Note: I wrote and scheduled this post before Coronavirus changed our lives. I decided to post it as is for my own future reference. Not sure yet how the tanking economy will impact our renovation plans.
As promised, here is list of home-related and other wants/needs that need prioritizing.
1) Tile the bathroom – $64 to $131 for 1 box of tiles, plus installation cost. A small bathroom is not normally a desireable thing. However in our case this allows us to splurge on higher-end tiles.
2) Sidings for house exterior – $5,000 Our home’s exterior paint is only three years old, so sidings are definitely a want. We are thinking of only adding front siding to save some bucks.
3)Backyard landscaping – $1000+? Our backyard is basically an uneven lot of dirt and weeds. We want to grade it with quality soil, level the terrain and add some gravel or pebbles. We may need to build small steps and a low wall. I would like to plant two trees; my husband is pushing for three. Update: We decided that one tree is enough.
We hope to cut costs by furnishing with second-hand finds and doing the design ourselves. But frankly after hours of scouring Pinterest, we still end up with uninspiring and awkward designs. Now I understand why good landscape designers can command big bucks.
4) Front yard and porch – $800? The most important thing for us is to make it a drought tolerant space. We also want to install a pathway from the sidewalk to the front porch, which could also use some improvement. We don’t need to buy a ton of plants since we already own a lot of succulents. Update: Porch alone will cost $900 for labor plus lumber. Ugh!
5) Garage door repair – $1,000? Our ancient garage closes on its own due to rusty hinges. My husband has gotten several quotes but we are debating manual versus electric with a remote. Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind getting a manual door if it saves a lot. I just wonder if this will be difficult to open when we get older.
6) Awnings for back patio area – $3,000? We need coverage if we want to enjoy the patio area and limit sun damage on our outdoor furniture. The problem is that there are so many options. Retractable or not? Sails? Awning with wires? Or should we suck it up and just get a large patio umbrella? Update: Bought umbrella for $200.
7) Two gates and a fence – $1,000 I grouped these together because they are all related to perimeter security. One gate is not closing properly; one “gate” is a currently a piece of heavy wood; one part of the back fence is ridiculously low (due to sinkage or leaning) and needs to be strengthened somehow. Update: $1,100 for gate repair.
8) Electrical work – $500? Our exterior outlets stopped working. I would also like to move one of the bathroom outlets, but that is purely a “want”.
After writing out this list, I realize it looks like we won the lottery or came into a large inheritance. While those things definitely did not happen, we did enjoy a bit of financial luck. Not enough to put us into the top 10 or even 20% or to quit working, but we were able to put down a larger down payment and still have leftover funds for renovations.
I also admit that we are sort of in denial about the money we need for retirement, medical bills, and the special needs trust.
What big items are on your wish list? What would you prioritize if you were me?