Monday, May 18, 2009

Home Maintenance

Until I got divorced, it never really occurred to me that I'd own a home by myself. When it happened, we had been living in that particular house for under a year, so I had no sentimental reasons to stay there. The thought of moving into an apartment seemed like it would be cheating my kid out of something, and I sure didn't want to share a wall with anyone.

I gravitated to a particular part of town, the old part of town called, not surprisingly, Old Town. I bought a hundred year old cottage that had been fixed and flipped a few years before. I knew I had made the right choice when there were vegetables on my doorstep the day I moved in. I've paid for a reasonable amount of maintenance and repairs in almost 4 years that I've been here, and overall, it's been a great house.

I imagine it's been the cool spring that has prompted me to pursue a list of projects to make my yard more habitable and the outside of the house look nicer. By the end of the summer (I'm giving myself lots of time) I hope to have installed a paver patio, install mulch and edging about 3' out from my fence line, recycle Mr W's old sandbox into a raised bed, and paint the trim on this old house.

And may I take this opportunity to say: IT ALWAYS TAKES LONGER THAN IT'S SUPPOSED TO!!! Most of it is that I don't have the right tools a lot of the time, and a trip to Home Depot fixes that. Like yesterday, I was trying to prep the trim around my back door to paint it. I had the hose and a scrub brush, and got down to bottom, where it became clear that the paint down there was coming off, down to the wood, and the caulk between the wood and the house came off, so, just like that, I have another something to do before I can proceed.

I also tend to be on the timid side when it comes to fixing some things myself. I don't want to get to a point where I've made something worse by poking around, and it's hard to know that until after the fact sometimes.

I could have predicted that it would go like this, home maintenance projects always do, but geez, it really impedes on feeling like I've accomplished anything. It's partly the money, but I've noticed too, that I wanted to scale all of these projects to be things that I could do myself. I wanted them to mostly be things that I could work on when I could and they'd wait for me when I couldn't. I'll take pictures and we'll see how the summer unfolds...


  1. Persevere. Last night I made two drawer fronts...I used a router to make a profile around the edge of each front. Cutting these deep profiles can be tricky. I had two ways I could do it - just blast through it and cut the profile all at once with one pass on the router table - it would be done quickly, but it might look like my cat did it. OR make several passes removing a bit of the wood each time - takes longer, but my chances that it's going to look good dramatically increase doing it that way. I chose the latter and made several passes. It looked good when I finished.

    I have been running into sacrificing time with the fam to do it the right/long way. I work on the project at night, but weekends have been devoured by projects for the past few months. After I get done with the latest project, it's break time for a while. RTK

  2. I bet it does look nice. The temptation is certainly there to just make one pass and get it done, but you get more wiggle room if you go a bit at a time. There's a metaphor for life in there somewhere...

    Yes!! Projects can sure eat up time you usually spend on other things. If I'm not careful, Z will just quietly play on his DS forever... I've got some small solar pathlights I'm going to have him assemble, though. He likes that sort of thing.

    How is that new cat, besides being a less than competent wood worker?


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.