Last weekend at the Woodworking in America conference, I realized that quite a lot of people have been following this blog…because they all asked what was going on with the house. So first, many thanks for reading. And second, a whole lotta nothing. (And third, sorry to be remiss in updating.)
So the picture above? That’s my dining room in its current disarrayed state. I had house guests for the conference, so I hung curtains in the dining room doorways and there was an air mattress on the floor. (Ditto in my second floor study/shop). Plus the actual guest room was in use on the second floor, and my intern is still occupying floor three and the bath up there (tub only – and intern only, per our agreement).
I have one shower. (It seems an important enough point for its own paragraph.)
With winter upon us, an uptick in non-violent crime in my neighborhood possibly depressing interest (lots of burglaries lately – though none here, knock on the plenty of wood I have sitting about) and no evident attraction to my house lately, I’m thinking of taking it off the market and deferring my plan for a “proper shop” (the foundation of any new house, natch) until spring.
In the meantime, I could rent some space nearby for a shop – but that seems silly when I have the PWM shop 12 miles up the road and I’m fairly certain Christopher Schwarz would let me use his shop if need be (it’s 6 miles down the same road).
So maybe, just maybe, I should revert to what was my Original Plan: turn the 17′ x 12′ dining room into a shop. I’d have to put up doors, but that’s not a big deal. What would be a big deal is having to get rid of some furniture that I quite like (though the tabletop could stay – it would fit nicely atop my bench in a pinch).
If I did that, I could address some of the “problems” that seem to be keeping my house from selling – a new kitchen (really, a refreshed kitchen – I haven’t the time, energy or cash flow to rip everything out down to the plaster…but I’m not gonna lie: even I hate the countertops). Oh – and a second shower (though I hate plumbing work). That would involve redoing the third floor, however, which means HVAC in addition to plumbing. And drywall (I also hate drywall work).
Then, if I want, I could try again in the spring to sell it (but no doubt the house I desperately – and some have said foolishly – want will by then be long gone). But if I do all or even half of the above, well, I might not want to move after all.
But I really like having a proper dining room (though it gets used properly but twice a year). I’d be sad to give it over to a workbench – and it would make the first floor … weird.
I’ve also considered adding on off the back of the house a shop and a room (or rooms) above. I’ve even drawn out a sorta plan (but only for the important part – the shop). But that’s A Sorta Fairytale; I don’t think I can afford to do it (I’m also not sure city code would allow it). But if I could somehow swing it, well, I guess I’d trade my cozy backyard garden for a purpose-built shop and new owner’s suite (including shower). But the goal is to get rid of my existing debt, not take on more. A change of that magnitude would, however, obviate the desire to move.
Then there’s doing nothing at all whilst hoping that the stars align and my house sells after all, while my “dream” house remains available. I suspect that’s the route I’ll take – for the short term, anyway.