Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zen and the art of renovating

While fixing up my home, I have discovered several things about myself. There are certain tasks I really, really enjoy doing and others I would rather hire out for. If I list them, would it be telling? Would some personality trait be revealed? Let us see.

Staining hardwood. LOVE. Down on knees with rag and bowl of stain. Dipping the rag in the glass serving dish (its the only thing I found laying around without a purpose, but I recommend it; the glass is heavy so it doesnt knock over, the opening is large enough to put hand and rag in...and stain in a glass....nice) Rubbing the stained rag over the newly sanded floors (badly sanded by a helper).  Stroking the soaked stained rag evenly across the area. Making my way from one corner then across a bit, then down and filling in.  Keep floating pet hairs off the wet stain is a bit of a challenge.   I always thought I would enjoy owning a cedar type home that requires staining the planks every few years as an easy DIY maintenance, compared to clapboard and painting.

I enjoyed staining so much I will post two angles :). 
But I won't say what happened to this foiled, hardwood floor refinishing job.

Scraping off wallpaper. LOVE. Weird, but true. Discovered this in my other home 331kensington when I did a quick update to the bathroom before putting the house up for sale. 2 things happened during that remodel. 1) I discovered scraping wallpaper off isnt as horrible as everyone claims. 2) I fell in love with a tool, the scraper. It has been with me every since and has performed many odd jobs.
That wallpaper in that bathroom slid off. The moisture made it easy. I think I did try some product to spray on some difficult spots. This time, in the vestibule, the quaint but old brittle wallpaper requires a bit more effort. It's dusty and little pieces are flying all over and although there seems to be just one layer of wall paper, its thick. So far I have not used a product...just my handy most favourite tool ever, the scraper.
 My money is on this job, 
the last started, the first to complete

Digging: LOVE, especially in the spring time. It usually starts small, with a small plan but then I keep digging and digging. And then I need to figure out what to do with the hole/area I dug.

Spring of 2011 impromptu digging;
which led to the idea of creating a stone patio;
while I wait for the french doors leading to balcony.deck to be built

And Things I don't love but ...:
I would love to get more, make that ANY experience with electrical work. Upgrading exterior porch lights and interior lighting seems to be so accessible and easy and fun and a huge home improvement. Even if it is merely spray painting the old fixtures.  Have spray can, will paint.  But these fixtures need to come off and sometimes the wires are in the way of making an easy job more difficult. Electrical knowledge would be so useful.

 My industrial light fixture for the dining room still sits in a box. 

The old chandelier still tied back onto support. 
Calling an electrician high on my list, I'm just not good at calling.
Two pictures each, as I'm playing w/ whit balance

Painting, seems like something I would like, but I suck at it. And dread it. If the moons are aligned properly and I am in sync with my paintbrush and inner zen, I can manage painting.

Building a paver patio ... I do want to accomplish this goal, one time. I have dug out two areas in different homes. One dugout got snowed on and then the house was sold. The other one, the current one, well it just over grew with weeds while we were gone and now the ground is harder then the concrete slab that remains.

Yeah, I like details and repetition, meditative like tasks.

I used to plant trees in my twenties. For 5 years. Out in the wilderness.clear cuts of northern Ontario, Northern Alberta and all over British Columbia from the northwest side of Vancouver Island to BuffaloHead on the Alaskan border to the heart of B.C., Horsefly. One tree after another, all day long. 300 seedlings in my dual side bags, my shovel and steel toed boots. Down the rows I went (or mangles of brush). 1300 a day was a good day for me.  $0.08 - $0.25 range a tree. That works out to 200,000 - 300,000 planted trees in my career.

I think these kind of tasks that I love, staining, scraping and digging come as no surprise as I am a retired tree planter which required similar traits; perseverance and accuracy and a bit of stubborness to get the job done.

Yea, forget about completing jobs, apparently I suck at that.

What are your favourite renovating jobs?

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! You've managed to make me wish that I had something to renovate. I don't, by the way. We always purposefully find homes that someone else has already fixed. But you do make me feel a bit wistful... And I giggled at the "bad at calling" thing. Me too. I hate calling people and asking them to fix something in my house, even when I know that they'll welcome the call and the work.


Another 100 year old house renovation

Popular Posts