ysabetwordsmith recently posted her poem “Picket Fence Committee” about the Monster House, my favorite of her settings and a house that is itself a fixer-upper. This topic is near and dear to my heart right now, for probably obvious reasons.
The House we bought is, by all definitions of the word, a fixer-upper. The bones are solid – foundation, walls, roof – but the inside is quirky, uneven, and rather ugly.
This means two things to us: first, we got the house for less than the appraised value, at an amount that makes the mortgage plus all associated fees (taxes, insurance) no more than our current rent. That gives us a lot of financial wiggle room.
Second, and perhaps more importantly: when we are done, this house will have our stamp on it, un-debatably. We will have ripped out the floors, the walls, the ceilings, some of the fixtures if not all of them, some of the windows and most of the trim, and replaced them – mostly by ourselves; we’re handy people and like doing things like this – with things that suit us.
The bedroom will be painted, a closet added, giraffe carpet. The back room will be turned into a gallery with black walls above the chair rail for the high-contrast art we both like. Most of the paneling will go. Ceilings up, floors down, attic space pushed out. We’ll put in new light fixtures (albeit short ones), and possibly knock out some walls.
It’s like building a house, only very slowly, and getting to live in it while we do it.
And it is a giant craft project – sanding, staining, painting, reflooring, nailing, screwing (hee). And that makes it 100 times more exciting – and sometimes a bit more frustrating – than moving into a new home someone else did all the work on.
Our House has quirks. When we’re not swearing over them, we love laughing over them – much like with our friends. It’s what makes it ours.
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