Saturday, June 04, 2011

been training vipers

The downside of home ownership is the maintenance, especially when the required repairs are beyond your abilities/budget. We have a few too many of those scenarios here at casa del Zombie.

That's why it is so refreshing to stumble upon some home improvement ideas that are affordable and DIYable. Like the dining room curtains that I am fashioning out of the flat sheet that I bought recently, mistaking it for a fitted sheet. The colour is perfect too. It pays off to be instantly attracted to grey; everybody needs a default colour.

Next I am going to repaint the garage door - the car door, not the human door. Yeah, I realize it's a bit like putting lipstick on a pig, since the whole house and garage need to be repainted, but the garage door is within my scope.

And the project that I am most excited about involves the dead hedges that I lamented about recently. They line the front of the garage, facing the house, and in their current state provide a distinctly Hallowe'enish appearance to the back yard. Not really the look that I am going for.

I am going to dig out the deceased shrubs and, using some leftover slate slabs, extend the slate patio where the barbeque resides. Then, I plan to use the box of floor tiles that have been sitting in the basement since we moved here - left over from flooring the new bathroom in our former house - and build a pad along the garage wall where the hedge used to be. Then, using some massive wood slabs that used to be part of an old waterbed (remember those?), I plan to build a simple backless bench along the garage wall.

It won't cost me a dime and it will use up materials that have been stored in the basement for an eternity, which appeals to both my frugality (inherited from my father) and my desire to squeeze every last use out of something (which comes courtesy of my mother).

When I am finished, we can sit on the bench together, and I'll bring you a cocktail and tell you the story of my mother and the somebody-finish-this-butter incident.

Do you have any projects planned for the summer?


Wandering Coyote said...

That sounds very resourceful, Barb.

I'm doing the community garden again this year, and planting a few things out in the front of the house.

Anonymous said...

do pigs have lips?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

The community garden is such a great idea, WC. What are you going to plant?
I always enjoy checking out the community garden at Davie and Burrard when I am in Vancouver - a little bit of zen in the centre of a hive of human activity.

Probably not, Kelly, which makes them look even more whorish.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You are quite the ambitious fixer upper.

Sean Wraight said...

Do your talents know no bounds my friend? I am so impressed by the ingenuity demonstrated here. I think you might just be on to something too... You should be selling this to the Discovery Channel. "Canada's Thriftiest Handyperson", "Recycle Queens". (Actually It think that one IS on TLC.)

Summer project for me? Tackling the backyard patio with some much needed rehabilitation. I might just have to call you for some of those extra floor tiles.


Allison said...

Very resourceful indeed!What colour are you painting the garage?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I have a lot of fixing up around here to be ambitious about, Dr M.

Speaking of the Discovery Channel, I actually think I should be the new host of Daily Planet, Sean, now that Jay Ingram has retired. Wanna be my cohost? I could bring over my spare floor tiles and we could wow the television world by redoing your patio.

The garage itself will remain unpainted with its peeling brown paint, Al. I think I will keep the garage door the same taupe colour it is now. Can't go wrong with taupe!

Beach Bum said...

The downside of home ownership is the maintenance, especially when the required repairs are beyond your abilities/budget.

The current house my wife, kids, and I live in was built in 1995 with us moving into the summer of 2000 after two previous owners. One the major reasons we bought the thing was on the reputation of the builder who was suppose to the Mozart of home building in our area.

Three weeks after moving in I finally got some idea at how badly we had been taken. If something about the contruction of the house was not done wrong and very crudely it was broken.

After 11 years and a near constant flow of money fixing things and keeping other things maintained the "dream" of home ownership is one I would frankly skip.

John Mutford said...

We're hoping for a new furnace this year, but I'm afraid that might fall under the "beyond our budget" column.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That's brutal, Beach Bum! I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience with home ownership. Hopefully all the work you have done on it have now paid off.
We've actually been really lucky with the three houses that we have owned, but eventually they all need work.

Ouch, that's a big ticket, John. However, not usually one that is negotiable.