Phase 1… or 5 or 6
The biggest craze around our house is currently what we call Phase 1 in the construction process of modernizing our old house. It was built in 1920 and has left a lot to be desired. In the past three years we’ve owned the house, we’ve replaced the boiler – converting to natural gas – replaced the water main, the front porch, added and/or updated several outlets, painted, took down wallpaper, replaced some flooring, ripped up old nasty carpets and linoleum, knocked down a wall and put in a sliding glass door that opens out to our deck. We’ve also replaced the ceiling in the kitchen complete with a new fan, outlets and access for recess lighting. The back room and laundry room were put on their own zone and given a new heater after the pipes burst our first winter. Oh yes, and we replaced the breaker box to allow for updating the electric throughout the house. Which brings us to Phase 1….
In actuality, this should be more like Phase 5 or 6. But all those other things were done sporadically and out of necessity. Like for instance, we had no heat our first winter, so we HAD to get a new boiler. And our toilet overflowed into the kitchen, so we had to tear down the drop ceiling which revealed a whole host of issues that led to us just replacing it all with the help of a contractor friend who just so happened to be in the area at the right time and could think of nothing better to do than to help us out. (Thank you, ever so much, Mary Horn!)
So what we are calling Phase 1 has really been on the back burner since we moved here. Dan has been planning and thinking it out for three years. For someone who has never done this before by himself, I have to say that I am HIGHLY impressed. HIGHLY. He is so motivated, determined and downright cheerful about such a potentially overwhelming process that it overflows to the rest of us. Don’t get me wrong. We all have our overwhelming moments. I mean, really, it’s hard not to when a family is living in chaos in such close proximity of the baby arriving. But we are making it work with a goal and the dreams of a more comfortable (read “sellable”) home.
Did I mention that my dear husband is actually working four jobs on top of all this? He is a very busy, hardworking man. And I swell with pride when I look at him. Even in all the sweat and dust. (I just don’t touch him til he’s cleaned up.)
As you can see from the above picture, my little man, Eli, has been hard at work too. I tell you what. This little guy wants to do NOTHING so badly as working alongside his daddy. And Dan has such immeasurable patience with him. While I tend to find that putting him to work means more work for me, Dan has actually benefitted from Eli’s help. He’s a hard working young man when he’s with Daddy. When he’s with Mommy, well, that’s a different story. And that may just have to do with our gender differences, personalities and/or type of work.
All the electrical work is being brought up to code, made safe for children, and convenient. The demands are high in real estate these days as the expectations seem to be getting more rigid, cost of living and supplies are skyrocketing, yet the housing market is still so low. It just doesn’t make sense. So we are choosing wisely (that’s the hope, anyway) as we make our decisions about where we put our limited funds. Will we get return? Is this worth it for the area? What does this house need to sell in the future? Although hardwood typically sells, in a house like we have with a budget like ours, it’s probably better to just carpet it. But the hardwood will still be there, protected under the carpets. And I can’t tell you how excited I am to have carpets throughout. With three boys, it will help absorb the sound and buffer their falls as they have their “superhero fights.” A needed necessity in this family.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re not entirely sure where that end is, but the light is shining through. And as the due date of Baby Cohen draws nearer, Dan works faster and harder. I’m slowing down, so I’m afraid I’m not as much help in that department. I just keep reminding him that it’s hard work growing a baby boy for him.