Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Better Late than Never

I need to do some serious upkeep on my house. Built in stages starting around 1940 something, the house evolved into it's current layout in the mid 1950s. Framed with locally milled hemlock, it is some rugged. I replaced the roof with a metal one in the 80's. We have replaced the heating plant, the hot water heater, and the water pump several times. I have mowed the grass when the spirit moved me. Hacked back a shrub or two. We had a brand spanking new asphalt drive put in. Other than a couple of fixes I can't think of, that's about it. But I know that a house is never finished, completely fixed, or done.

A house in our part of the world exists in a harsh enviroment. Long winters followed by extrodinarily wet Springs batter our homes. Because of this and the simple fact that every house is always in need of something, there are many projects impatiently waiting for me to attend their needs.. The roof leaks, the plates in the basement wall by the stairs are rotted, the bathroom needs a complete do over, all the windows need re-glazing or replacing. Jeez, the list just goes on and on. Owning a home is a neverending chore.

The smart homeowners who have their shit together and are motivated all the time take on this neverending chore of home repair in stride. Problems are noted and fixed in a timely manner. Routine maintinence is performed routinely and checked off the list when complete. The dumb ass homeowners like me walk around all the problems until something breaks, leaks, or rots away. Sure, I enjoyed being lazy, but now the party's over. Too many things, rotting, leaking, and broken. I have no choice but to face up to it. And responding now is sure to be painful and 3 times as expensive than had I done it when it reared it's ugly head. Whatever it was. A window, a creaky stair, old fixture, or a broken light switch. Had I fixed each as it popped up, I wouldn't be here right now feeling overwhelmed and whining about it on my blog. Instead, I treated my home like the wheather. Talked about it but did nothing to deal with it. I have successfully turned my home into a "Fixer Upper".

After 15 years of active avoidance, I have resolved to change my slovenly ways. I have been busy for 2 weeks organizing tools, cleaning up workspaces, and making an inventory of materials needed vs what I already have. The "To Do" list is starting to come together as a real plan. It appears I have found some real motivation. This flurry of activity on my part may just be a fluke, an attempt to make myself feel good. But, I think I am serious this time. My wife, who has learned to be disappointed, is impressed. Too often, she has seen me become enthusiastic and fully charged only to lose all interest and fall back into my slacker lifestyle.

I feel different this time. I am actually finishing each project I undertake before moving onto the next. There is still an infinite number of repairs to make, but none are half done. I might just be onto something this time. I just don't know if I will be able to look the boys down to the Tradin Post in the eye. We take pride and brag about the chores we avoid. They will take a dim view of this new leaf of mine. Oh well, I need new friends anyway.

1 comment:

sprinkle4 said...

Is there any way that you could send some of your new found house repair enthusiasm down my husband's way? :)