All that and a White Picket Fence

When we were first married we moved around a lot. Hubby’s company has lots of locations and moving up meant moving around. We lived in four cities in the first six years we were married. And the beginning of the seventh year found us in a new state. Because of all these moves, we chose not to buy a house. We rented apartments, duplexes and houses in each new town. I grew to detest white walls and dreamed of some day buying a house that we could make our home. I redecorated in my mind a thousand times. I couldn’t wait until we could have a house of our own. Isn’t that everyone’s dream; a house wit a white picket fence?”

Nine years ago, we finally took the plunge. We bought our first home. It’s not a big house and its not new by any means. But we’ve spent the last nine years making it our own. We’ve learned so much! We’ve added walls; from the studs up. Framing, sheet rocking, taping, mudding, texturizing, priming and painting. We replaced flooring; pulling up the vinyl that was glued to the underlayment and laying a floating laminate floor. We took out a wall {not the one we put in} moving an outlet and closing an air vent. We tore out a tub surround and replaced it with subway tiles. We painted kitchen cabinets and put in oak stairs. So many projects! We have become quite handy over the years. Doing everything ourselves has saved us a ton of money! I can’t imagine what it would have cost to hire someone to do all the work. Doing it ourselves was thanks in no small part to my Dad. The hands-down-all-time-best handyman I know. We joke that he could build anything with green treated lumber and angle iron. He should have been an engineer. He can design anything in his head and 9 times out of 10 he will build it and it works! He has helped on nearly every project we have done. And those he hasn’t been physically present for, he provided the expertise, encouragement and confidence. It’s been a lot of fun! We’ve done things neither Hubby or I thought we could.

But its also been a lot of work! We spend a lot of time taking care of the house. Besides just the redecorating stuff, there’s the maintenance and upkeep. Mowing the lawn, trimming the trees, painting the garage doors. It goes on and on.  And then in a big rainstorm, you notice a drip. A pretty steady drip. Through the ceiling into the shower.

At 9:30 pm.

On a Thursday.

Ugh! It would be fun to pretend like I didn’t see it. If I was a renter and it wasn’t my house getting damaged by the rain. Actually, if I was a renter I would just call the landlord and it would be his problem. I wouldn’t have to figure out who to call or pay for it when they come. It would be so simple. And then I’d be done. Problem solved. But instead, I dreamed of my own home. Where I could paint the walls and make it my own. So, it’s my own. My own leak in the ceiling.

At 9:30 pm.

On a Thursday.

So into the attic we go. Except I have to empty everything out of my closet before I can get to the attic door. Convenient location if you ask me. Oldest Son was nice enough to go first; he has his grandpa’s engineering genes. And he’s pretty good at fixing things. {Hubby has strange hours at work and so was sleeping at 9:30 pm.} We climbed through the attic, balancing like a surfer on the boards that straddle the ceiling joists. We find the leak. While we’re looking at it and surveying our options, I feel a drop on my back. Another leak. It’s gonna be a long night.

So, in the midst of an uber-busy weekend we will figure out who to call and get our roof fixed. And we will probably drop a wad of money. Is it worth it? To be able to paint my walls and make a place our own?

Ask me after I get the bill…


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Filed under Frugal living, Home Improvement

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