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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Home Improvements.

I really have to sit down and make a list of things to hire someone to do.  There are some things I could do "well enough" myself but just haven't for years.  There are some things I could do "barely" but would not be as good as a professional.  There are some things I realize that I'm just not up to any more.  There are some things it is just too hard for one person to do on their own.  There are some things that require some destruction to get to new things and I can't even figure out where to start. 

I was braver about home and yard improvements when I was younger.  Between 37 and 42, I built a 2 level deck, a toolshed, a 350' fence with 2 gates around the backyard, a 2' deep 9' diameter pond and 40' raceway, panelled most of the basement and added electrical outlets and a hanging acoustical ceiling tiles and lights. 

I cleared about 500 sq ft of underbrush, vines and junk trees.  I built framed gardening beds, roto-tilled a couple hundred sq ft of flower beds, installed edging and border stones, and planted some fruit trees, shrubs and a hosta bed. 

And then I pretty much wore out!  In the mid 90s, I decided my yellow walls and "bitterweet orange" carpet had to go.  Don't laugh too hard, the carpet should have just been a deep gold, but I was into bright colors at the time and I was stuck with the yellow paint by the builder (it was white by contract but when I complained a bit, the builder said he had lots of yellow and I thought anything was better than white).  And I hated the 1" mixed tile in the bathrooms.

So I hired a general contractor to change some things.  Well, *I* sure couldn't do those things.   So I had a general contractor remove the carpet and install oak floors, add baseboard and crown molding, and connect the 2 around all the room openings with wood and side molding.  I had the bathroom floor and wall tiles changed to 4" cream tiles,  I had them stain all the unfinished doors moderately dark, add a fold-down attic stairs, and some stuff like that.  

Afterwards I painted almost all the walls new colors.  Dining room, cardinal red; living room, hunter green; bedroom, Aztec Rouge; Computer and Guest rooms, Blueberry Mist; Kitchen, Bright White (a mistake); and left the bathrooms yellow.  I even painted the stipple ceilings in the living and dining rooms and hallways/stairs a very pale version of the wall color.  I liked the way it looked like the walls were reflecting onto the ceiling.

I left the kitchen floor (brick linoleum)  and counters (butcher block laminate) alone.  I liked then then and like them now.  30 years and they are still in great shape.  I don't get bored with good colors...

But I did replace the cheap appliances in the kitchen.  Energy efficient, well-rated Consumers Reports models, all black. 

The changes were WONDERFUL!  I was thrilled.  And that was when I realized that (except for painting), I couldn't do those things.  So I stopped for years.  Well, I liked what I had, so why not. 

And then it got harder to do things myself.  Professionals could always do it better.  So I spent years improving the yard further.  That's a never-ending job, so I was happy.  Having a sense of accomplishment is good.

But the home improvements were 22 years ago, and there are changes I want to make in the house.  I wish I had extended the crown molding and baseboards and frame covers into the kitchen.  I want tile walls in the kitchen around the oven and sink and counters.

I had the bathroom tiles and tub last year by professionals (cheap original tub with a failing surface that couldn't be cleaned properly) and tiles falling off.  They did that, and I painted the walls a Soft Moss color.  The whole deal.  Removing all the fixtures (towel bar, outlet covers, lights etc).  Cleaning the walls with TSP, rinsing them 3 times, waiting a week for utter drying.  Taping all the edges.  Painting.  Reinstalling fixtures. 

And discovering it needs a 2nd layer of paint...  Argh!  Well, I can do that easily enough.

But I want to have more done.  Extending the crown and base molding (I mentioned previously) in the kitchen, and wall tiles for easier cleaning (and I might consider mirror panels).  But I can't figure out a mix of tile colors (want varied ones in a color group) that will go with the existing red brink linoleum and butcher block counters.  Red/oranges? Or golds?  Or something else?

But that is only part of the changes.  When I panelled the basement, I added a 1/2 bath.  Dumbest idea ever.  Total waste of space.  It has to go.  So I need professionals to rip it out, extend the hanging ceiling to match the existing ones, cap off water pipes, etc. 

Plus, there are few things less welcoming to visitors than an ugly garage door a front door.  Those a probably things I can do myself.  The question is the color.  My house siding is a medium green.  My shutters are a dark green.  I'll color the inside of the house to suit myself, but I should probably make the outside pleasing to the neighbors and visitors.  It is already unique, being green with a mixed brick foundation in a sea of beige siding houses.  So this is about trying to match some colors. 

The garage door and front door are white.  I'm bored with white.  I'm thinking of making the front door match the shutters.  Maybe the garage door too.

But I keep seeing these stick-on fake pictures for garage doors and can't escape loving the idea.

I need to make a list!


pilch92 15andmeowing said...

I know you have thought of selling in the past, so I highly recommend keeping that half bath just in case you do ever want to sell. You definitely need a list and possibly to win the lottery :) Just kidding, I like watching shows on HGTV for inspiration, you could get some color ideas from there.

Megan said...

Have you considered hiring a colour consultant to help create a colour scheme that you will like? We did it when we moved into our house many years ago and loved the effect that we achieved by implementing her suggestions as we painted each room. By the way - her advice was to paint the ceiling the same colour as the walls. You're part way there with a tint of the wall colour on your ceilings. Try painting them the same as the wall in one room. It's a rather unusual effect, but once you get used to it, you'll never go back to good ole' white ceilings.

Most paint companieshave colour consultants on their staff, so that might be one place to try - or even a large paint shop or hardware store. You don't have to do what they suggest, of course, but even if you don't like precisely what they come up with, they make spark your thinking in interesting ways.

Sydney, Australia

PS I wanna see one of those photos on your garage door! Our garage doors won't take them - they've got too much texture. Rats!