They are the words no man wants to hear. Ever.
“I think it’s time to freshen this place up a little.”
Nooooooo…..!! (echoing endlessly down the canyon).
“Don’t worry, we’ll hire it done. We won’t have to do a thing.”
Every piece of furniture is going to be moved to the center of the room and covered with a drop cloth. Every shirt comes out of the closet. Every can comes out of the pantry. Every picture comes down, every outlet cover comes off the wall, and every curtain comes down. And we won’t have to do a thing.
Is this a great country or what?
But a makeover was strangely necessary. For starters, a whole lot of thoughtful planning when this house was built had become a whole lot of obsoletefulness. (New word alert!)
The woman who built our house in the ‘80s planned it well. Not only were there phone jacks and cable TV connections in every room, some rooms had two of each - on opposing walls.
Moving into the house, we marveled at how thoughtfully planned it was, allowing for lots of flexibility in arranging the rooms.
Further, several rooms had speaker wire built into the walls. There was speaker wire built in on either side of the fireplace. Neat-o!
This place was wired to the max. That included a built-in alarm system with keypads at every entrance, a total of four. As part of the alarm system, there were smoke detectors in the ceilings, and glass-breaker alarms were placed anywhere entry might be gained by breaking out a glass window or door.
Yessir, this place was a well-planned, well-wired fortress.
Now, fast-forward about 30 years.
Welcome to a wireless world.
There are a whole lot of unloved jacks in this place. We still have wired speakers to the entertainment center, but we use wireless Bluetooth speakers more.
And about this intricate alarm system, it’s become nothing more than yellowing plastic parts scattered about the ceilings and walls in every room of the house. Heck, neither of us can even remember when it all quit working.
But… (dramatic pause) should we ditch it or replace it?
We’ve put smoke detectors in every bedroom and wireless cameras and alarms now notify us on our cell phones if something is amiss. But what about down the road? What if we wanted to sell this house? What is the buyer expecting?
I called a real estate friend.
“Take it down,” she said.
I balked at first. While it’s true the system hadn’t worked in years, the wiring was intact and probably just fine. Attach a new system and you’re good as new. And you’re telling me what?
“Take everything off the walls. It dates your house.”
Hey, tearing stuff down is a piece of cake.
Fixing gaping holes in the walls and ceilings is a whole ‘nother matter.
At this point, I would like to thank Al Gore for inventing the internet. YouTube has videos to help you fix almost anything.
Giving your place a fresh coat of paint ought to be easier. It’s hell.
Worse still, as we’re trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, my wife has this insatiable urge to ‘try something new.’
Let’s move the TV to that wall. Let’s try the sofa on that side. Let’s move this chest to another room.
Here’s an idea: let’s go to the Bahamas. And by saying, let’s - short for ‘let us’ - I mean, me. Because next time you want to freshen this place up, that’s where you’ll find me.
I ain’t ever doing this again. Ever.
(P.S. Fax machine for sale. Holla at me, if interested.)