Board By Board

In a moment of inspiration, I once grabbed a crowbar and decided on a whim to start a small home improvement project. I decided to start re-siding my house with hardie board and installing insulation in the walls. Now, two and a half years later, I’m finally on the last wall of my house, and I no longer feel inspired. I can firmly say I’m now anti-inspiration. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I need to be inspired to do something, that something probably doesn’t need to be done. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I saved a ton of money by doing the work myself, but that said I likely also lost several years off my life-expectancy due to lead poisoning. People always talk about how well-built old homes are, but in reality, I think old homes are just well armored. The old wood boards I pried off my house were likely covered in so much lead that I could have pawned them off as metal at the scrap yard. They had at least a dozen layers of paint, dating back to the original paint used way back in 1893. 

On a positive note, in the two and a half years it has taken me to re-side our house, I’ve had a lot of time to think about life priorities and core values while climbing up and down a ladder toting hardie board. Once, after a day of much introspection, self assessment, and ladder climbing, I had a self revelation and decided upon the following maxim as my new personal life slogan, “Never start a project you can’t finish in two hours.” 

However, now that we have a child, I’m considering a revision: “Never start a project you can’t finish in twenty minutes.”

15 thoughts on “Board By Board

  1. Sound practice! My motto: “Never start a project when there’s a story to be written or a banjo to be played.” I like to think that our house is the embodiment of this rule.

    1. What, a British/aussie banjo player? You never cease to amaze me. We have the Earl Scruggs museum here in Shelby. Banjos are a big deal around here.

      1. LOL, yes, bluegrass and trad jazz are both fairly big over here, particularly with us older types. There’s even an annual Banjo Jamboree an hour’s drive from me in Guildford. Celebrating things round and twangy for a weekend every September. We’ve been making the annual pilgrimage since 2015.
        I spent a weekend in the company of Jens Krüger a few years ago, my all-time banjo hero and a lovely man. Not many banjos in Switzerland either! These days he lives in NC and can tell hilarious tales of meeting Earl and Bill and all the early bluegrass greats.

  2. Lowe’s wants to send you a discount coupon for your next improvement project for each day you give them free advertising by proudly displaying their house wrap. 😁

    1. That is a good question. I don’t think we could have afforded to hire someone, so I guess we could have lived without it though the paint flaking off was so extreme that it would’ve been embarrassing not to do something.

  3. Coming from a house that has many “little projects” we need to do before we downsize, I can empathize, although my husband could probably relate more.

    All last winter, we kept saying, “That’s a summer job,” but now it’s summer, and the bees have gone nuts, we’ve reverted to “Seems like a winter job.” Maybe soon it will be “Perhaps we should hire someone.”

    But I doubt it. 🙂

    1. I can relate. Sometimes I wait for spring and fall too, but it seems like those two seasons are now so short. We have two seasons now extremely hot and polar vortex.

  4. I mean, I guess it’s better than the maxim, “Never start a project…” Or my husband’s personal maxim, “Never finish a project” 🤣

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