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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!


Our houses need renovations.  This is a function of getting old (the houses, the houses).  One is more of an historic home in the city, the other (“the dacha”) is newer.

I’m coming to the conclusion that they’re both old.  And maybe they think the same of me.  So there.

Where do I start?  We need everything from floor to ceiling, and a whole lot inbetween.  The hardwood floors in one could be resanded and resealed.  The severely-stained Berber carpeting (that can be steamcleaned to look decent for about 12 hours and then go right back to the big Rohrschach blots) and hodgepodge tile needs to be removed and color-coordinated throughout in the other.  Both exteriors need to be fixed-up here and there, and painted.

Shall I go on?  The dishwashers sound like freight trains upon occasion.  One has a fence, the other has a wall that needs some repairs.  We could add-on in one house, now that our family has grown to six, or expand by taking over part of the attic in its counterpart.  Painting the interior is a possibility, yet with dogs in the vicinity, I don’t want them to sport the paint-splattered look….

We have neighbors who have moved out for a year or two at a time to do rehabs so extensive that they couldn’t even live there.  Smart people.  I’m concerned that if we did any massive rehab to our houses, we might need to be in rehab ourselves by the end.

If you had time or money to do any of the above, would you do it in one fell swoop?  Would you break it down into smaller projects and have the plaster, paint, and sawdust circulating forever and ever?  Or would you just leave well enough alone, enjoy the sags and bags, the wear and tear, and realize that the pursuit of perfection might be an ever-moving mirage?




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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Winnie says:

    We have lived through several remodeling projects, some BIG, some small, most DIY and have lived in the house through all of them.

    My personal opinion is to hire a reliable contractor and move the heck out and do it all at once if you can afford it. We have never been able to afford it, hence the DIY aspect of our remodels. We once showered in a baby wading pool in the basement for over a month while our bathroom was torn apart (luckily we had a 1/2 bath for other functions). Don’t put yourself and the kids through that if you don’t have to!

  2. avatar Linda says:

    My husbands a painter &decorator, so small things like painting the house he can do himself. It just takes so long for him to actually get started. Our last project was to paint the living-room, it’s done now, but it took about 2 years until he started. Now I’m waiting to see how long it will take him to actually do the stairs and the kitchen… 2-3 months or years??
    Our house is 7 years old, so it doesn’t yet need anything big done on it, but if I could choose, I’d rip out all the tiles in the downstairs toilet, change all the floor downstairs and hallway upstairs, paint the kitchen, guest room, stairs, the outside of the house, change the entrance totally, build a garage and storage and much more. Think it might just be cheaper to build a new house. =D

    • avatar admin says:

      Sometimes, Linda…. I know what you mean. We’ve done a lot of renovations on houses in the past. One was a five-week project that turned into five months. The workers became extended family members and we exchanged holiday gifts, lol….

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