Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Home Improvement Goals for 2012

As we look ahead to 2012, my husband and I always talk and sometimes dream about the things that we want to accomplish in our home. It is always a subject that takes much thought and prayer because when you live in a home that you don't intend on keeping for the rest of your life, you must evaluate what is the most important and which will add value to the home. As American home owners in Germany, we must be extremely cautious on how we update our home because we know that in a few years, we will probably leave this beautiful place and we don't want to break the bank before we do! All that being said, our #1 home improvement for 2012 is a Viessmann heating system with Solar Panels. This certainly won't make the home any more beautiful, but with everyone going "green" we feel we need to jump on board.

Our current heating system works just fine, however the energy efficiancy leaves much to be desired. When we put our home on the market, we want a new heating system with solar panels to be a HUGE selling point!

Now on to the dreaming of our home improvement goals. Last year we had 4 estimates for French doors that we will use to replace our 2 very large sliding doors that go from our living area onto our balcony. I love the image below, however in German homes, we have rolladens, which are amazing, but it doesn't allow of all open windows like the one below unless you have taller than a standard ceiling. The best estimate we got on a set of 2 French doors and 3 windows that resemble French doors (our current sliding doors are HUGE!) are just under 5,000 euros!!! Ouch! However, it will be triple paned and help to keep the heat in much better!
These last 2 improvements are not expensive, or atleast not like the first 2, so we will certainly be able to fit these in the budget. I am jumping on the bandwagen of board and batten. I love, love, love it! I am so excited to report that my fav home improvement store carries MDF and so once I have my measurements, all I have to do is have the great guys there cut it for me! Pictured below is a new entry way, which goes hand in hand with the b & b. LOTS of German homes have white tile throughout! Don't get me wrong, white is my most favorite color, but white tile in an entry way doesn't work for this family of 6! When we renovated our bathroom last year, we put in the tiles that resemble wood flooring and I love it! I don't want wood floor where there will be lots of wet shoes coming in from outside, but I love the look of it, so this is a great compromise! Be still me heart when I see a beautiful stone entryway, so I am still toying with that idea as well, so we shall see, but the double layer board and batten is definitely going to happen!!!

Yes, another B & B picture, but this was meant to resemble what I am going to accomplish in my downstairs area! I love the look and I like the price even better. My goal last year, was to put up beadboard, which they DO NOT carry in German or France! and I even had my friends put 10 sheets in their shipment when they were moving from Louisiana back to Germany, but the packers took it out and said according to their regulations, you can not ship "building materials" with your household goods overseas! What a bunch of bunk! I was so disappointed! So I started searching for other looks that I like and found all these images of b & b. Now that I have an air compressor for painting, I intend on investing in a nail gun! We have SOLID concrete walls in this house, so we need some power! I hope to update my blog as we start and finish these home improvement projects. My next post will be our travel goals for 2012!! That is the best type of planning by far.

We already have our British Isles Cruise booked! So excited. My parents are meeting us in South Hampton to sail this cruise! England, Ireland and Scotland! We are big cruisers and my kids LOVE it! With a large family, it is hard to go on several smaller trips without spending a fortune, so we choose to hit the highlights on a cruise ship. More on that later!

Hope you had a fantastic start to your new year! Keep dreaming big, just remember God is Bigger!

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