I don’t know about you, but I love watching all the home improvement shows. From Mike Holmes to Bryan Baeumler, and Scott McGillivray to the Property Brothers, I watch them all. But never in a million years did I think I would end up putting the knowledge I’d gained to good use.
You see, my sweetie was in charge of our home improvements, but like the shoemaker without shoes, while he focused on keeping his company afloat, the home fell behind. Way behind!!! Then two years ago he passed away from cancer.
At first I numbed my pain by enclosing myself in a protective bubble but I quickly kicked my ass out of that rut, as I needed to be strong for my sons and set a positive example. And it doesn’t matter that I suffer from Crohn’s Disease, I’m teaching my boys that it doesn’t matter what life throws at you, you keep moving forward. So hello World, I’m back!
While walking my dog I glanced at the roof of my house and noticed that it had no snow on it. Then I remembered Mike Holmes saying to check the attic for insulation. I did just that and found absolutely none. Zilch. Nada. I made sure to spray R60 value of insulation up there.
That little tidbit of information that Mike Holmes gave me was empowering. If I could do that with the help of my boys, what else could I do?
Even with the insulation in the attic, my son’s bedroom (which is over the garage) was freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer. And the upstairs hallway floor (which is over the overhang of the front door) was freezing. Excited and ready to tackle our next hurdle, we took down the drywall in the garage and the siding above the front door and found the vapor barrier just sitting on the wood. We sprayed 2-pound foam. Now all of upstairs is warm.
Since then, we have:
Replaced the original 20-year-old front door as it was cracked and snow and wind would blow in. (No more stuffing towels against my door.)
Replaced our furnace with a high-efficiency furnace.
Got rid of my hot water tank and installed a tank-less water heater. (These suckers are amazing!!!)
Installed a retractable screen door so that most of the summer I have a cross breeze blowing through the house, and don’t have to use my air conditioner.
My son, who is an apprentice commercial electrician, replaced all the lights, inside and outside with LED’s, changed the housing of the lights, replaced the grommets; the ones that were there would crumble in his hands as he took them out. He also updated the sockets and light switches.
Replaced the paper window coverings (Walmart cheap solutions) that have been there for the last 20 years with simple blinds.
Raise the small spots where the interlocking has settled with gravel.
Order a large stone step for the front entrance, as the step I have is not the right height and not to code.
Either caulk the eaves troughs and downspouts or replace them with ones that match the bricks and are wider.
Have all the furnace runs sealed as I can feel warm stops when I walk on my floors and check the vent that goes upstairs, as there is a spot on the wall that is also warm.
Get an engineer to see if I have to underpin for a walkout and connect the drain to the catch basin. Start stockpiling supplies (Drywall, lighting, tiles) to renovate the basement. (Intentions of renting on Airbnb.)
So thank you to Mike, Bryan, Scott, Jonathon and Drew, from this huggable (I’m sticking to that description) Italian mama, for gifting me the knowledge to make our lives better. But more importantly, for instilling the courage that was needed to move forward and make my boys proud of me.