Remember that movie back in the 80’s ‘The Money Pit’ with Tom Hanks and Shelly Long (favorite scene was when the tub went through the floor). Well home ownership can be much like that movie. It can be repairs such as J Money’s ACK! Our Water Heater Went Bust!, regular upkeep or new remodel projects. Seems like a constant stream of money flowing out of our pockets and why many choose renting over owning. For me its just a part of life I’d rather be paying for a house I own in the end and putting money in making it feel like mine as well.
You may recall late last year I had mentioned the bathroom project, where we have been without our second bathroom for years and finally decided to remodel it ourselves. Well to update you on that project we have made some progress but its back on hold. We had called in a plumber and had the shower drain, facets and toilet all re-piped for the modern age. Also had to re route the backyard water feed as it went right through the old shower pan! After that I had to patch a 2 foot by 3 foot hole in the floor as well as provide new support for this section, something I hadn’t planned for.
Next came hanging the drywall and cement backer boards, not my favorite thing to do (I hate doing drywall!!). Then installed the new shower pan and there it has sit since then. You see got pretty busy in the studio for a couple months and with health up and down for a bit, didn’t really have the energy or time to do more. Now with things slowing down I have the time but not so much the money. Thats the great thing about doing it yourself, you can piece meal it and do a little at a time.
Now that spring has arrived the backyard has gotten out of control and looks like an amazon jungle. I also thought it would be nice to get it straightened up and start a garden. Well of course we can only do so many projects at once, well you can actually only work on one at a time. So I approached the wife and and asked should I buy a couple boxes of tile and do some of the bathroom or continue removing the jungle in the back and put together some raised beds for a garden.
So now Im working on the front of the house. Yes she thought it would be best if we started another project and got the front of the house looking nice once again. To be honest I kinda agree, it does look bad. The deck I put in about 13 years ago is really beat up. So I spent the last two sundays cleaning out the pond rocks from in front of the deck (we decided to go gravel to save money), removing the old rail and skirting, and general cleaning. Next we decided we will be replacing all the deck boards with that Trex composite decking. No weathering, splintering or fading! It is pricy compared to lumber (16′ board is $30) but well worth it. Again doing it ourselves (well myself) we can do a bit at a time. Going to start with the edging and the skirt so we can replace the rocks as well, giving the front of the house a nicer appearance as we slowly replace the deck boards. Then later we will put in the new railing with a plastic material so it will remain nice as well with the deck!
Over all rough estimate I see it at about $1000 for the decking and gravel. Havent priced the railing yet and not to sure I want a rail, kinda looks cool without! Again with slow down at the studio and pending layoffs of the teachers this project may stretch through the year as well. With summer heat I may want to jump back on the bathroom a couple weekends and work in the AC as well. But I better get it done before something else breaks or the wife comes up with a new idea!
Are you a home owner? Are you constantly remodeling/repairing?
image from the movie The Money Pit