For Schenectady couple, new house means new projects, some prompted by pandemic

Rotterdam resident Kim Eriole and home changes during pandemic.
Rotterdam resident Kim Eriole and home changes during pandemic.

SCHENECTADY — Move-in ready is a relative phrase, as Kim and Keith Eriole discovered this year.

They purchased their Schenectady home in February, and since then they’ve been busy with a seemingly endless stream of projects, some prompted by the pandemic.

“It’s been crazy, just trying to think of what is the most important thing that needs to be done,” Kim Eriole said.

That can be especially difficult to determine considering it’s the first home they’ve purchased rather than rented together. They started with the front lawn, which was overgrown and had a few large trees blocking the house. They removed the trees, replaced some windows and repainted the shutters, which opened up the view.

Amid that project (and a few others), they both had to begin working from home due to safety restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Kim created an office space in what was supposed to be the guest bedroom, adding a sizable folding table to put her monitor on and hanging a whiteboard on the wall above. Keith used the dining room table as his office space.

The extra time at home inspired even more changes.

“My husband would be sitting there and he’d be looking around or he’d be on his break, and he’s like, ‘OK, this needs [to be done].’ I’m like, ‘Stop. I know we’ve got a lot of work to do but it doesn’t need to be done right now. We got 30 years. We have plenty of time,’ ” Kim joked.

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The home, which has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a family room and a sunroom, was in good condition when the couple bought it. Yet because they spent so much time there during New York’s PAUSE, they couldn’t help but notice things they wanted to work on.

“It made it get done a lot quicker because we were seeing everything,” Kim said.

In their backyard, they took out more trees and worked with their neighbor to put up a fence.

“When COVID hit and it was starting to get nice [outside], I said to my husband ‘Let’s just get one of those blow-up pools. I just want something to cool off with. If I’m going to be home, I want to enjoy it,’ ” Kim said. “We couldn’t find them. You couldn’t get them anywhere. All sold out everywhere.”

So they sprung for an above-ground pool, which was installed in July, and even that was difficult to get because it seemed like every homeowner in the Capital Region suddenly wanted one.

“Then we found out with having to get the pool that we needed $4,000 worth of electrical work done. Our electrical [system] needed to be upgraded, which we did not know about at that time,” Kim said.

She took the unexpected project in stride, “[It’s] a godsend that we decided to get this pool because we could’ve ended up with an electrical fire. I’ve got to think of the positives.”

While they were working from home this summer, they also decorated their grandchildren’s room, with cloud and rainbow details, and made a family portrait wall in the living room.

Keith has since returned to the office though Kim is still working from home, and she plans to create a more permanent office space in the coming months. She also wants to renovate the sunroom, which they currently use as a dining room.

“There’s still a lot of things [to do]. Eventually, what we want to do is get rid of this room. When we first bought the house, I loved this room. But it’s so hot with these windows. … Eventually, what we’d like to do is take this wall out and make it just a wall with a slider that comes outside,” Kim said.

The projects can become a bit overwhelming at times, but there have been plenty of rewarding moments. They’ve had positive feedback from neighbors about the changes, and they’ve come to truly appreciate the Angelina Road neighborhood.

“It does make you feel good when you’ve got people that are walking up the street and they’re stopping by, and they’re like ‘Can I just tell you how awesome your house looks? It looks so much better than it did before,’ ” Kim said.

Categories: Fall Home

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