Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Could You Handle A Fixer-Upper?

 The idea of transforming a home is quite idyllic. Who wouldn’t want to build a home exactly how they want it, turning something old and outdated into something new and exciting again?

But while you might be impressed with Instagram and TikTok transformations, the reality is that these transformations take a lot of time and effort to put off. It’s an idea you need to be fully committed to, with a long road ahead until you achieve the final result.

Think you could handle a fixer-upper? Take a look at the following to help you decide if it’s the best move for you.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

You’ll need to find the right property

The first step in choosing to take on a fixer-upper is to find the right property. You’ll need to find a balance between a property that has potential, and one you can afford to not only buy but spend money doing the work. You’ll need to think about how much work you’re really willing to do and speak to some experts about what sort of work will be needed.

You can look at some suitable properties at williampitt.com, giving you an idea of what the market is like at the moment and what’s available in your budget. Buying a fixer-upper could help you buy an affordable property in an area you want to live in, so it could be a compromise worth making to get your dream home. 

Be prepared to spend a lot of money

Major renovations cost a lot of money, and you might not even know how much you’ll need to spend until you’ve moved in. The average cost of a renovation can vary, with the median cost ranging from $10,000 - $15,000 in recent years. Saving money on the property itself could help you afford the renovations. You might not be able to afford to do everything at once but the good news is you can take your time.

How much work will you be able to do yourself?

Home renovations are a little more affordable if you take out labor costs. While you may be able to do some jobs yourselves, you’ll need to think about getting in professionals for the more complicated work. The good news is that renovating a house can teach you a lot of new skills that you’ll be able to use again and again.

Can your family cope with the ongoing disruption?

As home renovations can take a long time, you need to be willing to live with the ongoing disruption. If you need to live in the property while you’re doing the work, you’ll need to be prepared to deal with the constant mess and noise! It can be doable and provides you make spaces that are livable while the work is happening, you can make it through. Just be prepared for disruption for major works like fitting the electrics, you never know when you might be left without power or water!

Renovating a property might be a lot of work, but the results can be worth it. Looking at home renovation blogs for inspiration could just give you the push you need to go for it. Does a fixer-upper sound right up your street? Do your research, and soon you could be on your way to building your dream home.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Some Beets .. Beta Vulgaris

 I grew more beets this year.  I didn't have much last year and thought to add more this year.  Although I struggled to  grow them earlier because of the frost, birds, and slugs, it finally  took off  after reseeding twice.  I will try to can  the beet roots since I planted enough to preserve and cook.

Beets are good  source of folate, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. They also contain some protein and a good amount of fiber. Given their rich nutrient composition, beets have some great health benefits so including  in my regular diet is awesome.  I guess not many people  grow beets because  they are a little pricy when you buy it from the store, that's why I love to grow them myself.  

Aside from pickling and cooking, I also love making beet juice.  Hubby and I love  beets.  This is the one that he always request for us to grow in the garden.

According to this book I am reading, Beets are rich in betaine, which stimulates liver cell function and helps keep the bile ducts healthy and flowing so that the body can properly eliminate toxins. Beets also protect against heart disease because another benefit of betaine is its ability to reduce homocysteine levels.
Beet greens are a great source of phytonutrients such as lutein and zeazanthin , these two are are critical for the health of our eyes.  My vision is getting weaker as I age so I am consuming more beets  for that reason.
The roots are sweet so I like it plain, I like   steaming it  and eat it like a dessert.  Great to pair when you are eating steak as well.
Have you ever tried cooking beet greens?  It is delicious when you saute it with bacon, garlic, and shallots.
My Jack Russel Terrier Seems very impressed of our harvest.
Gardening is a continuous learning  process for me.  Every year, I try to grow  different plants  and see if we like it.  If we do and I can grow it well, I keep planting it every gardening season just like this beets.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Newly Arranged Home Office

It is nice to have a functional office once again.  Since we replaced all the flooring in our main floor, everything has been taken down the basement.  It was a hard decision for me coz we have a lot of stuff and I do part time job online so not having a proper place to do it is chaotic. The good thing about it all though is that, I got the chance to rearrange everything.  
I changed the set up of our two computer desks.  Instead of it facing the walls, I put them in front of our big windows that way we can look outside while we work.
It took me a while before I got it all set up but I am glad that it's all straighten out now.  
As a person who love plants, I had to incorporate some plants in the new setting lol.
I got all these plants on 50% off sale at Lowe's .  This is my side of the office.  
I decided to removed all the curtains in the window  to allow  the natural light inside.  I love how bright it is here now.
I also found a budget-friendly hanging basket at TJMaxx which I think matched well with the planters with plants that I got from Lowe's.   These hanging planters are made in India and I was surprised of how cheap they were so I grabbed a bunch of them.
I'm not even sure why these were on the clearance rack but hey, I am not complaining, it was a perfect opportunity for me to bring them home lol.  They are thriving so well at my office so it's a  big score for me.
I set up my husband's stuff on the left side of the office and hanged  some of his certificates and military stuff on the wall.  Since he has been in different part of the world, I thought this world map is a good piece to put on top of his desk.
I eliminated a lot of old files.  I tried buying shredder twice but we returned them as it gave yup on me so easily.  Considering how much it cost, I thought it was ridiculous that it stopped working after just five shredding.  Then we replaced it with another  brand but when I opened it, it has been used so I said just forget it and returned it.
I transferred my avocado into a bigger pot and I think it suffered shock.  I haven't seen a new growth since.  I hope it bounced back.
This mirror was in our eat-ibn kitchen before but I relocated it inside the office that way I could use it when I am doing yoga .   It's also the reason why I changed the setting in the office because I wanted to have a big space in the middle.
I got these two philodendron plants on clearance as well.  I spray-painted these containers that I recycle  so I don't have to buy pots for the new plants.
These plants rows in the wild in my country origin and never thought that I would be buying it here lol.
I love the shape of the leaves but if you pluck them, it smells lol.
This rubber tree is one of my husband's gift to me  for Mother's day.  The other plant that he got me died when i repotted it which is a bummer because I really wanted it to live ha ha.
I have plenty of indoor plants but I don't want to put them outside.  There are so many bugs and insects this year.  I don't want them to get infected.  A friend of mine from Texas  sent me  a lot of indoor plants for my birthday as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

New Look of our Living Room 2021

  I was hesitant when my husband said that we should have our flooring done together with the  kitchen renovation because it meant we had to  haul out everything on the first floor (dining, kitchen, office, family room, and music room).  I also love the wooden floors that we refinished before we moved in here five years ago.  However, the new flooring in the kitchen and family room, that the company  we hired have used was not to our satisfaction so my husband said that we should have it all done so we will only have one kind of flooring on the main floor.  The extra cost and the work that involved in it was what held me up, however, I am glad that we did it.  Now we have one flooring and its leveled. 

I also like the fact that by moving all the things downstairs, I was able to visualize what would be the new arrangement to all the rooms.  Our living room is quite big but the way we arranged it before made it a bit smaller so this time, I rearranged the furniture and repositioned everything. 
this big entertainment was on the other side of the wall before and I  talked my husband into putting it on this side so I'll have a huge wall to put all our photo canvasses.  That was my hidden agenda of agreeing to redo the floorings lol.
My husband doesn't like the way I arranged the photos but I hate measuring so I opt to do free style in displaying photos.
We still have the same stuff in the living room but it looked so different there now because of the new arrangement of the furniture and display.  Now I have plenty of room for my indoor plants lol.   
It looks so much better now that everything is in place.   We couldn't use our first floor for 2 and a half months, it was a pain but glad it is over.
I repositioned the piano and rearranged the music corner.
I think it looks better now that the piano is on the smaller side of the wall. Next room I will be working on is our office so I can actually work comfortably without having to put my laptop anywhere.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Garden projects in Spring

 While our kitchen is being renovated, I did some projects in the garden.   My hands and nails are all tore up from using the garden tools but I don’t really care as long as I can work in the garden 😝.

Anyways, I decided to use the discarded trunk of the crab apple that we removed in the front yard to hide the undesirable part of our corner yard, which is my compositing  corner.   I put all the cut grass there and wood chips that We used as bedding for our guinea pigs.  This year, I thought I’d use it as a planter for my chicks and hens succulents so that’s what I did.

A friend of mine has a lot of these succulents so she gave me some few years ago, it multiplied.
I think that the shapes of the wood give this part of our yard a character.

I found some live moss when I took my dogs for a walk in the nearby woods so I added them into the succulents.  The birds are eyeing on it though.
I also put these gangly dried out vines in there.
Birds like it as the can hop around using those twigs.
Our weather this morning is rather chilly.  Here’s May and we’re still have mid-30s at night.   My vegetable seedlings are struggling.   I am dealing with frost, hail, birds, slugs, and the aphids are thick this year!
Hostas are great border plants, I have few different kinds.  The slugs have been eating the leaves of the small ones.  Deers love them too.
Snow in Summer is a really good ground covering perennial .  The former home owner has few of them before and it grew thicker as I transplanted them to a new location.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Electric, Boiler, and a 🔥!

This home renovation is causing me a lot of stress!!!  One major downside of buying an old house is you’re going to have to upgrade or replaced a lot of things that are slowly breaking down or getting so ancient looking.   So far this is the biggest renovation we are undertaking so it’s not only costly but also taking soooo long to get done.

So while the kitchen Reno is going on, my husband decided to have an electrician replaced the old box that we have in this house.   The project manager that is doing our kitchen knew someone that could replace it on a budget so we hired him so our box won’t be older than my husband (this was built in 1968 and hubby was born in 69).
 We also had Austin Heating Company came to check on our boiler as it stop heating upstairs.  This company has been working on this since January and here comes May and they’re still not done.   I don’t know what the hell is going on but I told my husband we might get shocked by a huge bill that this guys are gonna send us.

But anyway, back to the electric box that was installed.   The electrician worked on it for two days and during those days, our electric was shut off.   He turned the power back on on the first night although it wasn’t finish yet just so we will have lights.   The next day, he finished the wiring and turn back the power on.   He forgot what the project manager told him of not turning on the breaker for the stove as he hooked it up already.  It would’ve a problem though but for some reason one of the knobs of the stove was on and it caught the cardboard and drop cloth they put on top of it on fire.   It was a mess and scary.

I’m just glad that when it happened, my husband was at home already.  I was outside doing some gardening and he was waiting at the basement waiting for the guy to come back as he left to pick up his check after he turned everything back on.  He came out with the burning cardboard and told me to help him put out the fire on the cloth.  Our whole first floor was filled with smoke, I was scared as heck.   My husband did training as a firefighter so he knew what to do.  If I was the only one there. I would have panicked!   Both of my kids were taking a nap that time so they’re the ones I thought of first when I saw the fire.   

I wasn’t able to sleep that night thinking about it.  The reality have sunk in and the fear set in on me.   Although there wasn’t much damage to it, I was bummed out because now my house smells like burned inside ugh.  The kitchen is not even finished yet and it almost got burned down, whew!

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