Maintaining your home over the years

13 June 2013
Thanks to everyone who commented on the workshops. I'm sorry, but Melbourne is too far for us to come. I no longer fly and the drive to Melbourne would take us four days there and back. I'm still looking into it in various towns and I'll let you know where we'll be soon.

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Every so often Hanno and I look at our home to see if there are changes we need to make. I was 50 when we moved here so most of the changes then were to accommodate our family and make our home a productive workspace. Now 15 years have passed by and while we've kept up a maintenance program to keep our home functioning and productive, now it's time to think about our ages and prepare for the future.

We both want to live here for as long as possible. We do not want to go into an aged persons' facility or live with our family (as much as we love them), we want to continue to work here at home, safely, and we hope to die here - Hanno in the garden and me at the computer, writing one last book. (The unfinished masterpiece.) To do that we need to stay healthy, make sure there are no safety hazards and do only what we can do now, not what we could do 10 years ago. We're not quite at the safety rails in the shower stage but with Hanno turning 73 this year, I'm guessing it won't be too long. We both have brief periods of dizziness occasionally.

We've decided we have to do something about our front and back verandahs. In the past, the front verandah was for morning teas and pot plants, and the back verandah was for the pets and garden equipment. We both want a more secure screen door on the front of the house - a steel one that can remain open in the hot months while still giving some protection from who knows what. While we were looking into that, Hanno noticed there are some cracks appearing in the front door, so we've decided to replace that too.

Before we do anything, we'll have to rainproof both front and back verandah roofs. We get torrential downpours here and often have water leaking through the roof, both front and back. So the roofs needs fixing and that creates a problem because Hanno can't climb up on there anymore. Yesterday we had a local handyman come around to give us a quote to have some of this work done. We'll probably have him do the roof work and hang the new doors, the other work we can do together.

We've decided that now we no longer have dogs, we want to make the back verandah much more comfortable with some outdoor furniture and maybe a cane lounge. We'll buy all that secondhand. We did get a quote to have the floors tiled but it would have cost a few thousand dollars and we didn't see the value in that. Painted concrete will be fine. We can add a bit of sand to the paint to make it non-slip. When it's finished we'll have an alternative to the kitchen table for people to sit and chat.

This is a big change for us. Having to rely on others to do work we normally would have done ourselves doesn't quite feel right yet but it will enable us to get on with the work we can do. We've always we proudly self-reliant but I guess we all reach a stage when we have to leave some things behind and not feel too much regret. I'm looking forward to the changes and hope we can successfully create an area that's aesthetically pleasing while remaining productive and functional.

How are you managing the stages in your life at home? Are you undergoing the age changes we're starting now, are you modifying for small children or are you still at the regular maintenance stage?

I just found that Kate at Purple Pear Organics blogged about maintenance and repairs this past Monday. Check out her blog as well.