Wednesday, September 28, 2016

House projects

Now that we own a house again, house projects abound. So far we've installed ceiling fans in the three bedrooms, a solar tube in E's bedroom for more natural light, and fixed leaks in the bathtub and the washing machine's hot water faucet.

Our current project is installing three bike racks in the carport so we will have a better way to lock-up our bikes and keep them out of the weather. Think: Pipes and concrete from Lowe's, plus Neil chiseling through the asphalt. First one should be finished this weekend.

This fall we are planning to install a gas insert into our fireplace so at least one room in the house will be warm come winter (we usually keep the heat set at 61, which is fine for Neil, but leaves me freezing). In the spring we will put in a whole house fan to help efficiently cool the house off during the summer months. I had one growing up and we put one in our house in Austin. It was sorely missed this summer and I am looking forward to having one again.

Long term there are some bigger projects, some of which sill definitely happen, some of which are in the "dreaming" category:

Roof. It is not in fantastic shape. We are planning to replace it with a metal one when it starts leaking, but until then, we'll keep it as is.

Bathrooms. The full bath needs a remodel: new flooring, tile in the shower, new tub, low-flow toilet, new vanity with better storage, and changing the hinges to the other side of the door. The half bath is a tiny closet bathroom (it literally used to be the linen closet) that is dark and almost never gets used. We probably use it less than once every two weeks. I'd like to convert it back to storage.

Kitchen. Ideally we would paint the cabinets (Neil prefers the wood look, so we'll see where we land on that one), replace the laminate counters with stainless steel and an integrated sink, upgrade the electric stove to an induction stove, replace or fix the refrigerator (it's leaking inside for unknown reasons), put in new flooring, open up the wall to the dining room, and add counter space to the wall under the pot rack.

Laundry area. The current set-up is right off the kitchen, but I'd like to move it to the workroom and then turn the laundry area into pantry storage and add a door to E's room so she can have better airflow in her room.

Workroom. There's a den in the addition that we are using as storage for our tools, camping gear, toys that are not in the current rotation, sewing materials, and Goodwill donations. I'd love to divide the room in half and make half of it the laundry room and the other side a half bath. That way we'd still have a half bath if we convert the current one to storage. It would make more sense to have one in the addition instead of two next to each other in the main part of the house. Most of the stuff in the workroom now could be moved to what is now the half bath, with the exception of Neil's workbench that he built this summer. Not sure what we would do about that.

Addition. The main part of the addition is a second living area. I'd like to replace the carpet with wood. The carpet is cheap and likely won't last too long, so we can replace the flooring when it wears out.

Yard. I'd love to turn the front into a "lawns for life" situation where we remove the grass and plant native plants and flowers. I don't have the energy to take that on right now, but maybe in a few years.

Part of me loves the idea of making the house exactly what we want, and part of me thinks, "Eh, it's fine as it is. Let's save our money." Many of the bigger projects require completely rethinking rooms and come with correspondingly large price tag. Before we change the essential function of any room, I want to live in the house longer so we are sure we are making the right decision when we move forward. We've tossed around many concepts, including things as radical as turning E's room into the kitchen and the kitchen into the master bedroom. Because why not explore all possibilities while we can? For the foreseeable future we'll be chipping away at the smaller, easier to define projects and creatively dreaming about the rest.

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