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My Remodel: Getting started

HousebeforeLet me be blunt: My house looks like a crack house. How else do you explain the peeling paint, drafty single-pane windows, leaky fixtures, falling-down fences and overall look of neglect?

Before I explain the sorry state of affairs, I’m happy to report that this will all be changing in the next few months (and years) as my husband Bill and I embark upon our own home-improvement projects, which I will be sharing on this blog.

Though we have lived here for some time (and want to live here throughout our lives), some unexpected legal issues arose with the property’s title, and we could not put any money into the house until the issues were resolved. And they have been.

In the interim, though, the raggedy house fell deeper and deeper into disrepair. And I swear, we’re not crack addicts. We don’t even drink!

We are starting out with a modest chunk of money — $22,500 — and we will have to earn the rest as we go along. As you can imagine, we will be doing most of the work ourselves. As my husband is a former contractor (now a trainer), he knows a lot about remodeling (everything, it seems) and he’s got all the cool tools. On the other hand, he does his training in other states. And so as he flies all over the country to do his thing, I’ll be the wind beneath the wings of our remodeling projects.

I’m actually excited about our limited budget. I’ve written articles about more than 500 remodeling projects over the years, and some of them had virtually no budgetary limits. To me, that would be hard, to not know where the boundaries are. For me, it will be fun to do the most I can with the limited funds available and to work hard to raise more money.

Here’s our budget so far:

Exterior paint: $2,000 (for a budget-quality job)
Upstairs bathroom: $1,500 (floor, vanity with sink, mirror, wall tile, skylight, door)
Downstairs bathroom: $2,000 (new shower and pan)
New deck: $10,000
Main-floor windows: $5,000 (10 at $500 each)
Horse fencing: $2,000 (350 feet)

We’re also setting aside $20,000 for Bill to build a steel building in which to shoot training videos. I’m proud of myself for allowing him so much of our funds to follow his dream. But my dream has already come true, and that is: We’re finally starting to fix up the house. Oh happy day.

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