Happiness. Short-term, stupid, self-interest.

Home Renovation – Reality check

Reality of the budget and the sheer size of the project kept us from moving ahead. We considered contracting out the job, but that cost is just something we can’t afford right now. But would it be worth it, like the kitchen?

The thought that having a room to be able to do some of the things I’ve mentioned and enjoy it with our children is the driving factor once again. I mean, do I want to renovate this into a great room when I can afford it? Which may be well after the kids are out of college… Which may be never… This is our home. This is where we live.

Now, I am pretty handy after owning a home for over a decade and while I do make mistakes, at least they are not like these. I enjoy working with tools, building things, and getting that feeling of accomplishment of doing it yourself. But, it would be a ton of work and still be expensive. However, financially, there probably wouldn’t be another way.

Contracting it out would still require a lot of time and it would be super expensive. A ½ off sale at Linens and Things when buying sheets is a pretty good deal, but when you are talking about ½ off (or more) of a $30K project… now that’s a big savings.

Reality check and back to basics… the design needed to be revised with practicality, must haves, and would like to haves.
• It needs heat – something like the natural gas wood stove might cover both ambiance and practicality.
• Outdoor feel, slightly rustic, but not a log cabin – drywall for the most part, but maybe some extra wood and stone in certain places. Lots of windows is still a must have.
• A place to play a board game or cards – heck, we have a table that can go out there for now until we can get the perfect thing.
• A place to store board games and stuff – that might have to be added later as well
• Home theater – I have some home theater equipment now, it will need to be upgraded in phases. The TV and the media PC are both very expensive.
• A cozy place to enjoy a movie – we have some furniture that could be used in the meantime until we had the money to upgrade
• Lighting – still a must have, though it can probably be done without spending a fortune. (I like to design and install lighting)

From this, we came up with a basic plan of how we were going to use the room, and more detailed plan I put down on graph paper. The previous family room with the real fireplace may become a formal dining room with the fireplace end cornered off with a cozy sitting area. The hardwood floor and fireplace would make a great room to host Thanksgiving dinner.


We can’t settle on what to call it. It really is a family room, but we have another room we already call that so it is confusing. I still call it the “porch project”, but it is no longer a porch. I like the name “Oktoberfest Room”, but the esthetic committee voted that down. “Adult Game Room” isn’t accurate because it is really designed for kids, even if the kid is over 30. (not to mention “adult” may conjure up the wrong image)

It will become the “great room” someday, but for now it is just “the porch project.”

All this and we haven’t even started!!!! We just need to take the plunge…


February 19, 2007 - Posted by | Home Improvement, Life in general

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