Home Renovations

Early retirement is a time to rework our priorities. For most people, managing with less money and more time becomes a preoccupation of sorts. There is time to do many things we enjoy, but we have less money to indulge in them. On the other hand, while we have less money, we have more time to invest in cost saving ventures.

There are many ways to save money, if you are so inclined: home cooking, gardening, vehicle maintenance, and the ever popular home renovations. Most people have at one time or another been swept away by the call of paint or wallpaper, possibly new flooring or even a major landscaping project. A stroll through Home Depot or an hour watching the Home and Garden channel makes it appear easy and satisfying. Who couldn’t create a new set of cabinets with the help of a table saw and a good router? My guess would be about ninety percent of the living population, including myself.

There are some truly questionable home renovation projects out there. Wallpapering without removing electrical plates? Painting without taping around windows, doors, ceiling fixtures, and the like? Replacing eavestrough, without adding a drain pipe? They are out there and exemplify the difference between a successfully completed project and a renovation fail.

Tools are a crucial part of any project, and there is always a right and several wrong ways to use them. Ladders are a basic for most projects, yet people tumble off of them on a regular basis. There is a three point contact rule for ladders, use it. Be sure the ladder is anchored correctly and move it as often as required. Likewise, do not grab a running drill by the bit, operate an electric saw without a safety guard or use a grinder without proper eye protection. The proper tools can help bring a successful and professional completion to any project but they must be used correctly and safely. Read the instructions and follow them – especially when using a tool that you are not familiar with.

I do not anticipate investing a lot of time, or saving a lot of money doing home renovations when I am retired. Over the years, I have learned that paint, wallpaper and caulking are not my friend. Tape is definitely not my friend. To be honest, I am not on particularly good terms with tools, either. However, for anyone so inclined, retirement can be a great to tackle those home improvement projects, to save you money and to give you that sense of accomplishment you may be missing since retiring.


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