Life After Termites

I love the prospect of remodeling just about any time. Kitchens and bathrooms are difficult and expensive so I really relished a different kind of undertaking. It would mean more space on a practical level, but on an artistic plane, it would also mean lots of fun selecting furnishings and fixtures. I had spotted the abandoned garage ages ago as a possible rec room combination man cave and home theater, complete with all the latest gadgets. It is big enough and no one parks there anymore, not even a bike. I don’t have tools or tons of suitcases to store, so it’s ideal for a new repurposing. A perfect project waiting to happen. I roughed out some plans and hired a contractor friend to do the honors. Got the bids and the paint swatches. This is going to be great, so I thought.

Not so. At least not at the outset. Guess what? We had termites. Yikes. I envisioned a major tenting of the entire house and adjacent garage at great expense. Plus all the mocking from snoopy neighbors. Fortunately, I discovered orange oil. For a reduced price, you can locally treat an area that is infested, and it is guaranteed for three or more years. It is not toxic to animals or your kids, and you can feel confident about its potential performance.

So there is life after termites. It took a couple of hours to do the job and kill the termites, using a professional service (do not attempt this on your own). The next day I started planning a schedule of minor interior demolition, some shelf building and a closet addition. Some of the wood on existing shelves had to be replaced due to the gnawing that had gone on for probably a few years or more. We had some carcasses here and there but a quick vacuuming did the job. We then washed the space thoroughly and started hammering away.

I love watching things get built. I love the finishing touches — the color, texture, and detailing. I kept changing my mind on what would go in the new cupboards and where the giant plasma TV screen would go. I started piling things up in colorful boxes and woven bins. It was going to be awesome, and termite free! (I did check the main house and mercifully it had not been under recent attack). I looked at pictures of comfortable overstuffed chairs and the latest surround sound systems on a budget.

Who would use the room and what would they need? Form always follows function as the saying goes. Did I want a utilitarian look or some wall art? Would guests want a cold drink and would the cat find a cozy place to nap? These are all vital considerations after all when doing remodeling. When all is said and done and you sit ensconced for the first time, it is like a dream come true. Just be sure to check for stray insect wings before you start!