I love my house, in all its 92 year old glory. Yet I am realizing that a relationship with a house is like a marriage. If you don’t work at it, it falls apart. Didn’t I read somewhere that 7 years is like some kind of bump in the road for marriages, like if you make it to 7 you either get divorced or go on for another 20. Well, the house and I have hit that 7 year mark and I am a little worried it wants a trial separation.
You have to understand that when I say 92 years old, I am not talking about one of those gems where you strip off some paint to find gorgeous mahogany underneath, where the lot is vast and the ceilings high and glorious. Nope. I’m talking about 92 years in east end Toronto. Rumour has it our streets were once a bit of a ghetto for the factory workers of the east end docks.and portland. No stained glass and expensive wood here, folks, and that’s maybe why I love it so much. Our house is sturdy and bare bones, practical and strong, just like my ancestors! But now, it is showing its age.
My loving partner is not a handyman, as you may have guessed by his moniker. Muppet does not exactly conjur up visions of a do-it-yourself kind of guy with a wrench in one hand and a hammer in the other. He is much more at home sculpting clay action figures of Plants vs. Zombies for the Monkey or teaching Mini Me and his buddies how to play Dungeons and Dragons. Total geek, totally not handy.
But this summer, I’m putting my foot down. If we don’t look after this poor old house, it’s going to fall down around us sooner rather than later. So, where to start? Well, there’s the front porch that desperately needs replacing, the back mud room which has to be drywalled, insulated and tiled, after a flood last year that left the old drywall stained and crumbling. Then there’s the upstairs bathroom floor with its loose peel and stick tiles, the kitchen with its scuffed peel and stick that is about 5 layers deep. Oh, and the two toilets that need to be replaced with low flow before the city forces us to put in the new water meters. Sigh.
Oh, and did I mention that hiring somebody to do all of this for us is totally out of our budget? Yep. Let the games begin! Maybe I should start submitting our poor old house to some of those home improvement shows that will take pity on you and do the stuff for free? I wonder if I can convince Mike Holmes that he has to ‘make it right’ around here.
The fun starts next week with the mud room and I am going to document the hell out of this because I’m sure it’s going to be a crap load of frustration and hard work but this is a relationship worth saving. We’ve invested 7 years and I want to do whatever it takes to get over this hump. Wish me luck!