Amusement Value

Last night, while cleaning up my files of house stuff, I found the most amusing thing: our very first house renovation plan, made right after we moved into the house four years ago.

It was delightfully optimistic, but not as much as one might expect.

For example, here are some of the items for outdoor work:

    * Remove huge driveway and replace with smaller driveway
    * New front walk
    * Remove random piping in back yard
    * Goodbye ugly awning thing
    * Dog run

We've actually done everything there except for the dog run, which I ended up deciding was too dismal (instead I have turned the entire yard into a dog run, which some might say was a bad call).

Inside, we had an incredibly long and varying list, including:

# Turn illegal bathroom back into pantry
# Remove closet from back parlour
# Remodel parlours
# Find new fireplace and deal with chimney issue
# Run conduit for electricity/phones/etc
# Run plumbing for heat
# RADIATORS!!

We removed the illegal bathroom in Fall 2002, but it is still not a pantry yet, because of a leaky roof above it. We haven't removed the closet from the back parlour and won't do it for a while, but it will eventually happen. The remodeling of the parlours continues, slowly, or not at all considering how much I have worked on it lately, which is not at all. We did get rid of the old chimney issue, and the new fireplace is awaiting a few thousand dollars of spare cash to get to the replacement. We gave up on conduit, because the construction industry does not understand modular design for residential applications. Likewise, we are waiting on radiant heat until we redo the floors.

Under things to get for Fall 2002, we have:

    * Get dumpster for construction debris
    * Get 40' ladder to get to gingerbread and gutter level
    * Get scaffolding or other work platform for paint removal/repainting
    * Power tools for paint removal and sanding
    * Sawzall
    * HEPA shop vacuum

Hmm, yeah. Well, the dumpster turned into an every-Christmas tradition. The ladder is here and useful if not the most-used item in our tool chest. We bailed on doing the painting ourselves and so also bailed on either renting or buying scaffolding, and on the tools for paint removal. We do have both Sawzall and shop vac, and they are very handy for more things than we expected.

I went through the list and compared it to our Ten Year Plan, made a year later. We haven't done too badly, especially given our major setback with the foundation last year (paying for two foundation replacements can really take a chunk out of your budget, let me tell you). What this does tell me is that it is really valuable to have a plan, to write it down, and revise it as you go. And save the old plans, so years later you can chuckle over them.

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posted by ayse on 06/17/06

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