These healthy relaxing treasures (spa, outdoor fire and patio set) would definitely modernize our little urban oasis in the city, and improve our marriage. To explain, I am a remodel addict — all self-inflicted. I was never like this before, but after buying a 1920's bungalow in Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood, the updates were numerous. We bought in '05 and then the remodel bug hit me hard… no harder, really. You might need a hammer, well, I'll tell you the story …
Upon moving in, I worked with a contractor and updated our antiquated kitchen. But to my wife's dismay, I didn't stop remodeling. After watching some home improvement shows and reading books, I built raised garden beds, a curvy brick path and a trellis over a 70 foot long wall of river rock (yes, seventy ft. x 5 high), then a petite room addition, and a deck.
Just a word to the wise, if your realtor is using the word "potential", you might just reconsider what's involved. After 3 years of remodeling, my wife had had enough. "Nothing works in an house except the owners!", she said sharply. During a home improvement show once, she yelled, "Bob Villa has got to be stopped! He needs a 2x4 in the back of the head." In my defense, she has her own gardening addiction with native plants and bird habitat, but a happy wife is a happy life, right?
Anyways in my defense, there were just too many deals on Craigslist!!! After feeling brazen from my earlier successes, I kinda converted our large shed into a back yard cottage (BYC). My friends donned it: The house that Craig built.
However, Craigslist was not my only resource. I work for myself, and also trade my skills. I traded website work for cedar wood with a local lumber yard to feed my cravings. While I had always hoped to use the cedar for an outdoor sauna or spa, "potential" trumped pleasure. Instead, I used my cedar credit in shingles on the BYC and decking.
While I did not get my beloved spa or sauna, the cedar shingles look amazing on the BYC. In fact, our cottage with tulip-leaded windows was recently featured in Governing magazine [link: http://www.governing.com/topics/economic-dev/seattle-looks-cottages-affordable-housing-options.html (see pics #7 & 8) in their series]. Per your contest rules though, only our photos are attached to our entry, and we have many more.
In counseling, I have agreed to stop remodeling and start enjoying healthy activities like … hot tubing, hosting guests around the fire and enjoying slow food at the table on our patio (to be). I hope you agree.
One last question though, "Honey, have you seen my This Old House magazine?