When I was a kid, right around Thanksgiving we would get the Sears catalog in the mail. Back then there were a dozen TV stations, not hundreds so there weren’t tons and tons of commercials from which to glean you holiday wish list. If you were like me, it was through the catalog that you could begin creating your list for the holiday gift season. The latest train set, or Panasonic cassette player; Barbie’s newest car or Easy Bake Oven, you made your list and handed over to the powers that be. So in honor that nostalgia, I’m going to create, in no particular order, a holiday wish list as if I were… your home.
- Carpeting. As your home I want you to know that you can re-carpet for as little as a $3,000 to $4,000. You know our carpet is starting to look kinda worn; it’s turned black at the edges of the baseboards and stairs and it’s even buckling in a couple spots. And remember that place near the dining room table that Sasha the cat threw up last year? Well, it never really did come clean…
- Paint. It’s been 7 years since my last face lift and red dining rooms are looking just so, turn of the century. I hear gray and taupe are new hot colors… If that’s too much, how about the just the front door, the trim and the garage door? Our chain opener is leaving a black discoloration right down the center of the roll up garage door and the paint is really looking shabby and faded; even the shutters are peeling…
- Ball Valves. I know how you like those practical gifts so how about you replace my valves? Those are the plumbing knob thingy’s under every faucet and at every toilet. When I was built the valves used were the screw kind that you had to turn all the way to shut me off. The new ones only require a quarter turn and are much less prone to leaking, especially important when we are away on vacation.
- Variable Speed Pool Pump. Yes, it’s true we hardly use our pool anymore, but that’s all the more reason for us to get energy efficient. A new variable speed filter pump costs around $1,000 but will pay for itself in less than a year because the old pump you’re using is like a 10 MPG 1975 Oldsmobile Toronado, just sucking energy and costing you thousands in electric bills unnecessarily.
- Dishwasher. Now that the kids are all gone, you hardly wash dishes more than once a week but the dishes just don’t come clean after sitting all crusty in the dishwasher until it’s full enough to run. It costs around $1,400, but the Fisher Paykel dual drawer dishwasher lets you wash half a load. It saves water, adds value if you sell and is soooo quiet, you can still hear them game when it’s running!
- Tankless Hot Water Heater. At this point, it’s only a matter of time before we’ll have to replace our old water heater anyway, so why not start saving now? Being that we live in a desert here in California and we’re in a period of drought, think about all that water you waste every morning while waiting for the shower to get hot. Remember back in the early 90’s when you had to use a bucket to catch all that water just so you could water the roses? Remember 3 minute showers? What was it the kids learned at camp, “If it’s yellow it’s mellow, if it’s brown flush it down?” If you had a tankless, you would have instant hot water saving gallons daily, plus you would save on the gas bill because you wouldn’t have to heat up that whole 50 gallon tank just to have hot water.
- Windows, Doors, Door Knobs, Faucets. OK, maybe these are kind of like asking for the $4,000 electric Corvette from Neiman Marcus, but dual pane windows sure would be nice. Not only would you save on energy but when Harley and Velma start their shouting match next door, we wouldn’t hear them! And nothing looks quite as modern as new 6 paneled door with nice new handles. Gold may make a comeback someday, but I’m not holding my breath and those crystal sink handles? They’re looking seriously grodie too… Delta makes some pretty sweet faucets that won’t break the bank… just sayin’…
- Wifi Enabled Light Bulbs. Pleeeez? They’re are soooo cool! They only cost around $90 per bulb, but they change colors and you control them from you iPhone. You can create a museum quality lighting experience for all different times of day and seasons. Pleeez?
- Epoxy Garage Floor. Come on Bill… you know you want it. You’re out there puttering every weekend. You’ve got all those baby food jars with every screw size imaginable but you’re always having to use the shop vac to clean up that dusty concrete floor. Imagine, with an epoxy floor you could instead, mop it up! Just think of the possibilities!
- Drip System for the Planters. This is really a stocking stuffer, but with the drought and all… it would be way better for our water conservation and besides, have you looked at the sprinklers lately? You’ve been spraying the side of the house for years. The stucco is discolored and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have dry rot and mold by now!
So there you have it, your home’s holiday wish list. Not only will you enjoy these changes, but you’ll save money and add value to your most important asset. Winner, winner turkey dinner!