I’m a big fan of DIY. As someone who works a sedentary desk job, I enjoy DIY projects for more reasons than just saving money. It’s a rare opportunity to work with my hands and create something tangible. (No, typing all day does not count as working with your hands.)
We knew that there were a number of projects to tackle in the new house, and thankfully, between my husband, my stepdad (from now on, SD), and myself, we have the skills, muscle, and willpower to do most of them ourselves.
For example, a skylight and a rotted window frame need to be replaced, which SD can do, and all we have to pay is the cost of materials.
Hubs has plans for the garden, and for installing under cabinet lighting in the kitchen.
I enjoy painting, so I’m painting the new house – ceilings, walls, trim, and anything else that has the misfortune of standing in my way.
I’ve also picked up a yard sale find – a new dining room table for a grand total of $40, and a new chair for $15. Both will require a bit of work, but with some luck we’ll sell our old dining room set for far more, and still come out in the black (or at least even) on the project.
However, some unexpected expenses have popped up. I was surprised to find that some of these rather large issues presented themselves so soon after buying the place, but then I remembered the meaning of “unexpected” – by definition, a thing that happens when you AREN’T expecting it.
So, read on to see some of the progress on the house, some unexpected projects, and my completely out-of-proportion fear of bugs.
The Joys: Repainting the Bedroom
There are no words for the color the master bedroom was when we purchased the house. I called it shit brown, but that’s not even doing it justice. My realtor called it “fudgy,” and let me assure you, that is far too kind.
Here are some photos from the real estate listing:
Magically, it doesn’t look all that terrible. It looks like totally fine chocolate brown.
Do not allow yourself to be fooled, dear reader. The color has reddish-orange undertones, which sprang forth anytime light hit them. Which was often, since there’s a giant window, and also an overhead light. The absolute horror of the color was amplified by the fact that it was painted on in a satin sheen, just one step short of semi-gloss.
A smart choice for a high-traffic room, a not-so-smart choice for an already decidedly shit-colored brown.
Evidence of the paint color:
It’s even a Ralph Lauren color. Why does Ralph Lauren even MAKE this color?
I know, you think I’m being dramatic. Allow me to indulge myself for one further minute:
It took FOUR COATS of KILZ to cover it completely. FOUR.
In short, if you were thinking about painting anything that color, don’t.
The new color is a Behr color called Gray Shimmer, which is bright enough to make the room feel light and airy, but still colorful enough to provide a contrast with the (soon-to-be) white trim.
These photos showcase both the beautiful light gray color, my love of painter’s tape, and my *incredible* photography skills. I know, so much talent in one body, I don’t even know what to do with myself.
Beyond the master bedroom, I’ll be repainting the entire house. While it is a lot of work, doing it myself has saved us somewhere between $800 and $1000 dollars, which is really great because…
The Costs: Things that Crawl, and Things that Leak
We have a pest problem. Thankfully, we don’t live in the house yet, so we can take care of both the squirrel problem and the *shudder* cockroach situation without having too many nightmares.
The pest problem seems to originate from a squirrel-sized hole near the roof line, which will need to be fixed somehow.
The larger issue, however, is the fact that the master bedroom shower leaks into the living room.
This was discovered after a long night of painting last week, after which I decided to take a gloriously refreshing shower. All was swell until I headed downstairs and heard… Dripping. Dripping is ominous when you are alone in a house and have just taken a shower.
SD came over to take a look, and found that the common, cheap problem (a leaky cartridge/improperly sealed o-rings/other contractor words that sounded inexpensive) is not the problem, and therefore, a 3×3 foot chunk will be coming out of our living room ceiling.
Ultimately, I’m glad it’s happening now, before we have furniture in the house, and I’m glad we have SD to take care of it for us, but I also wanted to cry. My house is broken 🙁 And all that money saved by painting/caulking/fixing things myself is being eaten up by un-fun projects.
The money that was slotted for insulating the attic may now be trapping squirrels and replacing drywall. While I’m grateful that we’re in a place to handle it, I’m still bummed out. Have you had any unexpected expenses since you’ve bought a home? Any good pest stories to share?