Monday, July 27, 2015

The Neverending Story (List)

No, no, no...not that one! (image via)
It's the never ending LIST! Perhaps I should have titled this post, "Things I've Learned in the Two Years I've Owned a Home." And really, it's just the one thing. The list never ends. Even as you cross something off, feeling wonderfully accomplished at having completed it, you immediately think of three or more NEW things to add to the list.

The list was born as the closing was drawing near, around May of 2013. Topping the list was to finish the patio room. The patio slab off the back of the house (the kitchen, to be exact) is about 14 square feet and one of the previous owners decided to frame it up and make it an indoor patio...kind of. They finished the framing, and did a pretty good job. The electrician that I hired to put the electrical outlets in that room said something like, "[the framing] was done to ensure it would withstand a nuclear blast." Oh, yeah....check that off the list...power outlets in the patio room. The concrete slab that serves as the floor is uneven and has several deep cracks that weep as the heavy winter snow melts in the springtime. All we did in there was toss a couple of area rugs down and hastily staple gunned some insulation between the wall studs and ceiling beams. I did get a couple of estimates on doing a sub-floor, flooring (most likely laminate), and drywall for the walls and ceiling. The quotes were all around $3,500. Moving that to the bottom of the list.

Another big ticket item on the list from the beginning is a new refrigerator. The house came with all the kitchen appliances, although the flipper went second hand to cut corners (like I have found to be the case in many areas of the house). The fridge is adequately sized but has a huge gash on the inside back wall and the door seal is pretty shabby; you have to push the door once it's closed to make sure it's sealed, and it probably runs more than it should. Still on the list.

Then, a couple of months into homeownership, we adopted a rescue dog from the Wisconsin Humane Society. Now a fence was at the top of the list. My optimistic side told me that the boy and his friends could do it, while the pessimistic side was rolling her eyes and saying, "Yeah, alright, if you don't mind a shoddy looking fence that takes months  of nagging and arguments to finish." After two years of saving and having to spend my savings on other things and saving some more, and a little help from Dad, I am ecstatic to report that the fence is up and the dogs (yes, we added a second dog about a year ago...glutton for punishment that I am) seem to be oblivious to their new-found cable-free existence. *sigh* At least it looks nice. Cross the fence off the list.

That leaves the two big ticket items - finish the patio room and new fridge - along with an ever changing catalog of other, less costly items and projects.

Of course, now that the fence is up, I have the landscaping itch. Retaining walls and river rocks and ground cover and accent lighting, OH MY! That shit adds up, too. I find myself looking over that mental list and I have come to the realization that it will never end. There will always be something more to do or to want when you own a home. I just have to consider myself lucky that the flipper did much of the big stuff (or it was already done shortly before he flipped it) so I hopefully won't have to add roof, siding, windows, hot water heater, A/C, or furnace on my list in the near future. Most of my list is wants, really the only true need is that damn new fridge.

I'm working on it...

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