Sunday, January 01, 2006

Life as a House

Looking back on this year, I could come up a really long list of all the minutae that we have completed, but then I've covered most of it on the blog. The main acheivements (on the house) this year were (of course) finishing the kitchen and almost finishing the vestibule/entry.

We still have the pantry to do, but it is working okay as is for the time being. In the entry, we have the following left to do: install remaining trim and fix the interior lock on 2nd floor entry door. Not too much really to do there.

I don't really think about how much faster this work could be done if we paid someone because quite frankly, we didn't want to do that. We just refinanced and are using that money to renovate our rental unit upstairs. The jist of our whole strategy is this: If we do as much work ourselves as we can, we will be able to afford a nicer home with more expensive and high quality accoutrements than if we used that money to pay someone else to do the job. In any case, half the time the work we see paid tradesman do is sub-par compared to what we are able to do ourselves. We take a while to do it, but when it's done, it's done right.

This is going be a banner year for us. We have plans to have the building tuckpointed, a new roof put on, the upstairs completely renovated and tackle the den/office in our house, which is the one room that has not been touched at all. I am very optimistic that we will have the floors refinished in our home as well, which will bring things to a very finished state. Oh, and we will be rid of those pesky tenants to boot.

And having the bulk of the work behind us will enable us to do something we haven't gotten around to, get married! Ever since Steve and I met, we've been working on this place. Most people get married and then get a house and work on it. To us, the need of the house was more pressing than our need to make our union official. It would be different if either of us seemed unwilling to marry the other- but that just is not the case.

I come from a pretty untraditional family (in some ways) and I get pretty much zero pressure from anyone to get married or do anything in particular except maybe take a yoga class once in a while. Steve's Mom has brought up the subject in a mildly exasperated tone. "When are you guys going to get married?" but we don't see her too often as she lives out of state.

I have to admit my response to any pressure is to rebel especially because me and Steve are already totally committed to each other and being married is merely a formality in my mind.
I didn't used to be this way. When I was younger I planned to be married by 23, and have kids at 27. But what did I know back then? As time has gone on, a big wedding, dress, and event has just grown passe to me. Sigh. But hey, it will cost less this way.

I know we will be working on our home for years to come. It's what we both enjoy doing. And when we finally do get married, we will come home from our honeymoon to a place that we both love being in- a place that represents the fullfillment of our dreams. Home is truly where our hearts are-- (as if that isn't obvious by now).

Happy New Year to everyone and I hope your dreams continue to come true in 2006!


Kristin said...

Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing all the changes unfold at Chicago Two-Flat this year. :)

Trissa said...

I think knowing that you can work on house projects together is a definite plus to a happy marriage and it's good to start that before you get married. I'm sure you will accomplish your goals this year- Happy 2006!

Emerld said...

Happy New Year to my VERY GOOD FRIEND! I hope all your projects go smoothly and under budget.