1. Fridge: I posted on my blog yesterday about my three options and got two divergent opinions. Several people really liked the retro fridge from Big Chill and other said don't spend that money on a fridge until you know the long term plans for the kitchen. This morning I was fortunate to recieve an offer of a free fridge from someone was looking to downsize. Free was the right price so I will use this until my plans for the kitchen are finalized.
FYI, I'm bringing some architects / designers to look at the house over the next couple of weeks to help formulate a plan for the house including the kitchen. I still see one of these in my future.
2. Fence: The fence in the backyard of this house has seen much better days and looks like a stiff breeze could knock it down in some places. Since I've got a rather active dog it has to be replaced before I move in. I've gotten bids from a few different fence companies so far and have been shocked at the cost for a basic cedar fence using 1x6 planks. I'd like to give the fence some type of modern look since so much of the house looks directly into the backyard. However, I'm having trouble coming up with cost effective ideas to make a fence look modern... There are some ideas on the website below but I'm terrified to ask a fence contractor, how much would it cost to do something like one of these fences?
The other option is to do a basic cedar fence and cover it up with some nice modern landscaping down the road, which I'm probably leaning towards at this point.
3. Roof - The house has an old roof which will be replaced in the next week or so. I had a conversation with my contractor about doing a radiant barrier between the plywood decking and new shingles that typically will reduce your energy bill by about 15%. Based on anticipated electrical bills in Houston, the break even point should be about 4-5 years. I plan on staying in the house at least that long and probably should do it. However, the thought of spending $2100 on a some silver roofing material versus something else like some landscaping, refinished hardwood floors, interior paint, etc. is not particularly exciting. My mind says pay the money for the radiant barrier but my heart says, spend it on something you will see and appreciate on a daily basis. So what should it be mind or heart?