Our home improvement has evolved beyond the expensive necessity of maintaining structural integrity to making our house a home that is a joy to live in.
Three years ago on Thanksgiving eve, while checking the progress on a 17-pound turkey smoking in our Big Green Egg, the deck outside our French doors on the second story dropped 6 inches as it separated from the house. We soon pulled it down before it fell down on its own. It sat where it fell until about a week ago when we cut it into manageable chunks with a DeWalt circular saw and a Milwaukee Sawzall so a friend could haul that dreadful memory away for us.
By the way, the turkey and I survived. It was delicious.
We could not immediately replace the deck because our aging house was afflicted with more serious problems starting with the most pressing, replacing the siding. Next on the list was replacing a leaky roof. In the interim, I had to replace (not repair) my transmission. All expensive, all blocking our way to the improvements we wanted to do rather than those we had to do.
Finally, we are able to replace the deck with one about twice the size that will be properly supported and attached correctly to the house. If the weather cooperates, we should have it by tomorrow night. We are all anxious to return the BGE to it’s rightful throne just a few steps from the kitchen.
And those few steps will be a lot prettier soon as we finish installing our new flooring. We cleared a path by knocking out a couple of walls that bear no weight and did nothing but break up the room. We lost three electrical outlets that had nowhere to run to as the wall came down. An electrician safely relocated a couple of light switches for us.
After tearing out the carpet from the living room and hallway, old laminate from the dining room, and linoleum from the kitchen, we spent last weekend on our hands and knees prepping the subflooring to install our new laminate floors.
My wife and I know is going to be worth it in the end, but it was agonizing work for this sedentary middle-aged couple. I’m not going to speak for Julie, but it took me six days for my bruised knees and aching muscles to recover. That doesn’t count the scabs that are still healing. I’m not sure what curse of the work afflicted my hands, but they felt like they belonged to someone else for days. It still feels weird to make a tight fist.
Mental Note: I’ve never been particularly athletic, but come on. Ironic that athletic nearly rhymes with pathetic. I really need to get back in shape.
Today, we are eager to lounge on the new deck coming our way. If I close my eyes, I can already smell the charcoal and hear the sizzle of filet mignon hitting the grate at 550 degrees. It’s going to be delicious.