Sunday, June 01, 2008


We (I) really didn't expect to spend THIS much money on our little Richmond home. Isn't that what everyone says when they buy an old house? At some point in the life of the house someone decided to enclose the porch. They did a shoddy job and put small, really cheap windows in the room. You can see the small windows in this old snowy pix:

I decided I wanted full length windows without really thinking how much this would cost. Once Herr helper showed up last Tuesday and began taking down the walls, I knew we were in for a treat! (BTW, Herr helper charges by the hour!). Below are pix of the room after 3 days (still unfinished). It's looking really nice from the outside, don't you think?

Now the hubby is going to finish up the inside. He worked all day yesterday in the sweltering heat to put beadboard on the walls. He figured that buying a nail gun/air compressor and doing it himself will be much cheaper than Herr helper. After working for 8 hours yesterday, he finished the beadboard and is now ready to do trim. I'll post a final photo once we're done (2 weeks maybe?)

So what have I learned about house renovations from this fun, very expensive project?

1 - Don't watch HGTV...EVER!
Maybe all of you out there know about this, but I did not. HGTV is evil. While watching it, you get all sorts of ideas about home repairs. And guess what? You will never finish those projects in a weekend unless you have about 20 people working behind the scenes.

2 - I love hate Lowes and the Home Depot.
What did our parents do for home repairs? Home Depot or Lowes didn't exist when I was growing up. These places give folks a false sense of security about fixing things.

3 - Old house repairs take twice as long and cost twice as much as those done on newer homes.
I *love* my 80 year old house; however, I have never been able to estimate project costs for this house. Every project has cost at least double what it cost in our 1990s house in NC.

4 - Breathe, relax and learn to live with construction
I have learned to live with a bit of construction. Projects in this house always take longer than I initially anticipate. I've also had to learn to just walk away from some of these projects after a few hours. When we first moved into the house, I would spend my entire weekend fixing things. I've learned now to just take a break, breathe, pick up my knitting and have a glass of wine :)

Happy Sunday!

No comments: