diy in perspective

The day we moved in, approximately five years and 20 days ago, friends suggested things we could do to the house. Suggestions like knocking out walls and moving fireplaces and generally rearranging everything. I, like the timid wee wuss I can be at times, said I just wanted to do something about the enormous (to us) mortgage first up.

I've told the story of finding our furniture for the lounge at the local church fair too many times already. But only a couple of years later, one of the church ladies, in a valiant effort to engage me in small talk, asked if I'd recovered the furniture or replaced it yet.


A kind person at work asked me only four years after we bought the house what we'd done to it so far. What we've done is create a lot of garden and change almost nothing in the house. The kids ripped a lot of wallpaper off without permission, giving credence to the idea that bleeding heart liberals raise wild children without respect for authority. I ripped some off as well, giving myself permission. But I ripped it off systematically, an entire room at a time, and I didn't draw on it with marker pen, or any kind of pen. Or crayon.

Favourite Handyman painted the lounge last summer. It's awesome. To celebrate, I've been trying to fold washing every day. There is a link. Now you can sit on our couch and look at the yellow walls (Resene Wild Thing to be precise) without sitting on washing that was clean and soon won't be.

We have done quite a lot of insulating. We have spent untold money on washing machine repairs until we spent even more on a decent washing machine. This year we finished the insulation using the grant which National agreed to as part of their deal with the Greens. The Greens get blue-r every day, but gift horses and mouths...

Now I'm on a new project. I'm laying the foundations for cross party (husband and wife) agreement on the need to pay someone to mow our lawns next year. Either that or I change the terms of my contract (I write the contract in my head and no one else sees it but for the past eleven years which may coincide with the duration of my married life, I have given the lawnmower a very wide berth on the grounds that I do too much inside stuff for lawns to go near my list.) and mow them myself. I've gotten a little fussy lately and I fancy lawns which don't go to Brighid's knees more than once every five - seven weeks.

I have this idea that if we farm out the lawns, FH and I could do more fun things around the place on a Sunday afternoon when we don't have to be at work. Like rebuilding the sandpit, painting the treehut, clearing the gutters, turning the big shed into a study, building a plastic house, shifting the side fence, painting the kitchen...

I got a builder in today to check out the dodgy damp smell in the corner of our bedroom and he has identified it as a small problem (thank you all gods of buildings) and will come and fix it soon. I'm farming it out. Last week I got a plumber in to check out the chippy fire in the kitchen. He agreed with the last person I got in five years ago. Hopelessly expensive and problematic. So no restoration of the old wetback for heating the water. It will just have to wait until we can afford solar heating.

When we started this home owning lark, I was in the midst of a serious diy phase. While this phase hasn't entirely died, it is morphing. I'm making more clothes but contracting out other diy.


Sharonnz said…
I suspect this will be me soon. I just bought a "new" lounge suite from the Sallies, full of good intentions to reupholster. AND I've contracted out my moving cleaning jobs - can't believe how ridiculously excited this has made me.
Marion said…
We have a gardener as part of our rent Sandra - it's great! I've never fancied a cleaner, but someone to mow and weed is very different! You're also making me feel a whole lot more positive about the offer we're making on a refurbished house, when we could theoretically buy a place and do it up more cheaply. It's worth many £s to us not to have the upheaval or hassle of diy! The mortgage however is just too scary to think about for long...
Anonymous said…
When I was pregnant my GP told me I wasn't to mow lawns. That was more than 24 years ago and he's not yet told me I can resume mowing.

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