Montanans were VERY busy this summer and fall with home improvement projects. Ask any contractor or hardware store employee. We always has some project in the works for the last 18 months, to be honest.

But as I look around the house and the yard, it seems that we didn't come close to completing our lofty list of projects we actually wanted to get done. You too?

Focusing on what DID GET DONE seems to be the healthier way to go. Why dwell on the stuff that's still on the to-do list? Those projects will still be there this Spring. Heck, some of them I might be able to get done this winter.

YES! I GOT A NEW FENCE: This was a big one, especially considering the price of lumber this past year. Unfortunately, I didn't have much of a choice because I had put off replacing it for SO long...the old fence was truly falling down and falling apart. Man, was it in sorry shape.

(According to Statista.com, earlier this year lumber prices per 1,000 board feet soared to $1,500! They've come way back down to earth since then but it was an expensive year for projects like fences!)

WE DID NOT GET THE STONE PATHWAY LAID DOWN: I've been gathering good paver rocks for a couple of years to build a small stone landing in my backyard. Not a big deal that it didn't get done this year but now I have to stare at the "pile of project failure" every time I walk out the back door. Bummer.

What's with all the home improvement? Well, obviously folks were home a lot more over the last 18 months. But also, home prices in the Bozeman area are still skyrocketing. Moving may not be an option for many.

According to the Gallatin Association of Realtors, inventory is down for homes on the market. Homes that are being listed for sale are not on the market very long...now an average of 20 days. Here's the kicker: for a single family home in September 2021, the median sales price increased 24.4% year over year, from $554,500 to $690,000.

What's the moral of the story? Don't sweat it. Whatever we didn't get done this season will be waiting for us next year. I suppose the basement could use a fresh coat of paint so apparently there's no rest for the wicked, even in the winter.

I Bought an Old House in Missoula: It's My First Time Renovating

As with any renovation project, we ran into a few mishaps when we began renovating the 1952 ranch-style home we bought in Missoula, but some of the changes we made were easy and immediately rewarding.