Lessons in home ownership

In the past month, The Husband and I have been scrambling to get the house in shape for my parents' visit this weekend.   Have I mentioned that my parents and sister are in the design business?  Specifically, INTERIOR design and architecture?

The pressure is on.

You remember my kitchen.  I'm still really proud of it.  But since that project, nothing's really been done.  I'm even participating in the Apartment Therapy Green Cure and Kitchen Cure project but that's gone by the wayside.  Why? Life happens.  Between a full-time job and part-time commitments, it's hard to come home at the end of the day (like, 8p.m. end of day) and want to clean or put laundry away.  It's embarrassing, but our dining table is now a receptacle for freshly washed (and, now, wrinkled) laundry.

Anyway, in the past month we have:

  • Fixed the plumbing in all three toilets

  • Fix the compressor in our fridge

  • Replaced light bulbs in our crazy tall ceilings (had to call a handyman for this one)

  • Fixed our heating and cooling (thanks to Lesley, we found a decent, honest HVAC company)

  • Put some falling brick back in place

  • Replaced the carpet in our living room with wood.

What have we learned from all this? Lesson 1:  Do not, under any circumstances, put repairs off when they are first noticed.  The longer you wait, the worse it gets, the more you pay to fix it.

Home ownership is fun isn't it?

The other projects still waiting to be started on include getting huge Hatch Show Prints and other prints I've purchased in the past couple of years framed.  I want to paint a few more walls, we need a console table or buffet in our dining area, some trees need to be trimmed, the back deck needs work, and we need a rug for the living room.

Do you have any idea how expensive rugs are?!?!!? Thank goodness for Flor.  My order was placed yesterday, I hope to get it soon before one of us scrapes up the new wood.   Lesson 2:  don't be cheap.  Especially when it comes to furniture or objects you use a lot.  In the long run, something you invest in can last you a lot longer and save you more money than if you buy something cheap that you have to replace every other year.  That adds up.

You might be wondering what I meant by "falling brick."  Well, it turns out, our house, built in the early 90's, was built rather... half-assed.  For lack of a classier term.  Corners were cut, and instead of cementing brick into the exterior wall above our back door and supporting it, the builders put a wood frame that sits about an inch and a half off of the surface of the wall, thinking that, hey, if it starts to crumble, this should hold it up.  The brick did fall.  The entire row cracked off and was teetering and while the wood did hold it back, it was one huge vibration from falling to the ground and ripping our gutters out.

Lesson 3: hire a good inspector.  Ours didn't notice that the HVAC parts were supposed to be replaced a year before we moved in, that we did have termites, and that the masonry was bad.

Thankfully, till my parents' arrival, I just have clean up to do.  Put laundry away, rearrange some furniture, and freshen the place up.  Once the living room is done I'll have pictures.  In the meantime, send me good vibes, let's hope my parents' visit goes off without a hitch (read: unwanted critiquing) and that we all have a great time.