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Fixit Fever #MoneyPit #HomeRepair #FixerUpper » Jolana Malkston
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Nov 022016

Macho Guy declared he was bored. There is nothing more alarming than the sound of those words. They signal that he had run out of hobby projects, and that usually means I have to drop what I’m doing and go with him wherever because he just has to get out of the house and do something.


Not so this time around. Instead, he cast an eye at our thirty-eight-year-old raised ranch home with that something needs fixing look of his. I could feel the old house shake with fear. What was he going to do to it now?

MG walked the lot and then came inside and walked the halls, eyes burning with purpose. It was clear that MG had fixit fever.  The old house and I could even hear the wheels turning.

Backsplash envy started it all, the catalyst for the great overhaul as it were. A neighbor couple at the lake moved to a condo, needing to downsize. They remodeled the condo’s kitchen, adding a decorative skinny tile backsplash that would make the designers on HGTV proud. Both MG and I drooled over it, but MG took it a step further. Instead of driving straight home after our visit, MG drove us right to the floor and tile emporium our friends had patronized.


We looked at tile pattern samples, trying to picture how they would look against the quartz countertop and maple cabinets. We couldn’t agree of course, but we finally settled on three that MG liked and I–well, never mind. The were all in dark color combinations similar to the counter. A lighter sample caught my eye and I grabbed it on impulse. It turned out to look better than all the rest when we got them home. It also turned out to be twice as expensive as all the rest. ::gulp::

We went back with a chunk of leftover countertop to compare to more lighter samples that we hoped would work and be less expensive. No joy. We bit the bullet and ordered my first choice. And then there was the labor charge. Cha-ching! We had a month’s wait before the tile could be ordered and installed. It will be installed some time next week.

That is probably why MG got restless and contracted that ol’ fixit fever. He had to do something in the interim. After all the years we’ve spent in the lake house, he finally decided we need to replace its old, worn, unattractive room and closet doors–and the front door that is practically all glass. I will be thrilled to see that door gone. It creeps me out late at night, especially if I’m home alone. An axe murderer could see inside the house from the road, smash through the glass, and hack me to pieces! ::shudder:: MG dragged me through several box stores to look at doors. We haven’t selected one yet.

MG then decided we needed to light our curved driveway better so we and visitors could see better to drive in and back out at night. The motion light at the top of the driveway wasn’t enough. He hired an electrician to help with extending power to the spot a lamppost would occupy. While they were at it, he had the electrician rewire the attic exhaust fan according to code. And while they were up there, they noticed the dearth of insulation–only six inches, way below code. No wonder we were chilled in winter and roasted in summer. Our old house hung its eaves in shame.


So, this past week, we had more insulation installed in our attic. Things were moving along very smoothly until one of the installers came in from the garage and said, “We have a problem.” He opened the door to the half bath that is right off the garage, beckoned us over and told us that his coworker’s foot had slipped off an attic beam and his foot went through the ceiling. We looked into the half bath and sure enough, a slab of drywall was torn and hanging down from the ceiling. O joy. Scenes from “The Money Pit” flashed before my eyes. One of the workers who specializes in drywall and painting came out and did a great repair job. I can’t see any difference from the rest of the ceiling. ::sigh of relief:: It’s nice to know we’ll probably be a lot warmer this winter, and we’re going to get green rewards from the power company and the government.


Replacing the doors will no doubt be next on MG’s fixit hit list, but I have noticed him giving our old carpet that “I’m getting rid of you next” look. That’s fine, as long as he doesn’t give that look to me.


  2 Responses to “Fixit Fever #MoneyPit #HomeRepair #FixerUpper”

  1. Jolana, I’m laughing because your MG is so typical of retired guys. But how lovely to have all those improvements done. Enjoy!!! And let us know what his next FixIt project will be.

    • Loralee, in addition to putting the lampost in place out front, MG had the lampost and the small lighted lighthouse on our dock put on timers so they would light up at sundown and turn off at dawn. He always goes the extra mile. 🙂

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