So as I plan for repairs, I am also thinking of renovation. In some ways, it is easier to renovate then to repair. Replace worn out things with newer, better, more modern (in their workings) fixtures and such. Longevity says it is a good idea, and I tend to agree.
My goal is to repair those items that need repair (like the leaking bath faucet which is taking money down the drain with every drop of water). The other items will be replaced, upgraded to a better and more efficient solution. My broken bedroom window, for example, will cost about $250 to replace. I can purchase a new vinyl sided window, with low e-glass for the same price. I will have to pay to have an installer come out, but I am getting a better quality window, less apt to break due to a "kitty headbut" (which is what broke the window in the first place). My kitchen counter is falling apart. It was a cheap handyman special, made by the previous owner for resale of this house. It is coming apart at the corners, and is really shabby looking. My kitchen is tiny, just a small galley style run of about 4 feet. I can get a new piece of pre-cut laminate counter in a lovely coral color for about $80. This piece has nicely finished edges and has the look of granite. With a new counter and a white ceramic sink and faucet, my kitchen will look almost new. Add in freshly painted cupboards (mine are dingy navajo white), a couple new drawer pulls, and presto-chango! I will have a new kitchen for under $400.
These are my plans as of today:
- Replace the old tired vinyl in the dining/kitchen/laundry room with new Trafficmaster vinyl in Hickory (looks and feels like real wood)
- Paint everything -- walls and trim (Behr Quiet Moment and Swiss Coffee for the main rooms; Soft beige for the rest of the house)
- New carpet (eventually) in a sisal color/berber style (durable with my cats)
- Repurpose old furniture I already own with a fresh coat of paint and a new function (like the old dresser in the office that would make a super neat TV console -- it is long and low and would accomodate a 47-50" flat screen really well. It holds junk right now and is taking up valuable space in the back hallway). Paint all my existing wood furniture (except for the nice pieces) white or a soft shade of blue or green or pinky-red.
- New light fixtures, some painted old ones with fresh new shades.
- New window blinds, bamboo probably, along with white cotton drapes
- Rugs for the dining room, kitchen, and bathrooms.
- Accessories like new pictures and photos in dressed up frames, spruced up mirrors and lots of candles. Easy and quick things (inexpensive as well) to add personality and fun to each room.
- Lastly, dressing my existing furniture with white cotton slip covers (durable and perfect for kitty claws). Add in some floral throw pillows, checks and plaids and I am set. Put in some fresh flowers along with some fake ones (for the cats benefit) and really I have a new cottage-look home with very little investment at all.
The big expenses to my home include carpet and windows (eventually all of them) as well as a new roof and siding. I need some landscaping, pavers, lighting, plants, etc. but these will all come later in the fall/spring (when it is not so hot out). Overall, I think I can redo my home on a small budget of about $10K (the majority going to the big items). The small things can be done each month, with money being allocated for those specific expenses. Less eating out, more investment in home and a new home is reborn. I can do this. I can do this. I know I can do this.