My house has been in chaos for five weeks. I knew it would happen but greatly underestimated how hard it would be to have so much dust in every nook and cranny, with belongings in boxes everywhere. I’m losing track of what’s where. The hardest part is corralling the kitties into the “daycare suite” so they don’t get out or in the way of the workers.
It’s almost finished, though. If all goes as planned, I have two more weeks left. Backsplash installation starts on Monday, followed by the floor. Then the following week, a day or two to finish up if needed, then crazy time with the carpenter, plumbers, electricians, and painters. I didn’t know to budget for final cleaning, but because the project budget is right on the estimate, I’m having a team of 2 come to deep clean when all the work is behind us. Then it’s time to put things back, if 1) I can find them, and 2) I remember where they go. There’s time to figure that out, though, and to assess whether I even want everything.
I love how it looks and am enjoying the changes. I wanted the kitchen done last, even though it has the biggest changes, because I wanted everything else to be more normal. Bathrooms are done, except for installing towel racks, the living room wall and garage are repaired and painted. Best of all, the screen porch is finished and the cats want to be out there every minute. I can keep the house doors open to the porch because, well, it’s screened in so bugs can’t get in. It gives me fresh air and the cats run in circles.
To be honest, I never thought I’d say that my garage was amazing but it really is now. The dryer vent was rerouted to the outside and the ceiling was repaired; the joints were coming down from moisture from the dryer. The “measuring wall” that Dad used for 30 years to measure his grandchildren was removed and will go to the ranch so my brother can measure HIS grandchildren on the same panels. Best of all, the dark wood paneling was painted beige. BEIGE. It looks clean and open and fresh. All those nails in the walls were removed so I can start fresh with where and how I want to hang tools and gear. Good thing it was completed early, since we’re using it to temporarily store kitchen appliances and equipment.
And oh, the windows! I hadn’t even planned to replace them but they have transformed the house. After a month, I’ve gotten used to them but I do not take them for granted. Instead of old metal windows with grids and seals that weren’t in the best shape, I have huge energy efficient vinyl windows with unobstructed views – well, except for the breakfast table in the living room while the kitchen is finished. I’m kind of mad at my parents for not having done window replacements because I know they would have loved the result. Now I’m planning to replace the windows in the front of the house as well, for energy efficiency and because they are both beautiful and affordable.
I’m also spending a fortune on new art for the walls. But I love everything I’ve chosen. A few pieces came with me from my previous life, but most of the house had art that had been chosen by my parents and that I didn’t really like much. My style is more images of places where I’ve lived or traveled, such as Manasquan, Maine, and Switzerland, and some whimsy as well, such as fairies and orange kitties. A tree of life for the genealogy research area in the office was always on my list.
Yesterday I received an amazing bookcase quilt that I’d commissioned a year ago from a quilter friend in New Haven. We talked about it in January but I had no idea what she decided to do, so the whole thing was a wonderful surprise. She captured elements of my life and some of my favorite books, and I love having something so personal and unique. It arrived just at the perfect time.
My friends and neighbors have followed the house progress with interest and enthusiasm, so I’m having an open house so everyone can check out the final result. The cats will be contained in the guest bedroom but everything else can be open for inspection. I chose the date based on the church, club, Pro Shop, and Cowboys schedules. I’ll have two weeks between final cleaning and the Open House, which should be enough time to get stuff put away. I’m worrying a little about what to serve, but want to keep it light and simple because the goal is to see the house, not stand or sit around and visit. I wrote up a sheet detailing everything that was done in each room, paint colors, granite vendor, etc. Hopefully that will save answering the same questions 50 times. We’ll see about that.
I never thought I could or would do something this involved or expensive, but it’s been worth it and I know I’ll love living with the results for many years to come. It’s my house now and I love how it looks.