Home > Home improvement planning

Home improvement planning

September 29th, 2020 at 08:07 pm

Now that the stone facade and stair railing have been done at my house, I can finally say that the exterior of the house is pretty much DONE.

I will never have to paint anything on the outside again except for one little area that's visible in that photo of the side of my garage, by the big window. The trim on that seems to peel every summer.

Now I'd love to turn my attention to indoor projects, which are admittedly more important but more difficult and disruptive to my personal life to get done.

I have an older kitchen, but it's still functional. The priority there is actually to replace the ridge, which regularly (like today) malfunctions by suddenly getting freezing cold and ruining whatever produce I have in the bottom drawer and sometimes higher up. I also want to widen the space so I can get a bigger fridge.

The other project I've been thinking more about lately is redoing the upstairs bathroom. I have 3 goals there:

1. Replace the toilet, which sits really low. In preparation for me getting older (someone else's post here has got me thinking more of this again), it would be easier to rise from a toilet that sat just a few inches higher.

2. Replace the tub with a walk-in shower, the kind with a low or no step. I don't really need a tub but more importantly, I see it as an accident waiting to happen. It would be so easy to slip and fall in it, even now. I think a walk-in shower with a bench would be much safer and more practical.

3. Replace my cabinetry. UGH. It's very old laminate that is falling apart in places; it has 2 sinks, which I guess I'd replace too.

4. Another project, oh, I guess this counts as an outside one, would be to replace my front door. This is an old house, and the doorway is narrow, jsut 32" wide. Conventional doors today are 36" wide.I have struggled a lot to get furniture in here over the years.

5. Replace electric hot water heater. They only last so long, and it's about time for a replacement, which I'd rather do before it started leaking. I looked into getting an electric heat pump instead a few years ago, but I don't have the clearance for one in my basement with its low ceiling.

The problemw with the kitchen and bath remodels is that both would be pretty expensive and very disruptive. Aside from the fridge replacement, I'd love to get quality finishes in there, from the cabinetry to the countertops and backsplash. What I have now is laminate.

I'd probably want to do the bathroom first.

Totally unrelated: Someone today gifted me a beautiful albeit overgrown angel wing begonia. It was huge. I'd always admired them. I gave it a good pruning and have the stems rooting in water, so when they develop roots in about a month, I can offer them back on the Buy Nothing site. I just learned they are toxic to cats, so I'm gonna have to be real careful and keep Luther out of the bathroom, where I have the door closed.

4 Responses to “Home improvement planning”

  1. Dido Says:

    Sounds like you have decided to age in place. I know that a few years ago, you were considering moving in retirement. [I on the other hand, will almost certainly move--I'm targeting age 70, so 10 more years.]

    You've answered a question for me. Prompted by your post, I measured my doorways. Each entry to the house has both an outer door plus a vestibule door, with an entryway in between. Like yours, my out doors are 32". But my doors from the vestibule into the house measure 28" and 30#. Furniture has been a struggle. They had to remove a window in my bedroom to get my bed in when I moved it, since not only are the doorways narrow, but the staircase is narrow AND has two landings. No mattress would make it past the landings. It's now time to replace the bed and I am dragging my feet since it's going to be a pain to get the old bed/frame out. I know that the new beds they have these days lack a boxspring and come compressed in a box so I should be able to get one of those in (though how long it will last, I really truly wonder), but I'm dreading getting the old one out. They'll probably have to deconstruct it into pieces in my room or take the window frame out again. In any case, the bed isn't horrid so I'm saving this for next spring.

    I'm also deferring the indoor improvements. My kitchen/bath are probably from the 1950s but they function. (Well, mostly. My range was leaking gas so I just turned the gas off on the wall by the range and I cook using only countertop appliances.) I totally dread needing to replace my refrigerator! I have no idea how they even got the current one in except they must have had to remove the doors. (Yep, just checked; with the doors my current fridge is about 28" by 29".)

  2. Fern Says:

    The thing is, dido, are you sure you want to be dealing with all the rigors and challenges of moving at age 70? We're all getting older, and I think if I was going to move, I would try to do it when I was younger.

    How large is your bed? Is it a conventional bed? Worst case scenario, they can cut it in half. When you say remove a window, do you just mean taking out the screen?

    My staircase also narrows as you get to the top, so the only way I could get my queen sized mattress up there and around the corner was to bend it quite a bit. I think that was one reason I went with a platform bed and single foam's much easier to flex/bend than a conventional mattress.

  3. Dido Says:

    Well, there's a lot of time between 60 and 70. I'm still planning to work until 70 (though I would like to go down to 30 hours a week sometime in my mid-60s). I'm planning on really clearing things out of here after I've finished the CFP, so I'll try to do most of the heavy lifting work in the next 3-4 years.

    I should have my mortgage paid off by the end of 2025 (and I consider that as a pre-retirement "must," then I'd like to be able to save some additional after the mortgage is paid off. I lost nearly a decade of retirement contributions by first landing on the adjunct teaching track for a few years and then leaving academia to change careers, so I have to work longer. Never mind not even contributing to retirement at all until age 30 because I was working on the PhD!

    My bed is full size, and they actually had to take the window itself out--not just the frame! to get the bed in here. But yes, they're going to have to cut it up in order to get it out of here w/o removing the window again. A platform bed w/a single foam mattress is what I will replace this with.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Good plan on replacing the water heater before it starts giving you trouble.

    Your plans sound like great ones.

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]