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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Home Improvement Is A Never-Ending Project

Home improvement project always start out small. Usually, the genesis of one lies in something that may be broken or unsightly. Like a gutter downspout that had detached itself from the wall and was banging around in the wind. I guess I could have put a ladder up against the wall and attached the gutter back to the wall.

But my wife saw the gutter as a cosmic sign that a new home improvement project was called for! I don't know how women get these ideas, but, believe me, if you are married to one, you know that they do! So, it was time to call a contractor to ask about repainting the entire exterior of the house. Yeah, a broken gutter downspout is the first sign God sends you that your house needs to be painted on the outside!

Well, one thing led to another, and instead of repainting the exterior, we decided to get the exterior redone with vinyl siding. The cost was much higher, but we were assured that we would never need to worry about the exterior of the house ever again if we got the siding. Well, it was not as if I was worrying myself to death about the exterior of the house when we didn't have siding, but a few thousand bucks is the price of domestic peace nowadays!

Now, the exterior of the house looks excellent, but the interior shows its age by comparison. It is like the story of the two cats hiring the monkey to divide up their cake for them! Every time you do a home improvement project, something starts looking too good, and everything else demands some improvement. But when you improve them, something else starts looking bad, and the cycle continues.

So, over the past year or so, we have done several home improvement projects one after the other. We are not competing with the Joneses, we are the Joneses! The left side of the house is the Joneses, and the right side is the Smiths. The inside walls are the Johnsons and the flooring is the Jacobsons.

One by one they compete with each other for a share of the home improvement budget (which by the way is running a deficit that rivals that of the federal government!). The latest entry in this never-ending charade is the furniture in the house. My wife was a big fan of antique-looking furniture with a somewhat distressed, rustic look. Wooden furniture that showed knots and unpainted surfaces, bronze knobs and handles that looked like they were unearthed from some archeological dig, etc.

But her tastes have changed over time. She now wants furniture from a company called eroomservice.com. The company sells modern furniture, that looks very chic and contemporary. All the furniture comes with a warranty against manufacturers' defects. In addition to being able to order online, they also offer the option of calling a toll-free number to talk with an agent who can take your order.

I must admit that the furniture they sell appeals to my sensibilities. Furniture like this has always appealed to my sensibilities. I am a glass, chrome, and leather kind of guy, who likes furniture with a sharp, contemporary look. I was never really a big fan of antique furniture, but I had gotten used to it. In particular, I don't mind updating our bedroom furniture and dining room furniture with new pieces.

Shopping online for furniture does not enable you to actually sit or lie down on the furniture to figure out how soft they are, or what the texture of the leather is, and so on. But it is much less tiring and requires no driving whatsoever. And best of all, eroomservice.com does not charge any sales taxes on their furniture unless you have it delivered to Pennsylvania. Given the cost of furniture nowadays, that is a big chunk of cash that I can use towards my next home improvement project!

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