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Git ‘er done

Our last house took eight years to complete.   Actually, we never completed it.   What I should say is that when we sold it after eight years of on-and-off work, it was 90% complete.   To get there we spent many a night and weekend painting, cutting trim, nailing, sanding, staining, and tweaking.   So when we started this project, my motto was “I’m not doing it myself.”

Doing it yourself can be a source of pride.   You can learn new skills and save money.   You can also learn expensive lessons, as we did many times.   I’m not against DIY projects in general — I think they’re fine for people who want to do them — but in this case neither Eleanor nor I have anything to prove.   We just want it done and we’re OK with the concept of writing checks to get there, if it means we don’t have to spend hours on our knees with a brush or a pneumatic nailer again.

But there I was today, on my knees, mopping the floor with a big yellow sponge saturated with sealant.   I could have had the painter’s crew do it but it would have caused delays (floors always do).   Each coat of the floor requires a drying time and that means people standing around waiting instead of working efficiently.   And, without some protection the new slate was likely to get stained.   So it made sense for me to do as much of it as possible today, before the dusty-booted crew shows up.

Little resolutions like “I’m not doing it myself” keep falling prey to the house’s demands.   I was planning to take Christmas off entirely but then in the afternoon I found myself browsing online for appliance sales. How much lower can I sink?   Well, late that night when ordinary people are doing online chat or hunting for nude celebrity pictures, I was shopping for toilets online.   On Christmas.   That is not how the classic holiday tales usually end up.


At least my little effort helped show what the house will look like when it is done.   With the sealant on, the colors have “popped” and there’s a satin sheen. It’s full of rusty orange-red and blue-greens.   Now that we have seen the final product in day and night lighting, we are able to finalize our paint colors.

Again, the colors in the picture are not quite accurate.   At some point I’ll have to take a carefully calibrated photo to show the true colors of everything, but right now all the paint chips are just ideas and not final choices.

One valuable lesson of our last house experience was that we should avoid “analysis paralysis.”   We spent weeks agonizing over cabinetry and countertops, months testing paint colors in big swatches on the walls,   and it was literally years before we finalized the layout of parts of the interior.   Every decision was questioned and re-examined a dozen times, mostly because we had no idea what we were doing.

On this house, we’ll have the colors picked in a week, the appliances ordered by Friday, the cabinets ordered by Saturday, and the other details (countertops, faucets, knobs, a couple of light fixtures) hopefully wrapped up by Sunday. We might get something wrong but we’re not going to worry about it.   We’ve got other things that are more worth worrying about than whether we picked the perfect countertop.   The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can go explore something new.

3 Responses to “Git ‘er done”

  1. Mike Young Says:

    Hope that you can take a break to join the gang at Picacho Peak. Vendors you might wish to talk to might be more interested in celebrating the New Year so come on up the road. Cheers.

  2. Lois Grebowski Says:

    Any of those colors look fantastic!

  3. Rich Says:

    We were signed up to attend the Picacho Peak rally but I had to cancel yesterday. I was scheduled to fly to Denver today and return in time for the rally, but United canceled my flight yesterday!

    With various other obligations, my only option was to re-schedule the flight for Sunday. So we won’t be coming to Picacho Peak. Have fun without us — if you can 😉