Laura over at No More Spending and Move to Portugal is getting ready to move (and, interestingly, not to Portugal!) She’s been doing home and yard projects for ages now, but has to accelerate the process because of her impending move. Meanwhile, Sarah at livetolist is also moving and showing her home in its best possible light!
I got to thinking, what would it take to make my house “sale ready”? I have absolutely no moving plans, but why wait and do all the big projects for someone else to enjoy?
Since I moved in 9 years ago, I’ve only done 5 projects that were urgent:
- The house has oil heat, so replaced the oil tank – required every 10 years or so by the insurance and oil companies
- Replaced the leaky skylight in the bathroom (the room’s only natural light) and cleaned up resulting mould – luckily not too bad since it was discovered early
- Replaced an unrepairable, leaky faucet
- Replaced two lighting fixtures – the bulbs were blowing out too often, even CFLs, so realized it must be the fixtures!
- Added carbon monoxide detector and more smoke detectors
I had several projects done that were not urgent:
- Replaced the lawn. This was a complete and utter FAIL. I had the old turf removed, new soil brought in, and had it seeded. It was gorgeous for the first year. Then the neighbourhood weeds moved in and it looks like everyone else’s. Herbicides are illegal here. I thought that strong roots and tall grass would keep the weeds at bay but they don’t. Nature does not want a monoculture! I am over it.
- Replaced all the flooring in the house, removing carpet and putting in laminate. I now wish I had saved more and put in hardwood, but it’s still an improvement in terms of cleaning and dust control.
- Replaced both thermostats with programmable ones
- Replaced the tiny 2nd shower with a large one, adjoining Link’s room, so it became more of a “suite.”
- Replaced the two toilets with low-flow models
- Painted both bathrooms
- Painted Link’s room deep grey by request
- Painted deck and front steps (regular maintenance)
- Replaced the wooden window boxes under every exterior window – they had rotted, and the house looked naked without them!
- Added a fence. Rom and I joke that we were turning into grumpy old gits because we didn’t like local teens cutting through our property to get to school…or heading back home after a night out. Our neighbours on both sides had fences to contain their dogs, so we only had to add a straight joining section at the back!
So, after all that, you’d think the house would be move-in ready, right? Not at all. The upcoming project list is:
- Replace or repair wooden garden shed. My brother is ace at this and will give me an objective evaluation. If anyone can save it, he can.
- Save for roof re-shingling and roof vent. The house is 17 years old and it was estimated the current shingles would last 20 years. It doesn’t have a full vent, which wasn’t code when the house was built.
- Save for complete interior painting. The house has only its builder’s coat of paint except for the rooms we’ve done ourselves. It is in very hard shape and would look wonderful with a fresh coat. I am not at all willing to do this myself. I will happily do without many, many other things to pay someone to do it.
- Replace front and back doors, or the door framing. Neither door will close properly despite many adjustments. We have to double check them every time we come and go. The reason our cat escaped earlier in the month was that I had closed a door, but it didn’t latch properly, and it swung open later.
- Think about non-air-conditioning alternatives for cooling down the house in summer, such as putting in more window blinds and ceiling fans
- Replace vanity tops (counter tops) and sinks in both bathrooms – the existing ones match the previous flooring, the faucets are lower-quality and corroding, and the sinks are chipped. However, they are functional, so this job will keep getting put off.
- Replace kitchen counter top. Same as above – it matches some old flooring. The colour is kind of pink 😦
- Power wash the vinyl siding and clean exterior windows
All of these jobs will get done over time…well, over the next 5 to 7 years…sounds fun, eh?
But I do spend a lot of time at home, and while I don’t have serious home repair skills (or enjoyment levels), I do what I can and gladly prioritize funds for these projects.
How about you – do you put a high priority on home projects, do them yourself, hire someone, or put them off as long as possible?