Tag Archives: Lowe’s

Fridays at Home: 3-Year House Anniversary

16th March 2012

Holy moley. I have been a homeowner for three whole years. Wow. Buying a home is a big undertaking, no matter what. I found out the hard way that even in the 21st century (at least in the South), buying a home is incredibly difficult if you’re a woman. I was asked why my husband wasn’t looking at houses with me and all sorts of other impertinent questions, and one realtor refused to show me the home because I wasn’t married.

I hunted for houses for a year. Of course, I was looking in a very specific price range (aka: low) and also knew the neighborhood I wanted, so for me, it was worth it to hunt for so long. When I found my house, I was ecstatic. Wood floors, 12-foot ceilings, a big backyard, a huge closet, and a really big kitchen. So I made an offer. Thus began two months of hell. The buyer was absolutely nutso. She kept attempting to back out of the contract. She lied to me about the appliances and eventually threatened to kidnap my dog if I didn’t pay her $800 (for a 10-year-old washer and fridge). Yeah. So closing day wasn’t exactly the thrilling moment I had anticipated.

But. I have absolutely, positively loved owning my own home. It is so incredibly satisfying to be able to paint walls and move furniture and even weatherproof. I have worked to make my home my own, and I love it. The most obvious change I’ve made happened last summer when I hired my sister’s boyfriend (who does such work) to paint the exterior. I always hated the butter yellow with cream and blue (!) trim. The screen door was hideous and blue, while the front door was burgundy. There were other projects I wanted to come before it, but I had some exposed wood (the prior owner didn’t prep well before painting) and knew that would only deteriorate further if left unpainted. So here’s the house on the day I moved in way back in 2009:

And here’s what it looks like today:

Here is a rundown of everything I’ve done to the house with links (if I have them) to the projects:

Here are just a few things I’ve learned:

  • For any given home project, you will make at least half a dozen trips to the hardware store.
  • How to cut in! No more taping for me when I paint.
  • That unless it’s electricity or plumbing, I’m not afraid to do it.
  • That people will think you’re crazy half the time.
  • That nowhere is as good as home.
  • That the smallest projects take you the absolute longest to get to.
  • Budget about a third of any project’s costs extra for random purchases/takeout food/gasoline spent going to hardware stores.
  • That having your dad around to help you hang cabinets is so great.
  • Even if you can do it yourself, it’s always nice to have company/someone to catch you if you fall off the ladder/someone to dial 911.
  • Mowing the lawn sucks.
  • Wearing paint-spattered clothing to the hardware store is a badge of honor.
  • Oh yeah, designate some painting clothes.
  • Just pick a damn paint color already. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • A 6-foot ladder will not reach lights mounted to a ceiling that’s 12-feet above you.
  • A detached garage is a scary place.
  • That Valspar paint is truest to the color card.

I’ll include a small gallery of some of the projects/rooms I haven’t blogged about. If you’re curious about any of them, tell me in the comments, and I’ll plan a Fridays at Home post! And if you’re a seasoned homeowner, what are some things you’ve learned?



Fridays at Home (year’s end)

30th December 2011

So wow. I didn’t actually begin Fridays at Home until about halfway through the year when I realized I really enjoy sharing my Adventures in Homeownership. ๐Ÿ™‚ I did, however, want to do a recap of everything I’ve done to the house in the past year.

January: nothing.

February: begin looking at paint samples for the dining/reading room.

March: keep staring at paint samples and paint.

April: get lumber for bookshelves, hire Danny to build bookshelves.

May: begin looking at paint samples for the exterior of the house and trim.

June: painting begins.

July: painting continues.

August: rearrange living room furniture.

September: exterior paint is finished, and I paint the front door.

October: nada.

November: choose paint colors for kitchen and cabinets and refinish and paint cabinets.

December: ahhh. sweet peace. oh wait, I forgot Dad’s big garage reno. wooow.

December 2011

November 2011

September 2011

August 2011

June 2011

April 2011

March 2011

All in all, I had two total room redos, an exterior house change, and small projects all for under $4,000. Of course, that’s doing a lot of the work myself, but heck, that’s a lot of change (as in metamorphosis AND coinage) for a year. Overall, though, I’m pleased. What’s on the agenda for 2012?

– Save money. You know, because it’s kind of important to have some spare change for these home projects.

– Do touch ups and small projects.

– Paint detached garage to match exterior of house.

– Possible reno of butler’s pantry into half bath (late summer, perhaps?).

– Redo back deck (if half bath goes through, may be put off until 2013).

– Add crown molding to main rooms.

– Create window seat in kitchen.

– Paint laundry room and make it more efficient.

It’s funny. I hate lists for my reading but LOVE lists focusing on house projects. Now I just can’t wait to start marking some of these off in the new year.ร‚ย 

So – what have you done this year in terms of improving your space?

Fridays at Home

14th October 2011

Now that the exterior of the house is almost finished (I still need to finish the porch ceiling and porch steps), I am ready for my next, slightly smaller project: the laundry room. This room is in major need of help. It is currently lavender, and while there is nothing wrong with lavender, I ain’t feeling it. I went to school in a Texas-football-crazy town where the team colors were purple and white, and after years of it, I don’t want any shade of that stuff near me. That, and the floors are awful. The previous owners put tile in the laundry room and kitchen, and my house is pier-and-beam construction, meaning it’s badly cracked. Time to fix it up.

First step: Pinterest! I knew I wanted something light and bright, so I decided to check out other people’s ideas and see what I liked. Here are a couple that jumped out at me:

From the blog dottieangel.blogspot.com

Image from Better Homes

I’ve narrowed the color down to Olympic San Juan Spritz, Chilled Mint or Still Tidewater (I’ve never used Olympic paint before, but I’ve heard good things from the guys at Young House Love). I think any one would be an improvement.

olympic san juan spritz

olympic still tidewater

olympic lantana lime

Aren’t they beautiful together? If it weren’t such a small space, I’d use them all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Flooring is another deal altogether. I hate linoleum, but it is a laundry room, and I’ve heard linoleum has come a long way. We shall see. That will go in after paint color anyway. Then there’s curtains. Nothing elaborate, but I would like to do laundry without seeing my neighbors at their kitchen sink, doing dishes. One thing I thought I knew: I wanted THIS rug.

Alas, Urban Outfitters is sold out of it. If anyone finds this rug, please, pretty please let me know. I. Want. It. It would work with any of the above colors, and I love the coral color in it.

So. What do you think? Anyone else have laundry room fantasies? I want to smell my Gain detergent and have a breezy, fun laundry room to match. Is that really asking too much?

Adventures in Homeownership

28th June 2011

When you own a 108-year-old house, there is always something needing to be fixed, painted, tweaked, etcetera. Thankfully, since I’ve owned my home I’ve been able to do a lot of that myself. I’ve painted every single room in the house (you may remember my last painting escapade). I have had central air and heat installed (including ductwork) – a necessity where I live. I have added floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in my dining room, also a necessity as my poor books were shoved under beds, in cabinets, and in boxes tucked away in closets.

However, ever since I moved in, I have really really wanted to paint the exterior of the house. It’s butter yellow, and while I don’t have anything against the color, I grew up in two different yellow houses and am SICK of it. If you own a home, though, you understand nothing is ever simple….as Goofy so brilliantly shows in this video “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater:


1. You’ve had a color in mind for ages; in fact, it’s another house in your neighborhood. Knock on said neighbor’s door. Try to convince him you aren’t selling something or trying to convert him to your religion.

2. Go to City Hall to get your color approved as you live in a historic neighborhood. Pay 20 bucks for the honor of having someone tell you the color you chose is “appropriate.” Walk away with a Certificate of Appropriateness.

3. Go to Home Depot, where you are informed said paint sample isn’t large enough. Mentally yell at woman behind paint counter.

4. Go back to house in Step One, where the sweet lady of the house (with a newborn and 2-year-old in tow) allows you to get said paint out of the garage and dip the stirring stick in for a larger sample.

5. Get home and realize paint is wrong color.

6. Buy five samples of paint from Lowe’s, trying to match house from Step One. Apply to siding. Stare at siding and get several other opinions. Choose top color. [See photo below]

7. Buy 5-gallon, $120 tub of Valspar paint. Painter applies, as seen below.

8. Pull into driveway, walk up to front door and HATE color. It’s too dark. It’s hunter green (my least favorite color) and NOTHING like the house which you have in mind.ร‚ย  Get several opinions and a strong drink.

9. Go back to Lowe’s toting 5 gallons of bad paint and ask if they will attempt to lighten it or add some blue. They will not (insert curse word of choice here). Buy three more samples. Drive home. Apply to house. Call in reserves (mom and sister). They agree none of the three is right.

10. Drive back to Lowe’s. Get four more paint samples. Drive home. Apply to house. None is right. [Drink more heavily.]

11. Drive back to house in Step One but cannot bear to ask for more help. Perform covert op during which you bring paint cards up to house on side and find peeling paint behind AC unit. Take chip of crumbling paint. Vow to return and dab matching paint in said area.

12. Go back to Lowe’s where they will match a small area of paint. Get sample. Paint on outside of house. Listen to Dad repeatedly refer to your sweet little house as the “crack house” – mentally punch him in the stomach. ๐Ÿ™‚

13. Bingo. Drink in celebration. House has noww thritteen diffrnt colors [hiccup], including that damn yellow.

And there you have it. Adventures in homeownership? More like missteps in homeownership. If you see a crazed girl at your local hardware store, picking up dozens of paint cards, comparing them to a picture on a phone, and muttering, take pity. For my sake.

jenn aka the very very ridiculously picky girl