oh! Here's one I need an opinion on...

We have three bedrooms (a master and two smaller). The larger of the non-masters is currently the nursery. We still have the crib up and also a twin bed where Little Diva sleeps now. The other smaller room (office) is home to my PC, books, and a daybed that will be leaving the premises ASAP. So, whattaya think: clear out toys from the overcrowded living room into the office and have a playroom/office (ploffice), or make the office into Little Diva's room? The PC would have to go into the basement, which unfortunately has no windows (boo). There. That feels good.

Anyway, I think I hear a soapdish falling into the tub. Dammit...

5 comments:

Tessie said...

Dude, are you some kind of...manly home improvement BEAST? I can't deal with any of that crap. I DO sort of like the practice of just demoing something if you don't like it, and let him deal with Making It Over. Hmmm.

Erica said...

Third option: Come and fix up MY house instead. *brisk hand clap* Problem solved.

mom of the year said...

Tessie: I think I probably am some sort of beast. When I bought my house prior to hubby, my dad taught me a lot of it, and I just kind of dig it. Although, I have gotten soft and like the painting and redecorating stuff now. Suffice it to say that if I didn't do it, NOTHING would get done. We live in a townhome, so hubby has no outdoor work at all to do. Our association does all the gutter cleaning, mowing, roof work, landscaping maintenance, etc...

mom of the year said...

Erica: Hmmm. I can put in cabinets, fix drywall, and hand doors! We'll put our heads together.

mom of the year said...

That would be HANG doors. I'm too much of a wuss to do anything electrical. But I CAN tackle a leaky faucet...