It was one year ago this week that Kase and I broke away from our vacation in Maine, and headed down to Massachusetts for our home inspection. Hard to believe, one year later, we’re here, in the midst of a kitchen renovation, and still coming up with crazy ideas about what we could do to this house one day.
A year ago, we were on pins and needles as we followed around the home inspector, repeatedly asking him, “is that a problem? What does that mean?” and our personal favorite, “Okay, if we were your kids, would you let us buy this house?” When he told us that our house, built in 1820, was in better shape structurally than many new builds he inspected, we breathed a sigh of relief. Of course, he hedged that by telling us that we’d be working on this house for the life of our loan, but hey, it was a good house.
When we wrote our offer, we had a whole list of things that would need to get done. This kitchen disaster was most certainly not on that list. In fact, most of the stuff we’ve done this past year was not anywhere near that list. That’s homeownership for you. You really have no idea until you’re in it.
So for my own sake, I wanted to list all the home improvement projects we’ve taken on this year, because, well, it ain’t too shabby. Nor is it cheap:
1. Removed wood burning stove from family room fireplace.
2. Reglazed tubs.
3. Replaced green carpet in master bedroom. Replaced runner on front stairs.
3. Painted entire interior.
4. Removed rotted tree in front of yard, along with scrub pines blocking side patio.
5. Rebuilt stacked stone wall in side yard.
6. Bought snowblower. Got money’s worth during blizzard of 2013.
7. Bought riding mower. Got money’s worth during Summer 2013.
8. Seeded large holes left by tree removal previous Fall.
9. Removed small pine trees randomly planted at edge of front lawn.
10. Seeded remainder of lawn.
11. Dug out and planted (tiny!!!) hedgerow of boxwoods and (tinier!) hydrangea in front of house.
12. Installed white fence along driveway.
13. Enclosed entire yard with green wire fencing to keep the dog and kids in.
14. Installed new liner for pool. Filled pool with a truck full of water. Bought “Bebot” – robotic pool cleaner. Worked on pool. Enjoyed pool.
15. Installed new garage door to replace old and possibly original (but broken) carriage doors.
16. Started Kitchen and Butler’s Pantry Renovation. Bathroom renovation in progress.
17. Removed “Vegetable Garden” smack dab in the middle of the backyard. I’ve got a black thumb and it just made me feel badly about myself. Will plan to re-seed later in summer.
18. Cleared out scary space under barn- lots of old wood, an old dishwasher, and lots of old junk. This is the only item that was on our list back in August ’13. We had asked the owner to take care of it. Oh well.
19. Installed central A/C. AND THANK GOD.
20. Installed ADT alarm system.
We’ve still got a ways to go. That front shutter fell off the house last fall. It just splintered into a million pieces. So we’ve got to replace that at some point. We’ve got big ideas to re-clapboard the front of the house and screen in the side patio space. We have so many plans for the long term, it’s fun and kind of depressing to think about. But for the first year? I think we’ve accomplished a lot.
We do love this house. And we are so happy that a spur of the moment glance online, a Friday evening drive 20 miles west, and a quick Saturday viewing of a house led us here. It just goes to show: Some of our most impulsive decisions turn out for the best.