I was pretty naive when I bought Love House thinking… “I did CSM in 6 weeks, I should be able to work all winter/spring and be moved in by June or so.”
Like I mentioned before, it was cold. The screw through the hand incident was enough to remind me that sometimes, it’s ok to wait. Andy took a Saturday (I was with the boys) and did the EPIC clean-out. I say epic because he single handedly cleaned out the whole bottom floor of stuff. There was so. much. stuff. Here’s a sampling:
- 5 Sectionals from the 80’s
- Rat poo
- Glamour Shot photos of loved ones
- Over-sized stuffed animals
- Clothes and shoes
- Death threat notes
- Goo, really no other way to describe it, just, goo.
- Dead animals
- LOTS of dirty pictures
- Drywall screws – it’s own little category of Hell.
The list could go on and on, but my personal favorite…..
The Mummy Cat.
Before you ask, no, we didn’t save it.
As far as we can tell, the cat got into a small opening in the ceiling where they had knocked out for electrical. (I use the term ‘electrical’ loosely, considering it was an extension cord through the room into the center.) Mummy cat was obviously chasing the bounty of rats up there and had stumbled upon one of their many nest. As MC was headed towards said nest, his claw hit the electrical/extension cord and became electrocuted. He laid there dead for 40 years or so, because, you know, when there are so many other messes going on in the house, one can hardly notice the smell of a rotting carcass in the kitchen.
We were a little freaked out when we found it. Obviously not too bad, though, because I paused for a picture.
We didn’t have a ton of money in the beginning to work on the house, but we were happy to hear that the roof had been “re-done recently by the neighborhood.” We thought we were not going to have to spend the thousands of dollars on a roof for this house, but we were wrong…we had a tin can upstairs that would collect the water, then freeze, then thaw. Yay!
We hired our favorite guy, Moises to come tear off, re-sheet and shingle the house. The roof is pretty interesting in itself because it has a flat section in the middle and had been extended to create a very large soffit sometime in the early 1900’s. Turns out, the extension is what keeps it from being on the Historical Registry because it counts as a considerable change to the home. Fine by us–I have a love/hate relationship with the registry anyway.
Roof in progress:
I think what we were most excited about was seeing if the attic could be usable space. The access was tiny and dangerous, but of course we skinnied up there to take a peek.
We were SO EXCITED to find out that it had tension trusses and the whole things was unobstructed and somewhat tall! A thing of pure beauty.
We were excited about the possibilities of this room and immediately started to dream about a bunk room for the boys…
So perfect. It’s so fun to have all of these inspirations running through your head while you are picking up needles off of the ground. It’s what keeps you going, you know?
Next we start to run into the “fun” stuff. Permitting. Kill me. You would think that a city would be happy to have someone restore an eyesore/brothel of a house in the middle of town, across from THE LIBRARY, and that the City might not give you such a hard time. Not so my friends. They are making us do everything completely up to code–as if we were building a new house. I know it is for our safety, and I get it, but REALLY? This house is 160 years old…sometimes you can’t do everything perfect. Flash forward…they made us anyway. All this really equaled to was more time and more money. So it goes in the old home world…it can’t all be treasure finds and late nights reading fascinating personal histories…sometimes you just have to deal with the headaches.
Once the roof got on and we felt a little more protected from the elements, we patiently awaited for the warmth…and it did come…