Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not very sexy

My house wasn't built well.  It's disappointing, because I chose a new house over an old house to avoid having to make a lot of repairs.  Unfortunately, repairs have been a part of my life in this house.

I've tried to put a positive spin on it, and use each repair opportunity to change things up to look how I want it.

Replacing the crappy ceramic floor that had been installed directly onto the joists (not up to code) took three years of fighting.

I don't really have a good example picture of how the floor used to be.  It looks like mall tile, only cracked.

But I won.  The new floor is beautiful travertine.  (Well, it's porcelain, but it looks like travertine.)  More importantly, it was installed according to the Canadian Tile and Terrazzo Association's very specific instructions.  It's going to last.

Replacing the cheap, ugly track lights, all over the house (see first picture) wasn't difficult, but it was a pain.   Especially when I discovered that some fixtures had been installed without junction boxes.  (Also against code.)

The new fixtures are kind of sexy, though.  I'm glad I got to pick exactly what I wanted.

The mirrored closet doors don't break any code, but they were ugly.  And a sign of the builder cheaping out and taking shortcuts again.

Replacing those was a pain, but the new ones are kind of sexy.

See also - New light fixture

The front step used to be wobbly.  And it was so small that when I opened the front door, I pushed people backwards, down the stairs.  That made me crabby.

The new porch is pretty great, in my opinion.

Having to re-landscape the entire yard to accommodate water issues... not cool.
But I probably would have done some fairly extensive gardening anyway.

Now, the roof - the roof made me crabby.  A 5 year old house shouldn't need a new roof.
 But, damn, the new one is sexy.

You know what's not sexy?  Tomorrow I have to hire a guy to dig up my basement and install a sump pit and sump pump.  I've thought long and hard, and I just can't find a positive spin for this one. It'll cost me $1500, and all I'll have to show for it is that my house will be in the condition it should have been when I bought it.

Sump pumps.  They just aren't very sexy.


  1. Now I don't feel so bad--or at least not so worried--at buying a 50-year-old house. At 50, you EXPECT some problems. You're prepared for it, as much as you can be. Your "fixes" look awesome. Love the light fixtures. And the roof.

  2. I have a house that is 115 years old. New, old, it's always something!

  3. I keep telling Judi, "Old houses were made with pride and the best materials." Still, no matter how old or new, there's always something reaching for your wallet. I absolutely love the landscaping and the light fixtures are awesome!

  4. I love your house Janice! I want that roof! We have never had a sump pump that worked. Our house is 20 years old, we have been in it a little over five years. We have dropped a load of money on stuff that didn't last 20 years. It never ends. We had a new house built in St. Louis in 1992 and another new house at the Lake in 2001 they both sucked the money life out of us too. It's always something.

  5. I love nice funky sexy fixtures - and you did a great job picking them out for your place. I love how cheerful the picture with your final landscaping looks!!! I bow down to all that you do yourself.

    We had a sump pump in our previous house and in the house I grew up in. Too bad you have to do it, as it is not sexy, but if it works well it will be one less thing you have to worry about - mold is never sexy.

  6. I'm still amazed at how sharp that house looks with the new roof. You've done a good job with all your choices.

  7. Damn sexy!! It's so annoying when you spend so much money for quality and then it doesn't. Very annoying to say the least. It looks beautiful now though...you did good...you have a natural talent!

  8. I love what you've done with your house! Very sexy :) But, yeah, sump pump not so sexy....

    (a bit amazed at how useless that old porch was... somebody was not thinking for that one..)

  9. wow. i am so jealous of your lighting!