Thursday, October 20, 2011
Browsing through home design and renovation sites online...
I came across several things which sort of jumped out at me. One was the conceit of a smug article on downsizing your home. I realize the average home is over 2000 square feet in the USA right now, but there I was, looking for articles on making my under-1000SF home more space-efficient and I was struck by the conceit of an article admonishing people to pare out the excess and how to live well in 1200 SF. I only WISH I had a whopping 1200 SF. The truth of it is, if you can swing a larger home in an area you'd like to live, why wouldn't you? It's certainly more comfortable, especially for a tchotchke queen like me. Meh.

Another pet-peeve is space-saving design and devices. I suppose these things are primarily designed for folk for whom space and not money is the premium, because a lot of these little gadgets and decorative flourishes would send my budget reeling, quite frankly. I suppose one thing that is frustrating is that like most published magazines, their sites are funded by companies who are selling design concepts and rely on you shelling out bucks to have a very proscribed look to your home. Unfortunately for me (or moreso for them as I'll not be shelling out my hard earned dosh on their products), the only thing I've an excess of is elbow grease and that is limited by the confines of my schedule.

There's much that remains to do on my home to make it presentable. I'm still in baby steps phase, but fortunately, I have friends who seem to have grasped my design direction and are wonderfully supportive and encouraging to that end, so I don't have to wait until it's "done" to have friends over to visit. I have to consider the value of my home on the market and how long I am (or am not) likely to live here, and the cold hard realities of how likely I am to see the cost of renovations back out of the home when I do sell it one day.

To be quite frank, if I felt I would be living here for 20 years, I would be spending probably about $30,000 (more than half what I spent on the house) on the kitchen renovation, and it would be well worth it to me, as a cook and entertainer. Living in the real world, though, when this house sells one day, my future buyer will most likely be a single professional who doesn't need multiple bathrooms, or it will be bought by a small family with a very modest budget. I need to spend here accordingly, because those buyers are not going to be able to afford my long-term taste.

I'm currently vexing over the floor situation. The house was a Sears kit home from the early 30s. The flooring throughout is fir and in varying states of condition. The kitchen has an awkward step up ont decking of 3/4" plywood with shoddy (and torn in places) vinyl over it. I'm marinating ideas of how to address the overall situation in a way that doesn't have a huge outlay of cash. The simplest idea seems to me to pull out the vinyl and replace it with yet more vinyl. I wonder what host of horrors the floor is under that decking? Yes, sounds like a holiday for someone who espouses the Elbow Grease school of renovation, but the problem with that type of challenge is that peeling back old layers often reveals greater problems that require more money than elbow grease. So-- do I put down more vinyl? Or linoleum tiles? or just some cheap laminate flooring in the kitchen that will show traffic wear patterns in just a few years? Or do I just man-up and pull up the vinyl and decking and face the music of whatever is under there? I'm having a hard time deciding.

What would you do?
Written by phlegmfatale
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.
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