Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm Nuts

Or, if I'm not already, I soon will be! I've just put something into motion that has been on the longtime wish list, and while I'm having second and third thoughts about it, I'm going to go ahead with it.

Last night, D4 and I had a meeting with a remodeling contractor, to discuss the restoration of this house. We're going to start ASAP, as in meeting Monday night with the contractor and the job foremen and going ahead full bore.

I was going to post some "before" pictures but I've chickened out for now. I will take some, though, and show the world what I'm dealing with here. I have to admit to being a bit of a packrat--as if my stash-flashing hadn't already proven that!--although not totally down that path. I mean, there is a lot of stuff in this house. A LOT of stuff! But you can walk through the house without having to turn sideways; there aren't big piles of paper and trash everywhere. It's just that there's a lot of stuff. After 37 years in one place, things kind of accumulate.

Plus I tend to have the kind of obsessions that require a great deal in the way of supplies: knitting, and quilting, for example. Knitting doesn't require much equipment, thank goodness, but the quilting is a little different. Gotta have a sewing machine. Which has to have a place to live. And its own travel case. There are rulers and cutting mats and books and patterns and...

Anyway, over the years, there have always been other things to do with the time and money available, and other needs that took precedence over the house. Deferred maintenance, we used to call it when I was in the real estate biz. My mantra has always been that people are more important than things, so faced with the prospect of painting a room or spending a weekend doing things with the kids, well, no contest. Ditto when my husband was ill. But now, it's all about to change.

This is an old house. As in, built in 1921. Got a lot of character--Bachelder tile in the fireplace, interesting lines. The ceilings in the older part of the house are all curved into the walls; the living room ceiling is arched and high, and there's an archway to the dining room. Outside, there are high peaks to the roof and clipped gables--we made sure, when we added on, that the roofline of the new part echoed the roofline of the old part.

Now we're going to rewire the house (bye-bye, knob-and-tube wires!) and upgrade the electrical service (no more flipping a switch to turn on a light and having the bulb go "pop"); paint the outside and inside both; remove the carpeting and refinish the hardwood floors underneath. Oh, yeah, and remodel the kitchen, too. I am hoping that the guys will let me swing the sledgehammer for the kitchen demolition--something I've wanted to do for 37 years!

I figure if nothing else, this will provide lots of good blog fodder. I'm ready to part with a lot of the "stuff" and really, my major worry at this point is how my cats will handle all this upheaval. I think in the end there will be a much better environment for all of us--including the grandbabies and the furry ones--so it will be worth it.

Knitting is going to be my sanity, I have a feeling. Going to work on some of my Mission Possible 2008 projects--less stress than trying to do anything new! There's also going to be lots of Audrey-time as I take on my new "job" this week. She's such a cutie--we're going to have fun.

Hmmm. Wonder how Audrey will enjoy bossing the contractors around?? Ought to be interesting!


DPUTiger said...

Wow! That is SO EXCITING!!! Best of luck to you! We will most likely embark on a minor reno here at some point in the upcoming year.

seattle marie said...

Great! You've been wanting to do this for so long, no more buyers regret, you'll enjoy the end project.

mary said...

I am so excited for you and can't wait to see all the progress pictures.

Ellen Bloom said...

CONGRATULATION on making the decision to go forward! We can give each other remodeling tips during the process.

We met with our architect on Saturday to finalize our exterior plans for our room/bath addition! Woo Hoo. Here's to livin' in sawdust for months!

LotusKnits said...

This sounds like an awesome plan! I can't wait to see before, during and after shots!

Madge said...

Congratulations on taking the plunge! This is such exciting news, and sure, it'll be chaotic for a bit, but wow, when it's all'll be FANTASTIC!

Good for you! Oh, and if you have to find a home for any extra Rowan tweed, I'm your gal. *hee*

knitnzu said...

Yes pictures! We have an old house too (like 1880), but it isn't as fancy as yours. We did replace the wiring when we first moved in, half was current, the other half was a mix of knob and tube and bx cable. The electrician said the knob and tube was really good wiring, but we just use too much for it anymore, and that the bx is the WORST stuff you could possibly have, wicked fire danger. I saved a few tubes and maybe some knobs, with the idea to make windchimes or something. Wow, you'll sure have an adventure here!