Saturday, May 11, 2013

Frugal Friday

“There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important as living within your means."  - Calvin Coolidge
Home Repairs
Me texturing the stairway down to the basement.

As you know, we moved our farmhouse from our acreage to Loren's family farmstead about a year ago.  Since then, our home has been a running series of This Old House reruns.  Lots of finishing work to be done to the new basement and added mudroom, and repairs on the cracks created by the move.

Home remodeling is an area that can get fiscally out of hand very quickly.  Once we had refinanced our mortgage to include the added basement and mudroom structure and the expense of the move, we didn't want to add to our debt for the additional tasks of texturing and taping, painting, carpet laying, trim staining and application.... you get my drift. 

To combat this, we knew we had to follow a few guidelines:
  • We would only do future finishing work as we could afford it.  This explains why there are still rooms that are still waiting to be worked on, even ones that we really need, like the downstairs bathroom. :-(
  • We would do as much of the work ourselves, with the exception of electrical and plumbing work, because of something is going to go wrong with that, I want someone else to take the blame! 
Truthfully, this extra work has been a blessing as well as a curse.  As much as I dreaded working on the house each weekend, it has been a good bonding experience for all of us.  Once you've tackled texturing a room together, with spackling in your hair and your arm feeling like a dead weight from the roller, you are bonded for life.

Not to mention the skills we are picking up- I like learning new skills and I take pride in learning how to do a fairly good job with some of these projects.  However, there is a learning curve with all things, and the walls I textured last look WAY better than my first few attempts.  Oh the house character. 

I like that we are also modeling self sufficiency for our kids and teaching them a few of these skills- hopefully they will make use of these new talents when they have homes of their own.  There is nothing more attractive than a handy man in my book, and I'm trying to impress that on Luke so that he sees the advantages of learning how to do his own home repairs. 

Someday, his wife will thank me.

I hope our family is also learning a little about delaying gratification.  Yes, we could've had all of these things done right away, paid someone else a bundle for it, added to our debt load, and our undone house wouldn't be inconveniencing us now.  But maybe this is teaching them some patience?  Maybe it's showing them that they don't have to live in a house right out of Better Homes and Gardens, with everything in it's place and arranged shabby chique. 

I believe there is merit and a feeling of self worth in working to create something, especially when it's your home. Working together as a family to build a home- it's what kept the pioneer families together, right?  And if it was good enough for the Ingalls, then it's good enough for the Johnsons. 

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