The age old question: fix it, or replace it?

7:39 PM
At the risk of sounding like a hoarder, I am the kind of person who holds onto things for way too long in the event that they become useful to me once again.  My husband hates this about me, and is always looking for ways to trim our excess.
One way we see eye to eye, however, is in our tendency to salvage and repurpose bits and pieces around the house.  Everything is so costly, that it doesn’t make sense for the average do-it-yourself-er to toss everything and buy new (in my opinion, inferior) materials.

The subject comes to mind, primarily because of this article I read over the weekend
This quote, in particular, resonated with both of us:

Faucher said Friday that windows are a frequent issue before the commission because home and business owners think the only way to increase efficiency is to replace. But Faucher, a preservation architect, said repairs can make existing windows work better. And most commissioners will allow either interior or exterior storm windows.

In part, because it’s a frequent topic of conversation*, but also because it’s getting colder and we’re always looking for ways to cut our heat bill – usually by hunting for cracks and vulnerable spots around the house.   I spent the last few days looking at all the photos I’ve got stored on my laptop, and I stumbled across a major window overhaul the mister did a while back.

He worked so hard to restore our bedroom window and improve its efficiency.   It’s worth mentioning that it cost a little, but his time and the material cost was nothing compared to the burden of replacing the window with a new one.   Not to mention how gutted we’d both be if we had to replace our gorgeous double-hung windows with ugly, builder-standard vinyl**.

* Unsolicited advice

** I’m a snob, and I’m not sorry.


Weekend Update

3:37 PM
Here’s a brief(ish) synopsis of what we’ve gotten up to in the past few months at our old house!

Remember this?  Well, now it looks more like this:

As much as I wish I could say that it’s all done, it simply isn’t (more on why later).

The powder room has seen some improvements:

…and professionals…

(I didn’t say a LOT of improvements, yo.)

The fixtures have arrived and are ready to be mounted and connected.

This door?

Hella stripped!  This set is currently in a warehouse owned by a 400-year-old man who is the area’s most capable door guy (apparently).   He makes custom doors that’d make a Kardashian swoon (speculative) and he’s working on pre-hanging this set, along with our new porch and front doors.

This guy (along with the handrail and balusters) has been installed!

My brother in law did us a really epic favor in making those pieces he could and having the rest made by true artisan craftsmen so my father-in-law could do an awesome job installing them.  it takes a village, people.  It. Takes. A. Village.

The side yard got a little spruce in the way of brand new rosemary, lavender, lavender, lavender, lavender, sage, peony, allium, raspberries, and lilacs.

While I was working in the yard, D. took a sabbatical from working in the living room and dining room/powder room to finish our sun porch.  He painstakingly sanded the flooring to ensure it was as smooth as can be, caulked the cracks, then dumped three coats of polyurethane stain on top to ensure a longstanding seal.

The result of all his hard work is pure enjoyment.

And, friends – the reason for my long absence (besides full time school to finish my  business degree):

A hellish first trimester!  We’re expecting our wee around the end of March/beginning of April… knowing fully that babies come when they damn well please, we’ll be working ’round the clock to hustle our bustle and get everything as prepared as possible.



In which Lanny gets framed

3:20 PM
It’s been at least 100 years since I last posted any updates! I’m in the throes of finishing my business degree, so please accept my humble apologies, friends!  At any rate, there’s been many developments in our little homestead.  While I’ve been focusing on finishing things for good, my dearest husband has been hard at work, getting everything in line to complete the great closet expansion project of 2013-14. And trust me, IT IS GREAT!
I really wish I had some shots of the finished space, but the progress will have to suffice.

I think it was Gandalf who said, “One does not simply ‘expand the closet.’”

Why?  Because, for one, nothing is “simply” done in this house.  Why should the closet be any different?  For those keeping score at home, when we (to be clear “We” = D.) tore out the wall separating the closet from the dining room, it was clear that the flooring was not continuous between rooms.  So, unlike the yokels who framed the powder room walls ON TOP OF THE CARPET, the builders did it right.  As a result, we (again, D.) had to remove the flooring in the new closet so we didn’t have a jagged seam running the width of our new closet reminding us (and anyone who might want to buy our home in the future) of the work that was done.

Fortunately for me, my husband is a master of salvage and sourced some gorgeous fir flooring to replace it.

In the meantime, however, we got to live in a house with a dirt hole in the dining room.
It’s nothing, if not an adventure, right?
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE.

I have nightmares about the kinds of things which might emerge from here.

“Greetings from the interior”

The fun thing about nightmares is that they aren’t exclusive to the night! So, that’s …. something.  Thankfully (for my sanity, mostly) my amazing husband closed up the gaping portal to hell (or wherever) and is making great progress and keeping everything moving forward on schedule.  Okay, so I say “schedule,” but you all know we’ll have lived here for  nine years this May, so who am I even kidding at this point?

Please note, the powder room walls: NOT framed on top of carpet.  I mean, that’s one way to do things… if you’re an idiot who hates doing things “right.”  But it’s an “everyone gets a trophy” kind of world; so, you go girlfriend!  You do you!

NO MORE DIRT HOLE!  Just gorgeous, fresh, new VG fir flooring!  Usually, I hate when folks tear stuff like this out of old homes (because they probably replaced it with carpet, or worse…) but if it means that it gets to come live in my house, by all means! Just give me a call before you do, and I’ll save you a trip to the dump.

Check out this little baby!  (I wasn’t kidding when I said that I have an unhealthy obsession with this store.)  This is our new (in every way!) air return.  I’m so excited about this – mostly excited that I won’t fall into the new duct when I’m not paying attention.  I mean, I won’t fall AGAIN.

Swoon with me.  Go ahead.  You know you want to.

I dream of a day when I can no longer see that horrifying knob and tube wiring.  That’ll be a joyous day indeed.

Hey, those doors I was supposed to strip?  Yeah, I didn’t … but D. did!  Look how amazing they are! Gorgeous, right?

You can swoon here too.  I won’t tell.
Here’s the old flooring D. ripped out.  Again, since we’re all friends here, you already  know that “ripped out” means “painstakingly removed one by one and stacked according to length, color, and grain pattern.”  If you didn’t before, you know now.