Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Ode to Leaving Well Enough Alone

We’re going to sell our house. And in order to sell our house we need to fix some things up first. Most of them aren’t major, but merely cosmetic fixes that might make our home more attractive to prospective buyers.


Like many other sellers, we’re starting with the bathrooms. If you haven’t seen it, the wallpaper in the front bathroom is positively offensive. Look closely and you will see pale pink and green country heart flowers perched atop tiny leaves and stems and accented with little grey dots. It’s only one step up from a splatter paint effect. The plan was, get a little joint compound to cover the seams, paint over the horrid wallpaper pattern, replace the light fixture, and boom, passable bathroom.

The problem is, once you get me in a room with tools and a bucket of joint compound, I start to get ideas. Ideas that far outstrip my abilities.

Here's how things usually go when I embark on a project. Confident I can do it myself, I dig in, only to find out that I can’t quite do it right so I then begin a series of cover up“fixes” that add up to many dollars and several hours (or days) trying to adequately cover up my shoddy job trying to get rid of something that probably wasn’t that bad in the first place.

The big idea I got this weekend was that, if the offensive country heart wallpaper was going, then the semi-offensive 1989 grey ceramic bathroom fixtures would also have to go. The problem is, said fixtures were built into the wall. The only way to get those down in case you're wondering, is to take a swing at them with a sledgehammer. Once I ascertained this fact, the project had upgraded from idea to impossible to resist urge. The idea had already soaked into my brain. There was no possible way I could have lived another minute with that towel holder and its clear plastic bar. So I shut the bathroom door and started whacking. I don’t know what I was thinking, or if I was at all.

A half hour later, not only did I have no bathroom fixtures, I had five big holes in the wall. This didn’t necessarily freak me out. I have never patched a drywall hole but, being of blue collar blood and having seen patch kits on the shelf in Home Depot, something in my DNA assured me I could do it.

Turns out my DNA doesn't know shit about patching drywall holes.

In retrospect, were the ceramic fixtures that bad? No. Should I have thought longer about the decision to bring destructive tools into the bathroom? Yes.

Now, upon entering my bathroom, a keen eye (basically anyone blessed with the gift of vision) will notice three large puffy squares protruding from the wall. The squares are however covered with a lovely sea foam green color and, quite possibly, will soon be covered by a shelf.

13 comments:

james ford said...

i feel for you especially since you have been to my home and seen the horrible eye-level border in my half-bath i have stared at for five years and in one particularly lengthly episode, decided i had enough and started peeling the border down.

this was a good idea for about twenty six inches and then border refused to cooperate and it's been that way for the last six months.

Steph said...

I took that route in the back bathroom, which basically looks like it's been vandalized.

MsLisaL said...

Been there. Done that. Have the Lowe's receipts to prove it.

ps. Let me know if you want some help. Happy to.

Anonymous said...

in order to sell a house you should not go into expensive repairs. Only keep it nice,clean and neat. But why selling in a bad economy and worst real estate market? good luck!

Nicole said...

Hey Steph:

I keep hearing something about a bad market and stuff. In case you missed it ;)

You better not be leaving the NW. I have pitchforks and torches. I mean it

lynn said...

We can't wait for you to be our backyard neighbors. ;) Good luck selling! Let us know if you need any help.

Steph said...

It might be a bad market for selling but it sure is the time to buy!

Anonymous said...

i bet you enjoyed that sledgehammer regardless! good luck, i'm sure it will work out fine! candi

Anonymous said...

I think it is a bad time to buy too. Just think, if you wait houses will cost more and interest rates will go higher from these historic lows.

... oh it's buy low and sell high... never mind.

Anonymous said...

I dont get peoples comments. If you can afford a house then definitely go get one in this market.

Anonymous said...

It is the time to buy! if you have the money you can rent your home & sell when the market goes up and make good money!

Anonymous said...

Are you leaving your area?

Steve said...

You know you're supposed to sand it down after you patch right? :) I'm sure I'll be talking to you trying to get some pointers soon as I may be embarking in a "fixer-upper" ... YIKES!!