YA (Young Adult) has always had ideas about what our house needs: new cabinets, updated electrical sockets, new fence, a deck, new carpet on the front porch. You name a room, she can reel off several projects she thinks should be undertaken. I’m sure if we ever won the lottery, she would have half of it spent on home improvement before I could even cash the check!

So it didn’t surprise me last summer when she started talking about adding a tiled backsplash in the kitchen. Not wanting to take on a project like that, I resisted. Finally she suggested that SHE would do the backsplash.  I still resisted; as a single mom I’ve heard the “I’ll do everything myself” promise many times.

It took a few months, but she finally convinced me this was a good idea. She did all the research, had a list of supplies in-hand when we went to Home Depot, borrowed the requisite tools from our handyman neighbor, watched videos on Youtube and got all set up.  She did the whole job herself except for moving the electrical boxes out a bit to be flush with the new tile, which I handled.  She didn’t ask for help at any point along the way.

Now, heaven help me, she wants to paint the kitchen cabinets!

What household repair would you like to outsource?

20 thoughts on “Backsplash”

  1. nice job ya
    good job letting her go vs
    painting thecabinets?
    i can understand wanting to get that white enamel finish on those oak cabinets but im not sure i needmore time to think

    outsourcing tasks?
    come to my warehouse or i can bring 100 hats or 1000 sports coats to you for photography and posting online

    household work
    replace stove top and oven
    fix toilets where tank doesnt seal right
    clean filter fish tank
    change oil on car 1st of every month
    do wood floor in family room and living room and tile in kitchen and dining room spit and polish (carpet gets done already but wood and marble dont)

    let ya start on the list
    new carpet on front porch is a good one caroet remnant 20 or 30 bucks and it feels great

    Liked by 2 people

      1. that was a 60’s pendelton classic l learned to appreciate from my grandfather who passed down the hat gene
        theres a particular name for the coat that willcome to me in a minute
        and thanks for the compliment


    1. well in thinking about it painting over beautiful oak is sinful she should strip and restain a lighter color
      great learning experience

      i think the difference between jacques exterior latex and my enamel suggestion my only be the finish
      enamel is a gloss and no one puts a gloss as an exterior paint finish


  2. Rise and DIY Baboons!

    Hey VS, let YA go on the cabinets. I have done this project. Get Sherwin-Williams exterior latex housepaint–that stands up to lots of wear and tear.

    Meanwhile, we have a kitchen re-do in the future that will definitely be outsourced. While we were away this winter, the mice invaded the kitchen drawers after we left, and the mice had a party. I spent the first day home cleaning that up and washing everything in the kitchen.

    I believe I have mentioned before that I loathe mice. Still loathe them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Caulking. I hate caulking. I need to re-caulk in the kitchen (getting behind the kitchen faucet is dicey) and the bathtub needs it. I wish I understood if it’s our bathroom or the tile or how our shower works or some other evil force at work – it seems, even when I do outsource it, that we have to re-caulk in the bathroom far more often that one should need to.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a deal, VS! Does she hire out? (Probably not to Winona.)

    I’d have someone knock the plaster off two sides of the chimney that juts out into the kitchen – have the exposed brick. If not hired out, this probably won’t happen in my lifetime. I’m sure I can think of others, be back later.


  5. When I knew I needed to leave my Saint Paul home to relocate in Oregon near my daughter and grandson, the big challenge was to sell my home on good terms. A leading retailer agreed to help but she cautioned me that I would not get a good price unless I improved the home. Because of my various health issues, that would be truly difficult.

    As most of you know, that’s when a band of angels from this blog site descended on my home. Day after day those folks cleaned, organized, painted and did other projects. I also paid a crew do some more complicated projects.

    My home was on the market for a day when I got two offers that exceeded my asking price. I finally sold it for $11,000 more than the top price the realtor thought we might get. That would not have happened were it not for all the hard work done by my Baboon friends.

    Alas, the buyer turned out to be a man who always meant to bulldoze my home and build something much grander on the site. The home he built is listed for nearly a million dollars.

    I’m left with one of those complicated emotional issues that test our souls. I loved my home and have been in grief since hearing it was destroyed. I could weep in bitterness at the waste of all the loving care my Baboon friends donated. The walls they washed and rooms they painted were reduced to rubble.

    But that isn’t my response. The proximate goal for all that work was to raise the value of my home, and that happened. Their labor was not in vain. I am left with beautiful memories of the generosity and patience of people who were better friends than I deserved, friends who stood with me at a difficult moment and did something wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve found the silver lining in an emotionally difficult situation. I just feel sorry for the man who was unable to appreciate your old house and was deluded enough to believe bigger, newer, and shinier is somehow better than small, old, and cherished.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good job YA! VS, good on you letting her do it. That first big hurdle of learning that you can do something yourself is pretty cool. And such a huge source of confidence that you can build on for years to come.

    I just out-sourced a plumbing project. Got a new water softener and water heater. I installed the last ones in 2000. But now days, they don’t ‘sweat’ (solder) copper pipes anymore. They have this fancy ‘crimper’ thing. Heck, he even had a battery operated cutter so he didn’t have to cut it by hand. (It wasn’t ‘fast’, but it probably spared his wrists / shoulders from the twisting, cutting motions.)


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