I feel selfish saying we have a need for anything.
Our home is beyond comfortable and livable. From the outside looking in, everything looks fine.
The reality of home owing is different. Like most home owners, you begin to dwell in your humble home, and you begin to see things that need attention. Necessities.
For several years we’ve been making a list of home improvement projects. We’ve also been working on saving to tackle them. And at the beginning of this summer we were pretty pumped and ready to do something about those necessities.
Although, we think we have the ability to do most of the work, Ryan’s schedule is far more demanding than it was 4 years ago, when he tackled the interior remodel. The time commitment is huge. And I think it would overwhelm us both.
Since we homeschool, and are normally home most of the day. It may become the end of us.
We decided to bite the bullet and explore contracting the projects out.
With a ballpark amount in mind, and once we felt like we had enough savings, we began the tedious task of getting bids.
Immediately we focused our energy on getting bids on relatively big things.
We realized if we started with little things, it could be counter productive to go small, then big. Running the risk that once we went on to the bigger items on our necessities list, we could potentially harm the smaller work done.
Just to give you an idea, here is what is on our list
- A pool. Just kidding. Wrong list.
- The retaining wall in the backyard. Original to our 50’s home, the cinder block retaining wall is falling apart, and holding back our neighbors side yard, they are on a hill above us. Another section is all railroad ties from the early 80’s (work my father in law did). These are disintegrating and work as an island that keeps back a large amount of overgrown trees in our own yard. We are concerned with making sure that someone very knowledgable can take this on.
- Replace the entire carport. It is rotting and falling apart, and since we would already be replacing the wood, we would go ahead and widen it a touch.
- Remove the front shed. It is currently right in front of the front door. So the curb appeal is off to say the least. Right now it functions as our dogs (Allie’s) outdoor room.
- The soffit and cornice around the house are starting to fall apart and are rotted in several places.
- Re-paint the entire house. Brick and siding. The caulking is coming loose, the wood is becoming exposed, this allows for the potential of water damage.
- Gutters and downspout, we have none in the front, so there is a waterfall when it rains making mud puddles all around the front perimeter of the house.
- The roof line would need to change since the carport would widen a touch.
- The fireplace. I didn’t like the fireplace a few posts ago. I think I hate it now. The smell of wet that comes from it is beginning to wear on me. The kids had walking pneumonia this summer, never before. I blame it on the fireplace. That may be a bit of an irrational conclusion to come to.
- Our electrical box is at its max capacity. We need to change the service line. The house is asking for more power than the line can deliver.
- We would like to bury all the lines that come from above into the house.
- Finish painting our McDaddy shed. Fix the shed roof because months after we finished the shed, a tree branch poked a significant size hole in the roof. Although we patched it, it still leaks when it rains.
It’s a long list.
The Hard Cold Numbers
When we went into this we really thought $60,000 would take care of A LOT.
Which is more than we had managed to save, but it couldn’t be more than that — could it?
Well… All the bids we received were somewhere in the $65,000-$80,000 range.
That does not include the retaining wall replacement, that was another $20,000.
Or the electrical work from GA Power which would have been another $5,000
I should have laughed it off. But… I am pretty sure my eyes bulged when I saw the numbers, and my heart broke.
Okay, that may have been a bit dramatic. It was more like someone socked me in the stomach.
Theoretically, lets just say we had the cash. Which we don’t.
Do we feel like this is a good investment. We think it necessary.
Do you know what I mean though?
Am I looking at it all wrong
Ultimately, for another $100,000 we could have a house that could be in much better long-term shape.
But what if God calls us away from our beloved Doraville in 5 to 10 years?
Will our house be worth the $300,000 (plus) we would have invested into it? (mortgage 129. First major remodel 50. Endless yard work 20. The necessary, new, not yet done renovations to the exterior 100. This is a rough estimate in thousands. Cash money y’all!!!)
Not sure we would be getting our money back.
We would still have 1,100 sq. ft. 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom.
We would certainly have to put our “wish” list aside.
I need to forget about the things I dream we could have one day:
- pool, sunroom/ portico
- new fence
- metal roof
- a 2 car carport (instead of a 1 car carport, oh the 50’s were simpler times ♥)
- Master suite, just one more bathroom (even if just a half bath), so our house is more hospitable when we have visitors.
How will we ever be able to afford it all when this damn house needs, needs, needs…
Rage. Episode. Over. This is truly where I am.
I think of a little more space sometimes. It’s hard to explain the dynamics of being in a house with constant noise and chatter. I am so grateful that we have to be forced into living life together (together is our favorite place to be, right?).
But… sometimes I just want to go hide in another part of the house and not be found.
I can’t, there is no other space to hide in the house.
Yes, I am making the 1,100 sq. ft house experience sound treacherous. I am just being honest. Real. Sometimes I, we, just need a little space.
So here we are. All summer has felt like we’ve had our hands tied behind our backs with this whole thing.
I think that’s why I haven’t written about the house in months. I loved writing about something different, like Portland. Thank you for reading.
I wanted to take my mind off of homeownership. I was fortunate enough to traveled this summer, besides Portland. I tried my best to focus on enjoying the sights, and the special time with friends. Love you my BFF N.P!
I kind of regret not writing about my first time visit to Arizona and the Grand Canyon, during fourth of July. It was amazing.
And our family beach trip to our favorite forgotten coast island in Florida, which was interrupted by Irma – in Saint George.
I should be grateful that not one of the items on our list is truly pressing. Still, they run the risk of becoming problems. If you’ve owned a home. You know that problems, mean more money.
One positive thing we got done this summer to the house is that we had an overgrown, trashy privet removed from our front yard. It was taller than the house, so it provided a little shade.
We also had a massive tree in the front yard trimmed, so that hopefully if it falls it will go into the street and not land on our or anyones home and kill us all. Melodramatic?
That set us back several thousand.
Even though we trimmed it significantly, the tree services we used warned us that taking the entire tree down would still cost us several grand.
I didn’t have a point when I started, but I’m gonna take a shot at it.
I think the point of this story is home owning is a HUGE responsibility.
It’s not for dandies like me.
Thanks for being my therapy Doravillians, I cherish you deeply!