I started 2022 with a long list of projects that needed doing. Some were minor and I managed to knock them off one by one as the months crept past. Others – some electrical work, replacing the well filters, the gut and redo on my bathroom, and maintenance on the exterior trim work – were all things I opted to farm out to more competent hands.
The painters, at long last, were here yesterday. It wasn’t a particularly big project, but it involved a level of detailed effort and agility atop a ladder that I’m decidedly not able to deliver. Still, it was badly in need of doing. All the front windows needed recalked, the steel lentils above each window and the garage doors needed to be scraped, primed, and repainted, a deeply weathered wooden door frame needed a bit of patching and a fresh coat of paint, and lastly the iron pipe that keeps the generator fueled was beginning to wear through its original battleship gray.
I’m working from the assumption that all of those bits, except for the last one, probably haven’t been looked after since the house was built in 2000. The previous owners gave it good bones, but as they aged, it was obvious basic maintenance was let go. I’m told that’s something that tends to happen with older home owners. God preserve me from living through such a fate.
I’ve slowly worked through taking the multitude of deferred maintenance problems in hand. It was an impressively long list that included fixing the entire drainage scheme for the back yard, bricking up an undrained window well, replacing the furnace, clearing the shrubbery that at one time grew in the gutters, and a whole host of other smaller efforts. It’s taken the better part of eight years, but I’m pretty much done with the things that were on my original list.
Aside from keeping up with the preventative maintenance now that it’s caught up, there’s the large and growing list of new projects that I want to take on. The air conditioning condenser unit is 22 years old. The carpet in the master bedroom and sunroom is warn and approaching tatty. The kitchen could use a bit of a refresh. Before long the roof will reach the end of its service life. Those are just the known projects. Rumsfeld’s unknown unknowns are always lurking out there waiting to spring a surprise bit of home repair on me when they’re least expected or wanted.
I haven’t formally decided what’s next. If I can keep the air conditioner blowing through one more season, I’d like to take on some worrisome limbs that overhang the house and trees that have grown a bit too close. That’s probably the top of my wish list for 2023. Well, that, or really getting someone in here who can diagnose why my gutters suck and giving me a plan to fix them once and for all.
As it turns out, the vast array of projects as a homeowner never actually ends, you just decide at some point to take a break. That’s absolutely where I am now.