|Just after I painted the door--we've since added a lot more plants in the front|
Let's get the bad out of the way first, shall we? Sadly, this place has seen what our home inspector termed "Years of marginal renovations" so there are far more than ten things that drive me nuts about it. Even if we were super organized & highly ambitions do-it-yourselfers, I doubt we'd ever get to all of them. Here are the ten that I think annoy me most. Ten things I hate about my home:
|'Before'. No 'After' yet: still looks the same. :(|
- The kitchen. From what little research we've done on the place, we think the kitchen was renovated in 1969, when they built what was probably a back porch into an enclosed addition. Other than some terrible paint jobs & a couple of appliances maybe ten years ago, it hasn't been changed since.
- The loo. Notice the singular: the fact that there is only one is a problem; the pink & white tiles with hideously stained grout are another issue. Also: it's only about 30 feet square, which is honestly the size a closet should be.
- The flooring. Who in their right mind installs WHITE flooring in a bathroom, entryway & kitchen? Seriously? How in the world can it ever look clean? Also, to the 'handy' do-it-yourselfer that installed the hardwood in the 1/3 of the living room that probably used to be the dining room: you suck. The lovely straight lines of the rest of the narrow oak planks contrast ever so well with the off-kilter ones you put in. Sigh.
- Our rotting deck. Who decided that a thin layer of battleship grey paint was going to hold off the elements here in Raincouver, particularly when the roof over half the deck has no gutter? Also, this deck used to be the roof of a carport that was enclosed to a garage. For some reason I can't fathom, the deck is about four inches higher than the floor of the house, making for an awkward tiny step in the threshold of the doorway. Lastly, the 66-year-old wrought iron railings are horribly unsafe because any child under about 12 could fit through the bars.
- The moulding around the front door. To the genius who thought he'd save money by using some interior MDF moulding he had sitting around: you also suck. Also, could you not have just mitred the ends off at 45 degrees to make the top corners properly?
- Carcinogenic neighbours. How is it that BC has a smoking rate of 15%, yet 100% of the homes surrounding us are peopled with smokers? It drives me nuts that I have to breathe their smoke during the summer when our windows are open.
- A dearth of closets. The place was marketed as a four-bedroom home. However two of the 'bedrooms' are tiny & do not have closets. There's no entry way closet or pantry. We've got a tiny one in Sprout's room, an okay sized one in our room & a skinny linen closet. That's IT for the whole upstairs.
- Ridiculous plumbing. For some reason, the pipes that supply the upstairs bathroom seem to take a scenic route around the house, meaning that we have to wait at least two full minutes to get warm water in there. We also have constant issues with sinks backing up downstairs.
- The lack of natural light. One window in one (the tiniest at about 7'x8.5') room faces South. The living room has no windows along the longest wall & the one there is faces North. As a result, we need to have the lights on in there even during the day or it's too dim to read.
- Cheap 'wood' panelling. Gawd I hate that stuff & it doesn't look that much better when painted.
|Tomato harvest! Top: front garden. Bottom: sun deck 'garden'.|
- Our garden. I use 'our' very loosely here, as I do none of the maintenance work in it. I helped shovel most of the dirt into it & I built the wooden part of the raised bed in the long veggie garden in the back yard, but pretty much everything since then has been Oliver's domain. Anyway, I do love making dinner with things we grew ourselves. I also love it when Sprout snacks on a tomato or two when we're on our way in from putting the bikes back in the garage.
- The original fir floors in two of the bedrooms. I'm a major sucker for softwood flooring & this stuff is in great condition considering it was likely original to the 1946 house.
- No wasted space. We don't have any long hallways or awkward corners (well, except in the kitchen cabinets).
- Colours. The outside of the house was an olive green when we bought it, which I like. Then I painted all the exterior doors a bright cherry red to contrast.
- Location, location, location. We live in the neighbourhood we want to live in. We don't need to own a car & can easily walk or bike to tons of great shops, cafes, restaurants, or three of Vancouver's newest community centres. There are tons of fabulous services & amenities in the area for young families, like the Mount Pleasant Family Centre. Here's our WalkScore, if you don't believe me.
- The ol' mortgage helpers. We couldn't afford this place without having two basement suites. Gotta love Vancouver real estate. Yes, we could have saved ourselves a quarter million by moving out to the 'burbs, but see #4 on this list for why we didn't do that.
- Our skookum hot water heater & furnace. (I know, sexy, eh?) We took advantage of the Eco-Energy Retrofit grants to do green upgrades, replacing our super-sketchy furnace & lame hot water tank with shiny new super-efficient versions that use much less gas & electricity.
- No carpets. Okay, I know I've talked about floors a lot & complained about the white tiles & the wonky hardwood, but they are easy to clean. Our floors have survived a numerous er, 'protein spills' from babies, cats & drunk adults at a kegger.
Using the 'solar dryer' on the diapers & airing out the tent.
- Our large sun deck. Yes, it was on the hate list too, but I have to admit, it's pretty awesome to have over 300 square feet of outdoor space just off the kitchen in the summers. We've got our big ol' chest freezer out there; we use it to barbeque; Sprout has half his ride-on toy collection, a swing, water table, pool & sandbox out there.
- The fact that it's mine. Okay, ours. Well, more than half of it is, anyway. & eventually we'll pay back Vancity for the rest...
What do you love or hate about your home? I'd love to hear it in the comments below...
While I'm at it: if you've read this far, could you possibly head over to Circle of Moms & vote for The Sprog in the Top 25 Canadian Blogs? Just click on the badge over there →
You can vote daily, by the way. ;)
Why Monday lists? Reading the lovely Chloe's blog, Tea Swamp Park, I found an idea I had to 'steal': a list of all her Halloween costumes, with quite a few photos. She got the idea from Hula Seventy's List Project. I've decided to do the weekly lists for a year that Hula Seventy is doing.
Tea Swamp Park & Hula Seventy are not the only ones doing lists, however. Click on the Listicles badge to the left to check out NorthWestMommy's list & 'assignment' for next week.