Remodeling Also = Slow Blogging; Or, Don’t Tell ME How to Live in My House!

I started this post as part of the previous one, but when I’d added three footnotes, and a couple of footnotes that were footnotes of footnotes, well, I realized that I’d dived into a rant, one that required an entry of its own.

One project that has recently devoured my time is: Remodeling. The husband and I have decided to remodel our kitchen and some other areas of the house. Well, okay, more accurately: I decided I wanted to do that and after putting up considerable resistance, the husband realized he was fighting a lost cause and he caved in to my infinite capacity for getting my own way when inspired-and-on-a-mission.

Anyway, neither of us have ever done anything like this, so, I, being no fool, realized I needed to read up on the process so I can engage with it as a educated participant.

No surprise, that’s taking time. Lots of it. Anyone who rushes into remodeling is, frankly, a fool. There’s much to know, learn, and ponder.

It’s also fascinating. I’ve lived in dozens of structures in my life: I attended five grade schools, and two junior highs (or middle schools, as those are now called), and have moved at least two dozen times as an adult). As a result, until relatively recently, my dwellings have more about expedience than choice. But now we’re living where we expect to live for the duration.

Anyway, much of my reading, thinking, and learning has been inspired and informed by the work of Sarah Susanka.

And that, in turn, has affirmed something I already believed: I am sick to death of living in spaces designed by the Realtor/Contractor Complex, and of the conventional wisdom that if you do alter a house, think first of its resale value.

To which I say: Fuck that. Or, as I more elegantly told the architect and the husband at the outset: “During this process, DO NOT say to me “Oh, we need to think about the resale value.”

Translation: Do not tell me to live in and use my house in a way that will please and appeal to some future, random, and, in my opinion, nebulous, potential, future, owner.

As a result, until relatively recently, my dwellings have more about expedience than choice. But now we’re living where we expect to live for the duration. We bought this house planning to leave it horizontally. By the time it’s resold,  I’ll either be dead or too old and infirm to give a rat’s ass.

example, I’ve FINALLY persuaded the husband that we don’t need that damn jacuzzi thing that came with the house. I told him that the day we bought the house. I told him that when we added a new shower to that bathroom (the one it came with was apparently designed for toddler pygmies).

I’ve continued to tell him that for the nine years we’ve lived here. He finally got the message. Apparently he’s an advocate of the Slow Learner’s Movement.

End of rant. For now. Of course now it’s occurred to me that I start a new blog series. “The Remodeling Experience: Inside Out.” Or something equally catchy. Hmmm…. Must go ponder.

5 thoughts on “Remodeling Also = Slow Blogging; Or, Don’t Tell ME How to Live in My House!

  1. It’s funny you should bring that up. One of the memories from my IHS seminars that stands out is Tom Palmer lecturing about how concern for resale values led him to remodel a bathroom for which he personally cared very little about. That is one of the beauties of markets. What other forces make one care so much for future generations?

  2. Good grief, what a great point! Honestly, I’d never thought of it that way.So must think about that. Although I can see if I did NOT care about something, I could be inclined to change it for some nebulous future user.But if I DO care about a space but don’t like it, and want it my way — is that also a way of expressing concern about future users? My view of the changes we’re making (eg, taking out that totally useless jacuzzi) is that a) I’ll be happier; and b) some future user will enjoy the space more, even though that future user will never know that I’ve saved him/her from the misery of having to climb into the tub in order to open the two windows that are above it.

  3. Ahh remodeling.. that explains a lotbetter when its done. good luck! you might need some.davesometimes the words to add are too funnyworrying reverend…. just because several days went by…

  4. We just finished (almost) an exterior deck remodel. Done the kitchen thing a few years ago. I applaud your courage to design a place that solely suits you! How wonderful. I look forward to the progress updates. (and pictures)

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