A Bit of a Fixer Upper

We purchased our house sixteen years ago with no idea that we would be here this long. We looked about fifteen houses and none of them were quite right. Bathrooms were too small—one didn’t have a shower, one has a ceiling so low that my husband couldn’t stand up in it. Kitchens were actually hallways and not just galley kitchens. Our favorite house didn’t even have a kitchen. The house was owned by antique collectors and even the kitchen had been outfitted with a Hoosier cabinet, a butcher block, and an ice box, none of which would come with the house. We couldn’t afford the house and be able to outfit the kitchen with cabinets and appliances.

And then we found our house. Parts of it were built around 1900, and it has been added on to in fits and starts since then. There are at least ten different roof lines. It has hardwood floors and high ceilings throughout. The rooms are large and the windows are big. We have done a lot of work on it. We completely gutted the upstairs and removed plaster and lathe and paneling and carpet. This project had a lot of surprises. When we opened up one of the walls, we discovered that part of the roof was supported on a single two by four. I have since learned to ask my husband what surprise we could find when we embark on a project.

While there are a lot of features I love: the flooring,  the lights, the idiosyncrasies (the hill and valley in the hallway), and the locations, there are some upgrades I wouldn’t mind. I love our small town, but it would be nice to be closer to Lake Michigan and to have a little more land. I don’t think I would like a longer commute for school or groceries or work.

We do have two ‘living rooms.’ One is downstairs and has a couch, a love seat, and a couple rocking chairs. The other is upstairs with another couch and the television. Both of these rooms are great, but it would nice to have a rec room for the kids to build forts in and whatever.


This is how the living room looks quite often. Good luck finding a comfy spot to read a book.

We have a Michigan basement (which basically means the ceiling is low, it’s damp, it’s dirty and you don’t want to keep anything worth saving down there.), so it isn’t a place to hang out. It’d also be nice to have a place to put the exercise equipment. My treadmill has been in the living room and it now in the kitchen. My husband’s spinning bike is in the living room upstairs.

I would also completely update the electrical systems in the house. Much of the wiring is very old and the configuration is very old. One of the bedrooms only has two outlets which isn’t convenient in our electricity dependent age. In the kitchen, we can’t run the microwave and the dishwasher at the same time without the breaker tripping.

And as Patty suggested, self-cleaning!! I have discovered that there are so many things I would rather do than clean my house. Writing, reading, sewing, running, watch the grass grow, watch videos of other people playing video games (I find this exceedingly boring)… the list goes on and on.

So my dream house isn’t much different than my house with a few upgrades.


About Joselyn

SAHM writing romance with at a case of the giggles. Former librarian. Avid reader. Runner.
This entry was posted in Miscellaneous and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to A Bit of a Fixer Upper

  1. jeff7salter says:

    After my Air Force hitch was up, we returned to our hometown and lived in my grandmother’s old house [she had to moved to a trailer behind my parents’ house.]
    That house had NO closets anywhere except a “reach-in” closet in the master bedroom.
    ONE electrical outlet per room… period.
    Floor furnace. UGH.
    Your house sounds interesting, with all those roof angles. Yeah, I can well imagine you’d find all sorts of surprises with a structure of that vintage.
    What type of HVAC do you have now?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joselyn says:

      We have a newer natural gas furnace. It was replaced before we moved in. The upstairs is well insulated now, but we can feel the wind blowing through some of the walls on the first floor.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeff7salter says:

        the family farm house, where we lived for some 15 months before we built our own place, had what I called “singing windows”. The wind would make little tunes as it came through the invisible cracks.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Videos of people playing video games? I thought I wasted a lot of time online, but THAT never occurred to me to watch.
    I love looking through older houses, but I agree with the need for electrical upgrades. Our house is “only” twenty-eight years old and there are places where more outlets would be helpful. Hope you’re eventually able to make some of the changes you want!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds WONDERFUL! You have plenty of room, then. My husband has never been one to enjoy any type of remodeling or much of any type of work around the house. He’ll put together bookcases, but whenever I wanted shelves put up, painting, etc., I had to do it.Now, I can’t do much any more with my lousy body rebelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’d be nice if you could have more land and be closer to the lake buy not have the extra commute.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: A Bit of a Fixer Upper | Joselyn Vaughn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s