Monday, September 12, 2011

New House, Old House

Six years ago today we moved into our current house. We closed the loan on the fifth anniversary of 9-11, but our eyes were looking forward not backward. To say that it was our dream home at that point would be a lie, but the stars in our eyes told us it could be.
Excellent location, good price for the times, it was something to build on. Some would say we were moving from the projects, although we didn't think so. No one would have guessed, however, that we moved to the PROJECT!
You would think that a house with all that this one has to offer would be an owner's dream. NOT! The large livingroom got smaller really fast once we realized we had to work around the fireplace that sticks out into the livingroom. It is a beautiful setting for it, rock wall behind it with little shelf ledges, big black fireplace that looks like an old time stove. Sliding glass door AND large picture window. Off of that is a diningroom with built in bookshelves and wainscotting. From both the diningroom and the entryway you can enter the kitchen. Small with little cabinet or counter space, it isn't bad for a family that is supposed to be diminishing in size as children move out. (BTW parents, this does not happen). Three small bedrooms, a hallway, one and a half baths. Can get to the half bath through the master bedroom or through the laundry area off the kitchen. Huge recreation room off the kitchen. Used to be the outdoor covered patio 'til someone got the idea to enclose it. Detached garage, storage building big enough for an office. Oh, yeah, and ceramic tile floor in all areas except where carpeted. Sounds like a dream? Only if you didn't look deep, and we didn't.
First thing we found out after moving in-no central air. So go grab a bunch of window units from what is left in mid-September and hope for the best. Then we found out the wiring wasn't great. 1960's house is 1960's wiring. (As I write, hubby is changing a breaker). Then we found out there were major gas line leaks and it wasn't up to code. So no hot water. $1000 to fix. Took a month to get that fixed, so baths only with water heated on the stove.
Then we found out the garage door on the detached garage was wired on the same breaker as the entire kitchen in the house. You want the garage door shut? Don't be cooking or running the dishwasher. Then the garbage truck hit the fence, down it came.
One day we got the brilliant idea to take down the bar that took up a bunch of space in the back room. Like I said, it was put up around the covered patio that had been there. Wellll, when we moved the bar (using all four boys to lift the thing as it was literally constructed of heavy tile) we found the acorns and leaves from fall days gone by underneath. But at least the bar was gone. Then the heavy rains came.
Rain in Texas in the fall can range anywhere from a trickle to a monsoon. That year, it was a monsoon. And we found the leaks in the back room. That led to the discovery that instead of siding the previous owners used stucco for the walls. In other words, concrete. They didn't support the weight of the walls to the roof, so now we are dealing with a room that is falling away from the house.
So many other things, the wiring to the dryer was really a household extension cord buried under ground (barely), both toilets leaked, and the crash of 2008 caused the company with the foundation warranty to go out of business.
But we soldier on. We have painted our daughters room, made it more a girl's room, fixing the closet to fit her. Too bad we can't sound proof it from her "practicing". I painted the room that is off the dining room, the one that was going to be my office, but is now my grown son's room. And our latest project-the livingroom, kitchen, hallway, entryway and dining room. Once those are painted, we will stop for awhile. At least until we can get the rest of the back room cleared out and get it torn down. Then I will have my outdoor patio, at the expense of my office and sewing room. But one day...we will start on that new project of building that room again, just doing it right this time.

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