Hump Day: Time has come for home renovation… or relocation

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Many of my neighbours have been out in their yards lately getting ready for the fast-approaching winter. Leaves are being raked. Flower beds and gardens are being stripped and small repairs are being made around their properties before the snow flies. Better to be nailing down that loose shingle on the roof in October rather than during a December blizzard, right?

Meanwhile, if my house could talk, it would give me a good tongue-lashing. Wait? Do houses have tongues? Hey, I never let common sense get in the way of making a point before. Why should I start now?

Anyway, my poor neglected house is likely staring at the others in the neighbourhood wondering when it’s going to get a bit of its own makeover. The siding could stand to be changed. The front walkway needs replacing. The metal railings on the front steps are so rusty they’ll likely start disintegrating soon.

The driveway needs to be repaved badly. How badly? Well, I’ll tell ya. Whenever the lawn gets mowed, so does the end of the driveway near the garage. Let’s just say that it looks more like a hayfield some days rather than a paved driveway.

As for my bathroom. Oh woe is me! What a hot mess. It’s screaming for a paint job. The ceiling is so disgusting that it may just end up looking like folk art one of these fine days. Someone’s bound to ask me if it’s dirt, grime or mould. I’ll just say I had an artist in to paint some freaky design on there; you know, because I’m hip like that.

The caulking around the tub and toilet look like something out of a horror movie. The wall tiles that were installed about 40 years ago by previous owners are starting to fall off. Really, the entire bathroom needs to be gutted. From what everyone tells me, those suckers can really empty your wallet once you get going. Once you start tearing down tiles and removing toilets, there’s bound to be water damage there somewhere.

The next thing you know, you have a bathroom that has nothing left but a hole in the floor for the toilet and bare walls down to the studs. That’s one of the reasons I’m so afraid to get someone to completely renovate the bathroom. I just know that the minute they remove one little thing, I’m going to hear, “Uh oh!” and I’ll be using a bucket for a toilet for two weeks because the entire bathroom needs to be replaced.

But really, a coat of paint can brighten things up, right? I’m sure that will help. A bit of new caulking won’t be so bad. The rest is certainly passable. After a few tiles are glued back on the wall, it will kind of look like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree after the kids decorated it. Pitiful at first, then a thing of so-so beauty!

The rest of the house needs painting, too. I had it painted completely white (everything, ceilings and all the walls) when I moved in 12 years ago. The pastel colours that were here before were awful, at least in my opinion, so I got them covered up with something bright. The painter told me at the time that he’d just finished painting the inside walls of the convent on King Street all white. Well, if it was good enough for the nuns, it was good enough for me, too! One step closer to heaven!

But now that nice white paint has been scuffed, scratched and chipped and is in dire need of a refresh. My goodness… could I even contemplate adding colour? Green? Red? Yellow? I’d better stop. I’m scaring myself. My dull earth-tone décor would freak out seeing all that colour around.

And then there’s my kitchen. My poor kitchen. You know how the Ghost of Christmas Past screams in terrifying agony and remorse in the classic 1951 version of A Christmas Carol? Yeah, that’s what I do every time I enter my kitchen.

Because of my penchant for gadgets, there’s barely any counter space for preparing food. The pantry I bought and assembled to store food is chock full of various spices and canned goods for recipes I planned on making but never got around to. Have you ever bought a spice at the bulk store that you absolutely had to have for a recipe but didn’t bother marking the name of the spice on it because surely you’d remember what was in that little clear plastic bag?

Yeah, I have, too. And eventually, the contents of that clear bag of mystery spice get dumped in the garbage. That has happened to me so many times that you’d think I’d have learned my lesson. And then, of course, there’s finding that “thing” you bought just a few months ago only to discover that the best-before date was 2008. “But, but, I just bought that!” Yeah, five years ago. Oyyy!

My dining room table looks like an episode of hoarders. It’s become the storage place of small appliances, flyers, bulk boxes of Keurig coffee cups, a briefcase and a coat or two or three. Honestly, the table would probably explode in shock if someone actually ate a meal on it. That poor table. I had so many plans for dinner parties with good friends when I bought it a few years ago. We were going to eat delicious meals, drink too much wine and make wonderful memories. Yup, that’s what we were gonna do.

So, I guess I have some work to do. A big overhaul like this is meant to be bitten off in tiny chunks. One project at a time. Pay it off, then do the next one. Or, I could just put a match to the place and start over from the fire insurance settlement.

Or move. Hmmm. Anyone know a good real estate agent?

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