At last: a post that has nothing to do with cancer! It started small, as these things often do: there were some rotted boards on our house. The house is cedar siding and brick. Our insurance agent came out and inspected the house and sent us photos of what needed repair. The email with the photos came right before we left for Spain at the end of October. When we got back in November we were both really sick with terrible sinus infections, then it was Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then February 6 and my diagnosis occurred and, well, we were kind of busy. But we finally decided we’d better get that wood replaced.
A longtime friend, N, is a homebuilder. I’ve always wanted to get her to do some work for us. She came over and she and W went outside to look at the wood that needed replacing. There was a lot more than the insurance company wanted replaced. Enough boards would be new that the house would need painting. It had been a while since we’d painted the house. And we had water damage caused by the fact that the gutters and downspouts on the house just weren’t big enough and there weren’t enough downspouts. So those needed to be changed out.
I seized the opportunity to say that now was the time for me to get the black shutters and red front door that I’ve been wanting. N suggested either taupe or gray for the siding. We decided we liked the idea of gray. Then she suggested, surprisingly, that we consider black gutters and downspouts. Black? She told us to look at a website called houzz.com, which we did, and found we really liked the black gutters and downs, so we were all set.
About a month later the work was complete. We changed out the hardware on the front door to brushed nickel and bought new light fixtures. I enjoyed shopping for those. I’ll be honest: I enjoy shopping, period. Not window shopping or mall wandering, but shopping with a purpose. And I really enjoy doing things to the house. We’re so happy with the way things turned out.
Then W decided to ask N for an estimate on the deck. It needed a complete overhaul. He was thinking that he and our son could do the work but there was some stuff that N’s crew would do first. I was wondering when he and our son would manage to have an entire weekend free to do the work and if they could even get it done in a weekend. It was looking like the end of June at the earliest, so once he got the estimate he decided to have N do the whole thing aside from the staining, which has to wait for a month so the wood can really dry out. Our new and improved deck is nearly complete, except for the top railings and the stairs. Those will be done early next week.
So now the exterior of our house is basically brand new. It looks fantastic. A friend came last week and said she had to look at the house twice to make sure she was in the right place! I love my red front door. One day a student was leaving and said, “Nice door! It’s red!” I bought a pineapple door knocker (it’s a symbol of hospitality) and it looks great, even from the street. Our next major home projects will be to upgrade the kitchen and the master bath. Those will wait until 2016. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to having dinners on our nice new deck.