Author Archives: thismoldhouse

The Best of Intentions are Often Just Not Enough

Why I ever thought that blogging was a good idea for me to attempt I will never know. I am the sort of guy who has an attention span much like a gnat. And while having the best of intentions is not necessarily a bad thing, it is often times just not enough of a good thing to see me follow through. And a blog needs follow through. Consistency. Continuity. SO I apologize for not razzle dazzling you more often with the daily bull shit that has become our big renovation. Now that I have that off my chest, lets give this another shot and move on to something entertaining, like my current and hopefully temporary need for some type of anti-anxiety med. Because while I already knew it, my gloriously optimistic stupidity caused me to forget, that home renovations on a grand scale SUCK YOUR SOUL OUT THROUGH YOUR EYE SOCKETS! Can I get an amen?

SO much has happened in such a short time, I don’t really know where to begin. But I’ll try…  after the roof was replaced, and the house gutted, and a supreme pig sty of a mess created, and windows ripped out, and windows replaced, and re-wiring, re-plumbing, re-sheetrocking, and all the rest of the nonsense that happens when you try to take a house in need and make it a home, what is left is a  promise almost fulfilled. But oh what a pain it has been getting here. (Note I did not mention anything about the pig sty of a mess being cleaned up?) But it is almost over and over the next few days (or maybe weeks, given my track record) if I live to tell the tale, I will try to fill in the gaps and share some of the stories that have made this so much freaking fun!








A Picture is Worth a Thousand Gasps

OK, for all of you who are visually needy, and you know who you are… I have posted some photos on facebook

Enjoy! And don’t gasp too loudly when you realize that we are living in and through Homageddon!

Here is a preview of what you will see…

Have a seat!

And They’re Off!

Shingles that is. The hideous, old, GREEN shingles that should have been replaced about 20 years ago are finally off. Both layers! And in their place will be fantastic, architectural shingle in a lovely shade of gray! Lifetime warranty, (what does that really mean?) ice and water protection,  boots (not the Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo kind!) new penetrations (YES, that is what it is called!) to accommodate the new plumbing pipes, and an all around feeling of relief that things are under way.

Off with the old...

and in with the new

Let The Games Begin

2012, a year that will hopefully be marked by great and exciting things for us all.  Olympic games in London, Elections to decide the fate of a nation, Mayan calendar apocalypse! For you (dear reader: please mentally insert your name here for a more personal experience)  may it bring good health, prosperity and all the happiness you deserve. On a more personal level, for my significant other and I, may it bestow the same. However, if it is not an inconvenience or causes any offense to you, I would like to add the following small personal addendum to my heartfelt and sincere well wishes…

May we please, please, please have an on time, under budget and drama free home renovation on our recently purchased  home,  here in a lovely, vital, upscale New England community.


Yes, it’s true. We are about to embark on yet another highly ambitious project to create a special place called home. And this one, much the same as the five others that have come before it, was born out of meticulous planning. So much of the time and energy spent on every little detail has been richly rewarded. Everything from the location of the property to the size, style and  layout of the structure is superb. And thankfully we found the perfect north facing elevation for those evironmentally friendly  rear roof solar panels! Not only that but we can now say good-bye to an oil tank, a septic tank and well because this property is tied into natural gas, public sewer and water! There is a low millage rate and tax valuation yet our public schools rival the finest private preps. Finally, we’ve found the perfect foundation to build upon when creating our next home…


OK, lets back up just a bit. Yes, it is true we are about to begin our fifth building project (in less than 13 years). And yes, it is also true that we have gas (don’t even!) public sewer & water and great schools. But the rest of my delusional rant is just that.  The facts are as follows: After selling our dream home in a suburb of Charlotte my significant other of fifteen years and I packed it all up and moved almost everything we own into storage. We then rented a cute little 1950’s bungalow ranch closer in to town. You know the place, the house with all that charm but without any closets! And this we did so his daily commute would be almost non-existent. YAY, hubby was happy and I was trying to figure out where to put things! Then, practically a moment after finalizing these life altering actions my beloved took a brand new job in a centrally located New England city. Within about 4 minutes of arriving in our rental digs we once again packed up what belongings we had in our possession and high tailed it to the Northeast. So long Charlotte! Adios mild winters! Hello COLD! Hola SNOW! Howdy Darkness at 4:00pm.

Having just gotten done with a move, the last thing I wanted was to do it again. And if moving to a new city and another rental was our plan it only meant that we would then have to move once more when we finally found our next home for purchase. The race was on! I was determined to avoid an interim move by finding a house we could buy, move right into and live happily ever after. Outta my way… show me that MLS and hand me a GPS. I’m buyin a house!

OK, long story short, after looking and looking and looking at about three dozen houses over the course of  several visits to the area, we ended up buying the very first house I had laid eyes on with the Realtor. You know the place, the one I immediately ruled out! The house that used to ooze all that charm but currently only oozes. The one that has a bright green, forty year old, leaking roof. Ceilings that are actually falling in, bathrooms that are inoperable, a kitchen that is so old and filthy it isn’t even fit for use as a gas station rest room, squirrels living in the detached garage’s rotting fascia, a side porch about to fall completely off the side of the home’s structure and a big, beautiful DEAD tree in the center of the yard! Yeah, that house.  Complete with high taxes, out dated layout and the immediate need for a great big, budget busting renovation! It just screams “Welcome Home Boys”!

So, like all of life’s great accidents… penicillin, Saccharin, Teflon and Pregnancy,  we ended up in what I am certain will be a very wonderful home at some time in the hopefully not too distant future. After all, it was, we have discovered, a charming and gracious home to one of America’s best loved sit-com maids from the 60’s!


This blog, also one of life’s unplanned things (Thanks to the brilliant suggestion of a very dear, wonderful, much appreciated and sorely missed friend – you know who you are Jean) and is intended to chronicle the happenings, both rational and insane,  of what I am affectionately calling “This (M)old House”.

Let The Games Begin

"A once gracious and charming home in West Hartford, CT"