Saturday, January 12, 2013

Workbench... The beginning

Today, we took the first steps towards crossing off one of the item on the chalkboard "to do" list... The workbench. We ventured out to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. If you don't know about the ReStore, you can read more about it here. Basically, they collect used building materials and furniture and resell it to help fund Habitat for Humanity projects. You can find some great deals there, but you have to go ALL the time because the good stuff goes quick!

Anyway, we found this tall wooden cabinet, and two metal cabinets there today for $25 each! These will make building the Hubster's workbench SOO much easier because now all we really have to do is buy some wood for the top (and maybe peg board) and put it all together. 

Of course, I also found shelves and shelves of surplus spray paint and just couldn't resist. So, the cabinets will actually be a much brighter than intended blue. The color is a little shocking but kind of funky and it really doesn't matter because they will be in the basement anyway. My husband thinks that I am ridiculous for wanting to paint them at all but I can't stand those metal shelves as they are and have to do something to make them a little prettier.

More on the painting and assembly to come!

:) A

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chalkboard Plans

The chalkboard that I made for the boys has seen some action lately, but not from the kids. My dear husband, who was not on the chalkboard bandwagon when I began planning the gift, has actually found himself using it as a "to do" list.

As you can see,  the boys have already added their artistic touch to the border. The first thing on our list is a work area for the basement to try to get some of the tools organized before we start tackling the basement finishing. (Fingers crossed it stays dry). I have been doing some searching to try to get some inspiration to help my husband design his dream work area and have been inspired by John Petersik's organizing on Young House Love here

I have to admit, the pictures that I have found on other searches just haven't wowed me. (Maybe it is a boy/girl thing). I am trying to convince him to check out the Habitat for Humanity Restore to see if we can find some cheap used cabinets to work into the design to hide some of the junk. Or maybe even a cool old door to pick up cheap as a table top. I am not sure why I am trying to make it look pretty... 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thinking about building a new home? A little advice (#1)

The whole reason I started this blog was to tell the story of how we built our house and how we are turning it into a home. Let me just start by saying that we love our home. It has given us exactly what we needed, space, solitude, energy efficiency... BUT there are a few things that you should know, or a least consider, before making the decision to build a home.

One of the main reasons that we decided to build was that we couldn't find anything we wanted to buy. Also, we happened to come across an affordable development, with MOST of the things that we were looking for as far as location, and a builder that built houses we LOVED. So plus, plus, plus, right?

First piece of advice: if your location of your newly built home only has "most" of the things that you love, make sure that you are okay with settling and going without the things that it doesn't have. In my case, I was moving farther from the water, which is something that I tend to gravitate towards to help calm me when I am stressed or upset.

Our old home had a great state park which is an island in the bay that was within walking distance (under a mile). I spent many an hour or two exploring the woods, the rocky beach, crying, seeking solitude by sitting on the old weather beaten benches overlooking the bay, running the path around the island, etc. This island was my "go to" place.

The new home does not have this wonderful feature (I know, I was COMPLETELY spoiled before). But what it does have is a state park about 4 and 1/2 miles away with access to the ocean. As a result of the move, my runs have gotten much longer (@8 miles) just so I can see the ocean. Maybe this is a perk?

Second piece of advice: don't let them tell you that having a "new house" will take all of your home maintenance worries away. Since buying the house we have discovered that we have to put in an air mitigation system (pretty typical in our area for new construction). Also, I am constantly looking for moisture in our basement. Apparently you have to wait at least a year to find out if your basement has moisture. One of the things I am counting I is being able to remodel the basement into a playroom. This will be an issue if there is moisture In the basement. There are other things that I worry about but I don't want you to think that I am totally neurotic, so I will stop there. Just to be clear, new house does not equal the end to worry.

Third, and final, piece of advice (for today): find a builder that you trust and who does work that you like. If you are someone who wants a craftsman home, but your builder typically builds something else, it may be a good idea to keep looking. Our builder was able to give us great advice on design and finishes as we went. Even though we didn't go with (couldn't afford) them all, the ideas were great and got us thinking. On top of that, our builder is a great guy who we could talk to easily, who listened to us and wanted to do what was right and best for us, and who has continued to help us out when things pop up (see Advice #2).

So, my wrap up for today is location, honest expectations, and trusting your builder, are key to knowing when, and if, you should build a new home. More later!

Happy decision making.
:) A

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!

Happy New Year to All!
Looking forward to many new and exciting days ahead!

To start 2013 off on the right foot, I started a new page, 365 Days of Happiness. It is literally a growing list of things to be happy about and enjoy. Check it out! The page tab is to the right.

:) A