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June 28, 2010 / dcwisdom

Here’s to yet another year of home renovation!

Many well-meaning people have encouraged Rick and me over the years with our house renovation.  We have virtually taken baby-steps in proportion to the massive amount of work required to build a house, and the well-meaning people are now tired of encouraging us.  In fact, my insurance company has cancelled our friendship.  “No sufficient progress.”  I’d like to call them and give them a big “HA!”  NOOGIE YOU!

This view is the back side of the house.  We once had a large, roomy deck coming out the door but had to remove it to replace the siding.

Friends and family asked ‘what’s the hold-up?’  and we answer ‘$40,000!’

See this awesome Dremel tool of Rick’s?  He’s says it’s the best thing invented since sliced bread.

We bought the house in 2003 with all good intentions of renovating the kitchen and bathrooms before moving in.  This is how it progressed…or, should I say, regressed:

Initial plan:

  1. Renovate kitchen – bad cabinets, poor layout, toilet stains on ceiling from upstairs toilet (YUCK!)
  2. Renovate bathrooms (3) – iron ore stains in each bathtub, sink and toilet; water-damaged flooring in upstairs hallway bathroom; no sinks or water lines to cabinet in master bathroom; 5×6 bathroom downstairs; move walls to increase size; replace all bathtubs, sinks, toilets
  3. Move in.


  1. Demolished kitchen and bathrooms.
  2. Rick found all plumbing not glued and not up to code.  Re-do all plumbing.
  3. Debbie didn’t like sheetrock finish in upstairs, and the sheetrock and carpet smelled like pets; kids and Debbie stripped all walls of sheetrock and pulled up all carpet.
  4. Rick found all wiring not up to code.  Re-do all wiring.
  5. Rick decides that as long as the interior is down to the studs, we should add two rooms and refinish the exterior first.
  6. Called a construction friend who built on another 500 square feet, replaced all existing windows and doors with energy efficient ones and began Hardie Plank exterior installation, and on the fourth side of the house fell and broke his neck.  Really.

We have turned the corner.  But I have to say that it’s rather disheartening when we are already making repairs instead of continuing renovation.

Two door frames have sustained water damage near the bottoms.  This week, I am refinishing the frames, and we have new storm doors to install after the painting is finished.

I’m such a good helper.  Rick is sheer genius about this stuff.  This is how some of our conversations go:

Him:  Pass me the screw driver.

Me:  Which one?

Him:  The Phillips.

Me:  Which one is that?

Him:  The one with the star-shaped end.

Me:  What color is it?

Him:  It doesn’t matter.  Just pass me the Phillips.

Me:  Where is it?

Him:  The one by your foot.

Me:  Which one?

Him:  Your left foot.  No, Squirrely Shirley, your other left foot.

Me:  Which one?

Him:  That one.

Me:  This one?

Him:  No, the other one.

Me:  The yellow one?

Him:  It doesn’t matter!   Forget it!  I’ll get it!  Can you please get me a drink of water?!

Me:  Which bottle do you want?

Sometimes, I feel like picking daisies and plucking the leaves:  He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not…  I guess he still loves me; he left for work this morning.  🙂  Thank God.

Have to go make more jelly today.

See you in the funny papers!



  1. V (stickhorsecowgirl) / Jul 2 2010 10:27 AM

    I kinda know how you feel – we are living in our “wreck” of a house with unfinished floors upstairs under the nasty carpet we ripped out. All the interior doors need to be replaced – we need a new roof, etc………the air conditioner/heating unit is ancient! The pilot light won’t stay lit on the heater in winter. I could go on and on I’m kinda getting tired of it!

  2. Miss A / Jun 29 2010 9:10 PM

    Your phillips screwdriver conversation cracked me up!


  3. mary / Jun 29 2010 3:41 PM

    You deserve a medal; this is some project! But it’ll be wonderful when it’s finished. Hang in there!

  4. denver windows / Jun 29 2010 9:41 AM

    Do not always try to save money by doing it yourself
    Yes, you can save money, sometimes you lost money by doing the work yourself. Be practical in improving or repairing your home…

  5. Glenda / Jun 29 2010 9:11 AM

    I’ve never renovated a house, but I’m enjoying yours (much more than you are, probably)! The outside of it is really looking good and it’s amazing that you are paying as you go. When it’s all finished, that will be the best part of all and financially, you’re setting a great example for your kids. And, doing it yourselves, you know that all the work is done correctly. See how many positives there are? Your husband just needs to color code all the tools! 🙂

  6. tanna / Jun 29 2010 7:51 AM

    Mercy me, Debbie! I can so comiserate with you over the woes of renovation! Hang in there! Loved your note about the dragonfly! God is absolutely amazing! Later ~ t

  7. Debbie / Jun 29 2010 4:48 AM

    I know how it goes with redos. We’ve been redoing this one for 16 years. We live around the construction. When our downstairs bath was ripped out, we had to go upstairs. I didn’t always make it:( One room here is constantly a work in progress. Our bedroom will be the last to get done; it should have been the first. I may not live long enough to see it finished!

  8. Patty / Jun 29 2010 2:09 AM

    It might be all worth it but I am like you…I am tired of renovations!! I have known of them since my 6th grade year in school. You would have thought I would have been smart enough to marry a “rich” man to buy me a brand new home…NO! I buy a home that needs tore down after we have rennovated some of the house. :)!!!

  9. Vickie / Jun 29 2010 12:39 AM

    More jelly, I’m about Jellied-out! We’ve got some repair work to do, too. AND I need to go around and do some touch up painting. Only think about light colors in my farmhouse – all the guys come in here muddy and dirty and they don’t give a rat’s you-know-what if it gets dirty or not. Worst thing that bugs me – Tony’s shoes have little treads in them that pick up dirt outside and when he comes in, they automatically deposit dirt in lovely tread designs all over the floors. Does he care? Nope, not at all – he says “Vickie, it’s a farmhouse! It’s supposed to get dirty!” EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

    I wish ya’ll would hurry up and get through with that house. I wanna come see it! Tell Rick to get a move on!

  10. Diana Ferguson / Jun 28 2010 7:48 PM

    Wow!!! Hang in there. It will be so worth it. Thank goodness for jelly diversions!

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