Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Ramblings of an Occasional Perfectionist

With such a wonderful house, you may ask, what problems could there possibly be? It must be well constructed to have survived close on 125 years now. Well, the answers are many, and about as numerous as the problems that arise.

When we purchased the house, it had the typical deficiencies of an older home, including an out of date electrical system, a poorly designed and installed plumbing system, little insulation, and the like. It did have a modern high efficiency forced air furnace and air conditioner, a fairly well equipped kitchen, reasonably up to date decor, good condition roof and eaves, and excellent condition brickwork, interior walls, and floors. The property itself had been reasonably well maintained, was fully fenced, and featured decent gardens in both the front and back yard.

All in all, the house has been well maintained over the years, probably as a result of relatively few owners (we are the 5th owners actually), and the initial high quality of construction.

In the long term, I want to bring all the mechanical systems of the house totally up to date, and also completely gut and install a new kitchen and main upstairs bathroom, and completely finish the attic as our master bedroom. Many of these jobs I will undertake either completely or in part by myself, for several reasons. First, I am a perfectionist, and I like things to be built or fixed properly, such that they are both aesthetically pleasing, and won't ever require re-doing. I don't like my electrical boxes out by more than a millimetre, and I really don't like half assed solutions that take half the time of doing things properly. There is a reason I am a big fan of Holmes on Homes! Second, I don't think it is money well spent to hire a contractor at an expensive rate, only to have them do your project as quickly as possible to maximize their profit, especially when I am quite capable of doing a better job myself. Finally, I do take pride in the work I do, and I am satisfied knowing what I have done well be around for a long time to come.

(more to follow)