All The Way Home

Every now and then I descend into this fantasy where I buy an old home with good bones but that in serious need of repair. I dream of lovingly restoring it and turning it into the beauty that it should be. And then I remember that I'm lazy and hate chaos and that my guy is not handy (but is great with dishes) and the dream pops. But it'll continue to pop oh, probably forever (kind of like the B&B dream but then I remember I suck at small talk and generally prefer books to people).

But should have a similar dream David Giffel's All the Way Home: building a family in a falling-down house should probably go on your TBR list. Giffels is a journalist by day, DIYer by night. He's DIY'ed his starter home to the point where there's nothing left and his family is growing. They need more room and he needs a new challenge.

He takes that challenge to the extreme when he and his wife Gina purchase a literally falling-down mansion. As in between the offer and closing it was almost condemned falling-down. There were plants growing inside it and holes in the roof. To say it was a fixer-upper is an understatement.

No, Giffels and his wife are not rich. The house is being fixed up very slowly, aside from the initial work that had to be done with contractors in order to get past that almost being condemned thing.

By times I found it overly descriptive and occasionally got frustrated because I wanted to get back to the "action" of man vs house but I'm sure that's mostly just me ("patience" is not my middle name). Did it inspire me to buy a real fixer-upper? Um, heck no. It scared the pants off me. There's a lot to be said for that "I Can Do It" attitude. And it did make me ansty to do something. I found myself looking around the apartment thinking, "Hmm, the walls in the living room are kinda dark, we could paint them....".

If you are looking for another story of DIYers I refer to the blog Whimfield. The house they are fixing up is pretty close to my hometown and it's a far less scary story than All the Way Home. Go back through the archives and read it from the beginning.