My house is in a neighborhood that includes at least twenty other homes that are the exact same model. With every house the same, what truly makes a house a home? The answer for my family is: home improvement projects.
When my family first moved into our current house, the first project was to finish the unfinished basement. This soon became a time-consuming group project done by the family. Although, the project took months, it was time well spent. Not only did we improve our home, we learned skills and learned to work together. In the end, we had a great space where we have spent countless hours with all six of us piled on the couch watching movies and making memories.
The next summer, our family spent hours designing and buying materials for a new deck. Everyone from my parents to my six year old brother gave input into the design. Ultimately, we had a plan which included a two-story deck with a play structure with swings and slide coming off the lower deck. Again, we all worked together on the labor. At one point, it took the entire family to carry four 20 foot long 8×8 beams down to the backyard. This project showed how much could be accomplished if our family works together. The deck is a highlight of our house where we enjoy spending time with family and friends.
Our most recent project was doing tile in one of the bathrooms. This project, smaller than the others, should have only taken a few weeks .However, it has taken over three months and still continues. Instead of spending weekends finishing the bathroom, my family has been willing to delay the finished project (and sacrifice having another available bathroom) in favor of supporting each other in various activities. My parents and siblings could have stayed home and worked on the project every weekend, but instead, they have spent long days going to our track meets, golf matches, basketball games, theater and music productions, and other activities. The structure of my house has not improved, but my family has become closer and my home has been strengthened.
At the end of the day, it is not really the physical improvements to my house that have made my house a home, but the time spent together as a family working towards one goal. My home is a place where I have learned the family values of supporting one another, working hard, and enjoying time spent with each other. Throughout my life, I have moved around, faced challenges, and experienced loss. However, I can always count on my family to be there for me during hard times. I can expect that my home will always be a place of comfort, support and love. Ultimately, making a house a home is not a matter of home improvement projects, but rather “family improvement projects.”