Don't be reckless in your remodeling

Don't be reckless in your remodeling

When Taller Half and I were looking for our first house, we were taken to see a wretched little abode so terribly mistreated that it was on the verge of collapse. The pitiful, little place huddled dejectedly on her lot, the innocent victim of reckless remodeling.

Suffering from neglect, she (all residential places are female and may be addressed as she) had once been a pretty, little house when she was bought by a couple of enthusiastic, though totally inept, “do-it-yourselfers.” Those buyers had good intentions but very poor skills.

At first that house was thrilled to be given that much attention. She was ecstatic when she got new siding and tried not to mind it was improperly applied. But when the new bay window was installed upside down, she began to worry. When the new owners made
plans to add a loft, she knew she had a big problem.

It wasn’t that a loft idea was bad; it was just the low-pitched roof offered only about 3 feet of clearance in the attic. The house knew a loft barely big enough for only a cat to stand in was just a bit silly. The addition of spiral stairs leading up to the loft was so ridiculous the place could have laughed despite her embarrassment.

While still in the process of recovering from the loft project, the house received a crippling blow. Her incompetent owners decided to add a fireplace. Since neither of them could lay brick, they opted for a freestanding, prefab fireplace. That might have worked if the hole in the roof for the flue pipe had been the right size and they had known about flashing. As a result the flue hole acted like a gutter, flooding the house whenever it rained.

At that point, that poor, abused abode broke down and cracked under the strain — literally. From then on the house sagged on her piers, barely able to hold her roof up. And that, dear readers, is the result of incompetent remodeling.

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