I’ve got procrastination nailed down
Never rush into a home improvement project.The way I figure, if I live with something unsightly long enough, I wont notice it anymore, sort of like Willits. Once I can ignore it, the desire to do something about it evaporates.Thats why there still is a wall of green-striped wallpaper edged with a floral pattern in my bedroom, along with curtains left over from the Ottoman Empire. Apparently, the former owners of the abode thought such decorative flourishes would help sell the place. In reality, we bought it despite the decor by Kitsch & Co.Our resolve to remodel the interior disappeared faster than the balance on a Lowes gift card, which was fine by me, since, having remodeled one bathroom, I knew all I ever wanted to know and more about the wax ring that lurks beneath a toilet.Plus, most of our home projects wind up in a suspended state of incompletion, giving me something new to ignore. New hotels in Aspen go up in less time than it took us to agree on paint colors in the kitchen.The new baseboards under the kitchen cupboards were free-floating pieces of wood for at least a year before we finally reached the stage where they could be painted and nailed down. Even now, two pieces still are resting in one corner, slightly askew, because their attachment hinges on the completion of another piece of the project.With one of the best snow years in memory upon us, I was aghast at the thought of tackling something else that would take us away from what is truly important skiing but a more reasoned voice than my own figured it was time we did something about the other bathroom before the rotting corner of the floor gave way to bigger problems.We tore out most of the fixtures with a deadline a house guest with whom wed be sharing the guest bath if we didnt finish.We didn’t finish.I had visions of having to squat over the hole in the floor where the toilet used to be, which sounds all European, but wasn’t all that fun there, either. Instead, we managed to install the new, porcelain throne in time, as well as a sink. Actually hooking the shiny, new sink to the aging pipes beneath it will require a masterful bit of plumbing, if not an actual plumber. Naturally, the drain in the new sink doesnt line up in the same spot the old one did. This goes without saying, if you know anything about remodeling.Personally, I think we should relocate to the guest bedroom permanently and let guests use the bathroom with the nonfunctional sink. Well keep it there for show, sort of like our fireplace.They cant complain about the toilet, though. We went for the one capable of flushing an entire bucket of golf balls, according to the manufacturer, because you just never know.Plus, its extra tall. Since Im extra short, Ill never again have to do ski conditioning class-style squats in the bathroom. Im thinking this will prove the quintessential home improvement as I grow old, whether I take up golf or not.While the bathroom remodel remains in a state of semicompletion, Im wondering if I should move on to the hideous wallpaper in the bedroom or backtrack and finish the work in the kitchen, inclined as I am to ignore both projects.In the back of my mind, Im grappling with the ultimate home-improvement quandary: How much work do I want to do on a home that was delivered on wheels if our ultimate goal is to have someone haul it away so we can put a real house on the lot?On the other hand, if I ignore it long enough, Ill forget I ever thought we needed to replace the house.Janet Urquhart is in charge of quality control and grunt work. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sean Beckwith is taking advantage of his column space this week to inform the public of the Best in Jest.