Resolutions Schmezolutions – i.e. Home Quest 2010

Ahhh….so it has come to pass – the dreaded “New Year’s Resolution” time.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not really big into making New Year’s Resolutions and I’m especially not interested in “publicizing” them either.  So we’ll keep the personal elements of New Year’s Resolutions resolutely…ahem…personal and instead focus on the pad, the domicilio, the homestead….da HOUSE.

If you are a loyal follower of this blog, then you no doubt are aware of our Quest and the ensuing semi-conclusion of said Quest.  Indeed, our initial Quest was pretty ambitious, especially since we only had a timeline of about 3 months from the time of inception to conclusion.  Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor did it burn in a day, but that’s another story!  But we feel pretty darn good about what we managed to accomplish throughout our whole 5.5 months of living in our house in 2009.  But it’s 2010 – a whole new year, new era, new decade….you get the point.  What kinds of things are on our To-Do list this year?  Since I’m all about organization, let’s categorize them, shall we?

Der Blog-in-stein

So we started a blog?  Now what?!  Well, I have to say that we have been pleasantly surprised with our random uptick in readership – hey, people are starting to like us a la Sally Field!  We were even nominated as a “best Home Design Blog of 2009” from  I mean, like…seriously??!  Thanks to that random trio who votes us ON to the island – sheesh, we’re all verklemped and stuff over here!  Head on over to the link above and you can vote for us.  I mean, we’re nothing if not shameless self-promoters, but that’s okay – this is our turf….and we’re pretty darn stoked about our three votes!  We’re still not in the same league as some of our favorites like YoungHouseLove, AllBowerPower, or even MakingThisHome, but one can dream, right?!? Hey, whose to say we couldn’t be like them…we’re smart, we’re funny…and gosh darnit, people like us!  Well, three people like us…we like being liked!  But I digress…

Our goal for 2010 with the blog is to just get our name out there a little bit more.  We’ve registered with a few sites, but we’re out to do more.  We’d like to polish the site up a bit more, make it more user-friendly and we would *love* to be the one house blog out there that shamelessly promotes the usage of power tools and be able to empower a motivated homeowner to really take their house to the next level.  Anybody can do decor, but can anybody teach you how to use a power tool?!  We want to be those really weird bloggers that encourage people to really get out there and flex your muscle!  Nobody said you had to have a college degree to operate power tools, but a little know-how certainly never hurt anybody!

We’re also brainstorming ways to give away “freebies” from our little bloggy-blog and reward our awesome readers with some promotions.  We don’t want to be all about the giveaways, but if we could get around to doing one or two this year, then that’d be super-duper!  Outside of that, we’re just looking to up our readership and make people feel comfortable talking about silly things like Jigsaws, color theory, and decor – all in one easy to manage site!

And, more importantly, we want to hear about your projects, too!  If you have something that you’ve done at home that you’d like to share, please let us know!  We would love to do a little write-up on it and get you published to the masses (pictures, please!).  I mean, who doesn’t love a good Before & After Bliss, eh?

Hey, You Tell’Us – what else would you like to see on the blog in 2010?

The Homestead

Most importantly, though, we want you to stay tuned for the real meat and potatoes of our blog – the good ol’ house projects!  Here are a few projects to whet your whistle for the New Year and keep you coming back for more throughout 2010:

  • Replacing a Hot Water Tank (yes, this is a DIY project)
  • Installing a central AC unit (another DIY project???)
  • Installing a Garage Door opener (DIY?  Yup, that one, too!)
  • Gardening and sprucing up the yard
  • More molding and crown molding projects throughout the year – ooooh….Dr. J can’t wait for that one!
  • Changing some floors?  Wish list 2010!
  • More painting projects!
  • And many, many more….

I mean, those don’t sound like a lot, but let’s be honest – we have a lot of things we want to do, but we do have to be budget conscious!  And, in fact, you can bet your bottom dollar that if you’re worried about us being all “fancy-schmancy” about our house projects, we can assure you we aren’t!  We’re just as cheap budget-conscious as the next person and willing to break our backs in order to have a beautiful home….that philosophy will never change and we hope you’re in agreement with us!  Let’s break our backs together!

But, seriously…You Tell’Us! What other projects should we put at the tops of our list for the year 2010?  What would you like to see a House Blog do that House Blogs aren’t doing yet?!  You Tell’Us! Come on, now, don’t be shy!


5 thoughts on “Resolutions Schmezolutions – i.e. Home Quest 2010

  1. Well here’s our experience:

    Replacing hot water heater – easy if electric, slightly harder but still manageable if gas. Practice soldering until you’re good or get the solderless connections with flexible pipe. But why are you replacing it in the first place? Is it leaking or just in-efficient? Right when we first moved in our water heater quite working and we found that for electric you can just buy replacement coils for $10! If it’s leaking and it’s fairly new spend the money to get a fiberglass tank so it can handle you’re corrosive water. Otherwise just get the highest efficiency insulated metal tank because they are built to only last 10 years or so (no need to waste money on a fancy tank if everything inside fails).

    Installing central air – Do you have force air right now or are we talking ductless systems? I actually design HVAC systems for a living so I might be able to help. Leave a comment on my blog if you’d like some advice on this.

    Installing garage door opener – Can be DIY but the spring is a huge pain in the ass and can actually be very dangerous if you’re not careful. We just had two new doors & openers installed and we found that it was the same price to buy them ourselves than it was to hire someone to do this for us (since they get discounts on doors and openers). So I’d look into that. Also check out the opener manufacturers website they sometimes have good install info. One even has a step by step illustrated video that is very detailed…I can’t remember it of course.

    Gardening – I’ll be doing the same thing this year!

    Anyway, what is your overall plan? Mainly cosmetic stuff beyond what you have listed above? Because the most cost effective thing you can do is insulate. We re-insulated our attic last fall (going from R-10 to R-48) and we recouped the cost in a just a few months. We also just redid our HVAC system, added gutters, and did other winterizing. All of which is saving us money right now so we can have more to remodel with later. It’s all about energy efficiency! Fixing old door seals, replacing leaky faucets, and putting plastic over inefficient windows all make a big difference.

    Good luck with all your 2010 goals!

    • Holy Long (and informative!) post, Batman….errr….Robin!

      Thank you so much for all of the tips – hence all of the question marks on our DIY projects ;-). The Hot Water tank is definitely leaking and you are uber-right on the whole corrosive water thing. More on that later when we get around to it, but we definitely have been researching our little tails off not only to replace the hot water tank (and it is gas), but possibly put in a whole house water filter, too. Who knows if we’ll get to that this year – that plan is still in the works! But, absolutely, our water is not kind to our tank, hence why it’s leaking – boo!!!

      We have forced air and everything is “set up” for AC, however it just wasn’t installed when they built the house (along with the garage door opener – what gives? But thanks for the heads up on some advice! Somehow I think we’ll be contacting you anyway! YIPPEE! More fun bloggy-blogs!

      Does gardening send shivers up your spine as much as it does me? Sheesh – we’re just not the best gardeners, so it should be interesting!

      Thanks for stopping by, Robin! We will DEFINITELY take your thoughts to heart!!!


      • We’d love to put in a whole house water filter too but first we’re going to focus on replacing our broken water softener. I think that’s the main problem so we’ll tackle that first and go from there.

        Sounds like the previous owners left you a bunch of projects to do! How old is your house? Ours was built in the 70’s and the maintanence issues were really starting to pile up. It’s amazing what people learn to live with instead of just fixing the problem.

        And yeah, I’m not a gardener at all either but we have a lot of overgrown flowerbeds. The original owners were avid gardeners who put in lots of great raised flower beds but the second owners let everything go wild. So we’re focusing on one flower bed at a time. This year I’m focusing on our front flower beds which are mostly in the shade so that makes things even more difficult. The two most important words for me are: perennial & native. Less watering and no replanting! But you probably have more plant options in OR than I have in WI. Can’t wait to see what you end up planting!

        P.S. I think we need a picture tour of your house!

      • Hi, Robin!

        You are in luck! We actually have a picture tour of our house here:

        And you are right – the previous owners were not the best caretakers in the world. The house is only 5 years old, but the property was a rental for 4 years, then foreclosed and trashed in a hurry, and then sat vacant for 8 months. Needless to say, that can really wreak havoc on a house, lemme tell ya! You’ve actually given me some great inspiration for future post writing (a la what-is-our-house’s-history?). Can you have history in five years?! I say yes!!!

        Thanks for stopping by!

  2. well I tried to vote…..guess it’s closed – you are my fav blog… xo

    ps J could have *squeezed* a few more comments into the note….perhaps by the time he’s 50 he’ll know where to put a stamp (sigh)

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