Monday, May 9, 2011

Some Home Improvement Perspective

Three years ago, I was reading the 1912 Bungalow blog, and followed a link to Joyce Wadler's 2008 New York Times article titled "Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Solvent." If you have ever worked on a home improvement project, if you enjoy old houses, or need to hear someone's story (because the house in the article was in way worse shape than most!), I recommend reading the NYT article (and pictures).

Early in the home's life:
Taken from the article, the following points were pulled from home owner (and home-improvement saint) David Giffels’s list of tips for taking on would-be-condemned house, found in the NYT article. These particle points really spoke to me:

"Invest in a heavy-duty vacuum." I couldn't agree more! A good, heavy-duty vacuum can be really helpful when trying to control dust, clean up after a job or sweep up spilled dog food/flour/anything. I used one today to dust the back the desk.

"Exploit the sweat equity of family members, but remember that if somebody gives you a day of work, you have to give one back down the line." Amen! We have a few neighbors that are GREAT at lending a hand. Because their houses are also in various states of home improvement, there is usually SOMETHING we can all pitch in to work on. And the work seems to easier when working as a group, I think.

"Do not be afraid to try things you have never done before." So true! Speaking of the neighbors, I'm always amazed as I watching them tear (sometimes, litterally) into a new project. It always encourages me to go home and dive into our next project.

“Anyone who paints a hinge spends one day in purgatory for each hinge that she or he has painted.” and “Every single person you ask how to get rid of squirrels will have a different method they swear is foolproof, and none of them work.” These two just make me laugh!

"Do not begin one project until you finish another." I swear, my husband must have read this list. He insists on finishing one project before starting the next. It drives me nuts at the time, but later I am grateful.

“... the last 10 percent of any project takes as long as the first 90 percent...” True of removing wallpaper, stripping paint, and just doing the laundry. So stinking true.

Do any of these points speak to you too? If you read the article, I'd love to know what really stood out for you. It's a great story, and easy to relate to. It's what we're all doing, but it is definitely on a greater scale than here at our house.

Several generations of the Giffels's work boots:

I want to give credit where credit is due, so again, the 1912 Bungalow post can be found here, Joyce Wadler's New York Times article can be found here, and the photos are posted here. Enjoy!

1 comment:

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