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April 17, 2009



About the time you think you are "done" with fixing up your house, it's time to do it all again! I'm lucky that my house was well-built, e.g. true corners, but it is showing a lot of wear and tear. Enjoy your improvements!


I've had a brand new home and a few older ones- I prefer the new one but anything up to 30 years old is ok. At 30 you need a roof, furnace a/c- in a new one you need curtains, punch cards for the builder, grass seed, bulbs, as you get older you are more likely to just sit back and relax- Some things are better left as is!!LOL


We have lived in our"new" house for 23 years now. We were involved in the design and were also the general contractors. We lived in a 30 foot travel trailer on the lot when the house was being built. It meant that when we came home at night, we could see any errors or things that came out differently than we expected. We spoke with rhe subcontractors right away, so not much stayed wrong. On the other hand I've been bugging my husband to repaint the interior again for 2 years. He won't spend money to have someone else do it, but we have not had the proper weather and alignment of the planets yet. You were so right to hire a professional for that job.
I love theway you share you life with us. Do you really need curtains for all those windows? I'd only cover the ones where someone could see in at night, but different strokes for different folks.


We think that as long as you have a house there will be something to fix. Our house is 8 years old, we were involved in every aspect of building it and made several improvements along the way. We had it painted outside 3 years ago and is crying for inside paint. We made the mistake of selecting water base paint inside, can't wash walls or clean them, every scratch and every dirty hand is there for all to see. I love your windows and would not cover them, but that is my HO. You could use some sheers for privacy and light filtering. Some people in Florida tint the glasses instead of curtains (I do not like it). Please post pictures when it is finished, after all we have been waiting all this time to see the color.... JCPenney has a wide selection of good ready made curtains at reasonable prices, you can browse at home in their web site or in their catalogue.

Jean Marie

There's always something! I generally prefer a bit older home, if only because I think that there is less out-gassing occurring.

I wanted thermal, pleated curtains for my living room - not nearly as many windows as you seem to have, just 3 windows wide - and found a set that was the size we needed and a color that would work for us at Penney's online site last summer, on clearance so a much better price.

Curtains are mainly straight sewing, so:
Flat sheets (especially sheets on clearance) are another possible source of yardage for curtains - and in large, unseamed lengths should you be looking for long curtains. Depending on how they are hemmed, you might be able to put rods into the hem at the top of the sheet (a lot of flat sheets have a deeper hem at the top, and it may be open on the sides - much like a casing at the top of a curtain).

JoAnn Fabrics might be another place to look - they do have some wider widths in the quilting fabrics although the color/pattern choices are limited. Or something in their home dec fabrics (with one of their 40 or 50% off regular price coupons).


Our house is 150+ years old. We've had some rooms sheetrocked but we've got others that still have horse hair plaster. Our floors are uneven and we don't have great central heat. But we've done a lot of work with new windows, new furnace and roof, etc. I've always dreamed of living in a new home so we wouldn't have these sorts of problems but you've got me rethinking that.


We bought our house brand new and realized we didn't have enough furniture for it. So we slowly filled it in. My blinds were the wood and I eventually planned on adding valances (years later). I think what thru us off was that 4 months after we moved in I was pregnant so a lot of projects I planned on doing myself were put off. I wasn't going to be earning money once the baby was born so we couldnt hire out. I got the dh to do a lot of the work, but 3 years later (after baby #2) he got laid off and it's been financial creativity ever since! We got a bit of money and decided to remodel the house, new paint, new flooring. Well we rain out of money and while my walls and floor are new, I dont have window coverings or base boards. And my appliances are starting to go. I'm happy its mine (or the banks I should say) but there is something to be said to call teh landlord to fix stuff!! LOL

Marti Johnson (aka Sock Queen)

Yes, on occasion you do get to just sit & relax, but those moments sometimes are a long time in coming! We bought a new home being built in our favorite part of the suburbs some 34 years ago, and discovered early on that the builder didn't hire the brightest bulbs in the lightbulb section when it came to building. Sub-standard wood in places, cupboard doors not set straight, short side boards in windows (with the missing wood part filled with wood putty to fill up the gap). I could go on and on about the problems that we're still finding & fixing as time & money allow. Still, it is my home, and several of the rooms are now fixed the way I want them (both are sewing rooms and the other is a guest bath). Eventually, all of them will be re-done and maybe then I can relax. Enjoy yourself making this house your home!


I have mostly lived in old houses. The 2 flat that we shared with my aunt & uncle when I was tiny was so old that it still had the gas jets from when it was gas-lit (before electricity was common) & they still worked (not that we used them). Old houses are much more inconvenient to live in - small closets (& not enough of them) & everything (like doors & windows) is in a non-standard size. But they are just so much more attractive. My daughter's house in a far out Chicago suburb was built the year she was born (1976 - tomorrow is her BD) & has many features that I love - much larger bedrooms & a huge family room with a fireplace. It has lots of windows so it is much lighter & sunnier than much of our house. But the construction is pretty flimsy. If the TV is on (& they keep the volume quite low), you can hear it from any room in the house. And you can hear the sump pump (in the basement & their lot is low so it goes on several times a day)everywhere in the house too, including in the 2nd floor bedrooms. It scared the s**t out of me the first time I spent the night & all of sudden, as I was falling asleep, there was this thumping noise - I was afraid someone was breaking in! Also old houses (at least in the Chicago area) tend to have hot water heat & hew houses tend to have forced air heat. Hot water heat is much more even & less drying than forced air heat but, on the other hand, we have to have separate humidifiers & window air conditioning units (a real pain to put in & take out each year but fortunately my partner does it without complaint.) So I guess it's a matter of what kind of inconvenience you prefer. We love the quiet & good solid construction of our house (even though it's almost 100 years old, the hardwood floors on both floors are absolutely level - when we had the wall between the kitchen & dining room removed when redoing the kitchen, the contractor said that it was because we have foot square, solid wood beams under both the first & 2nd floors & they are perpendicular to one another - he said he had never seen such a well constructed house.) We would love to have a nice sized family room & actually thought about adding a room (& another bath - old houses tend to only have one bath) onto the back of our house (we have a pretty deep lot) but the crashing market in real estate stopped us - esp since we may move to Ca to be near the grands when my partner retires in a few years.

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