The Devil Is in the Details

by Nika


Clearly, this table has not been used for dining in quite some time.  For the past several months, my dining room has been “command central” for the renovation of my old house. There has been a surprising amount paperwork involved.  It is sweat equity of a different kind.

Today I celebrated a milestone along the paper trail.  I completed the third and final phase of my application for a Historic Preservation Tax Credit. This tax credit is a wonderful program administered by the National Park Service.  If your renovation qualifies, you can receive a Federal tax credit worth 20% of your total qualifying renovation costs.

There are three phases of the application.  Each of them involved lots of photos, explanations, schematic drawings and math!  I am a historian, and you may have guessed that math is not my strong suit.  As I was completing the invoice totals for phase three, I overheard one of my sons cautioning another to avoid the dining room, “because mom is doing math in there.”  Nevertheless, I perservered and mailed the application this morning.  I am a bit nervous, after all a substantial amount of money is at stake, and I do have two sons at university.  Wish me well.

Soon, my dining room will revert to its original purpose.  I will organize all my records and pack them away.  A day will be spent dusting and polishing the furniture.  But the first meal eaten there will be bittersweet.  I will miss the chaos of renovations.