August 18, 2015

An inexpensive upgrade: A new toilet seat!

You wouldn't think it would be that much of a change, but life has improved significantly with the installation of this new, soft-close toilet seat. Before the update, we lived like barbarians with a slamming toilet lid. I don't know how we put up with it for so long: the careful closing of the lid, the unnerving slamming of the lid! Awoken from a peaceful slumber by your partner groggily slamming the lid shut! We lived like ANIMALS!

I read somewhere that you're supposed to replace the toilet lid every couple years. That seems a little often and wasteful, but every few years or so makes sense. It's like a new toilet, one that doesn't smack closed. Pure luxury for only $16!!

March 6, 2015

2015 Already?!

I can't believe the last blog post for the Manor was in December. The Master bathroom refresh is complete and the rough-edge shelves are awesome. We are enjoying the clutter-free arrangement and lighter color in the small space! There's nothing like freshly painted bathroom baseboards!

I have been thinking about our home-renovation philosophy and always having a project going. We have a master plan that involves a porch conversion, and a few more large scale landscaping projects that I'm chomping at the bit to get done. House/garden projects are my favorite creative outlet, but lately I've felt a the need to dial back the big $$$ projects. There are two reasons: the first is that it's probably foolish to spend all one's money on home improvements, and more importantly: it's also unwise to invest so much into an asset that isn't really appreciating. Comparable houses in the neighborhood are selling for way less than we bought our house.

I'm fine with being a little upside down or flat in value. We didn't buy the house as an investment really, but rather a place to live. But it seems silly to pour every spare dollar into a house that has flat (at best!) value 7 years after purchase.

Part of launching the blog was to keep track of the improvements to the property, to see how far we've come, and to loosely keep track of the time and money we've put in. And it's been a lot. The roof, kitchen, fence, front landscaping, front door, patio, insulation, security system, exterior paint - we're talking thousands of dollars over the years (not to mention the blood sweat & tears!)

Most years, we have a plan for what projects we're saving up for. For 2015, we're switching gears. We're maintaining everything, doing a little garden work, but not spending the moolah. We can continue with the upgrades that don't cost anything and keep them more in line with what the neighborhood and markets will support.

Ongoing posts will consist of less hammer and nail kind of stuff, and more posts of things like: flower arrangements (yes, I'm a sucker for those!), garden edibles, plants that I dug up from one part of the yard and replanted in another (a favorite free hobby), and hopefully clutter clearing projects.