Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Handy Man

Ralph Waldo Emerson said "A man builds a fine house and now he has a master, and a task for life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days." We did not build our house, but it is certainly our master in many ways. We are extremely proud of our home, and try to keep on top of repairs as well as planning for future updates...seems like there is always a repair or remodeling project on the horizon. It's wonderful, and economically a great benefit, to be married to a man who can accomplish almost any home-related task.

Today's blog is a salute to the handy man...specifically my sweet husband, Wally. He has tackled so many remodeling projects in the past few years that he deserves a posting all his own. Wally is the master of home repair, and is not afraid to tackle any project, big or small.

When he first retired, Wally remodeled our outdated basement into an extraordinary man cave. The biggest part of the project was the update of the cinder brick fireplace, which covered almost an entire wall from floor to ceiling. He did a fantastic job by covering the brick with drywall and cement board, added a beautiful tile surround to the fireplace opening, and then installed a gorgeous wood mantel around the tile.

We love our remodeled basement

Two years ago, Wally completely remodeled the master bedroom. We slept in the guest room while he gutted our en suite bathroom down to the studs, pulled up the flooring in two rooms and installed a new wall in the bedroom. He replaced drywall, installed a new shower, hung new cabinets, and replaced all the fixtures in the bathroom. He also created more useable wall space by replacing our huge bifold closet doors (which were a bear to dust) with an efficient pocket door. He prepped the bathroom for installation of Marmoleum (which we love) and, with the assistance of our son, installed gorgeous Pergo flooring in the bedroom.

Big changes to our master bath and walk-in closet

Last year I blogged about my handy man's big project, the pièce de résistance as far as remodeling our home is concerned. He did a masterful job of opening up the wall between our kitchen and dining room. This completely transformed the space and turned the kitchen into warm, wonderful gathering place full of natural light. We love it! You can read all about it here.

Our favorite place in the house

This year we decided to paint the house. Like all projects do, this one mushroomed just a bit! We had been thinking about new garage doors, and decided the timing was right for those, too. Our house was built in 1969, so there were plenty of repairs for Wally to accomplish while he prepped the house for paint. He replaced damaged soffits in at least five areas, most of them while working up high on an extension ladder. We had decided early on to replace our deck railing, but did not decide to replace the decking itself until much later when we discovered some damaged joists. Husband and son came to the rescue again by replacing the damaged stringers, tearing out all the old decking and installing new composite decking.

Love it!

Thanks for all your hard work, honey, it is (and will be) MUCH appreciated!


  1. Wally is a prince! And you my sister, are a princess --you designed and planned these projects with Wally and did a lot of work yourself (do you still have paint in your hair?). Love the idea of Wally & Scott doing so much together, too.

    Ed asked me to relay his comment: "If I was lucky enough to be retired, I would do similar amazing projects around our house. " He also asked that we not quote this back at him when he actually does retire.

  2. Wow he is quite the handyman! You're a lucky girl!