Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

The great credit card freeze


In our quest to turn the kitchen into something usable, we got a little carried away. You may recall that our original goal was to get the back side of the house repaired so we would qualify for real insurance, instead of the scary NYPUIA hazard insurance. (The name alone is scary, isn’t it??)

We reached the point of insurability some time ago and have a new, comprehensive policy to prove it. But somewhere along the way we got sucked into all the FUN of renovation, and started spending money willy-nilly to make our kitchen functional and pretty.

Now, it’s very functional – more than I ever imagined – and it gets prettier every day. But it’s also not paid for. It’s the first project we’ve overextended on, and the debt is not too crazy, but it has got us feeling a little uneasy. So a decision was made – until the Home Depot card is paid off, NO NEW PROJECTS. At least, no pricey ones. You know there will always be a project ;)

Time to come up with a list of cheap projects to keep us busy this winter!

  • Finish ridding the house of knob and tube (not cost-free, but pretty cheap)
  • Strip the stairs
  • Replace the bedroom ceiling light and wire up a light switch for it (have the fixture already)
  • Make a transition strip for the kitchen using some of our excess lumber
  • Remove all the leftover carpet staples from the bedroom and office (so very not-fun)
  • Get the wood floors patched and ready for refinishing in the spring/summer
  • Finish jacking and repairing the foundation
  • Finish putting up the kitchen crown molding

Hmmph. That’s plenty to keep us busy for a while.

So tell me, what’s your favorite low-cost home improvement project? And paint doesn’t count, that’s too easy :)

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Jenne had this to say on 01.23.06:

I like stripping woodwork with my heat gun, while having a zombie-like expression. It scares the husband and the dog.

Just Kidding! That’s my least faborite project.
Out of your whole list, I think the foundation stuff sounds the most fun. I like projects like that.

ben had this to say on 01.23.06:

I like dividing and transplanting the shrubs and flowers. But recently I’ve been working on cheap interior storm windows.
Actually it seems like most of our projects are the low cost variety since we too don’t have much extra to spend on the ever looming BIG projects.

Derek had this to say on 01.23.06:

At least you recognize the need to stop a lot of people keep their credit cards maxed. We’re approaching that point where we need to take a break too, so it’ll be back to stripping the trim. The summer jobs will be continuing to strip the stucco off the outside of the house. I don’t know how cheap that will be though, since diamond grinder blades aren’t that cheap.

Anonymous had this to say on 01.25.06:

I’m afraid to start stripping the woodwork because I know I will become obsessed with finishing it a.s.a.p., and will devote ungodly amounts of time to it.

Derek – yes, we’re nowhere near our max limit because I’m terrified of more debt. With two college loans, car loans, etc. we’ve got enough “good debt” – no need for any bad!

Stripping stucco sounds like a pretty miserable project, especially in the summer sun. I don’t envy you. I’m sure it’ll be worth it though!

Sheila had this to say on 01.27.06:

My favorite low cost is replacing outlets and covers. Cinch to wire and pretty darn cheap when you just want plain white.

By the way, we need to jack one corner of our house. Are you two doing this alone? If so, did you find any valuable online links you want to share? It seems pretty easy to me, but we all know, if something can go wrong it will.

Derek Canavan had this to say on 02.04.06:

My way of keeping costs down is to just never actually finish anything. Seriously though, I re-use almost everything. I re-framed a rotted pantry using lumber I milled down from a rotted swingset in the back yard. My old Doug Fir porch floor was torn up, milled and is now going to be mission ballusturs. I have a zero balance on credit cards only because I’ll not do something/finish something, until I can pay for it… hence the 50 year resto! Good Luck… I love that house!

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