My Mom inherited a house that was built, as near as we can tell, in 1934. It was built by her aunt and uncle and except for one year when it was leased, they and Mom are the only ones who have ever lived in it.
Front of Mom’s House The house went through some major home improvements in the ’60’s; a den and downstairs bath were added, then a garage and later a dedicated laundry room.
Now I live with Mom and take care of her. This means I am also caretaker of the house and grounds. This does NOT mean that I actually DO all of the housekeeping and yard work. It just means that I am responsible to see that stuff gets done. And there’s a lot of stuff that needs to get done.
Life in the 21st century is very different from life in the early 20th century. Back then apparently they didn’t have many clothes…because the closets are few and small. And they must not have used many electrical appliances either…because there are only two electrical outlets per room – two. My next door neighbor, whose house is at least as old as this one, describes living in these old houses as “a labor of love”. She’s definitely got that right!
First you’ve got the maintenance issues, like a leaky dormer in the attic that ruined the master bath and closet ceilings, the brick sidewalk in front disintegrating and shutters and storm windows falling out. Oh, did I forget to mention the heat pump in the cellar that broke when it was 100 degrees outside and the hot water line that broke and sprayed water all over the cellar? Those are just some of the highlights in the two years we’ve been back here. Labor of love indeed.
Then you have the true home improvement projects like removing ancient wallpaper and painting ship-lap walls and controlling heat gain from twenty-two windows that face west.
But the purpose of this blog is not to complain about what’s broken today. The purpose is to document the home improvement projects that we are doing on the property, the decision making process we go through to get there and before and after photos of what we’re doing.
I hope you’ll find the information helpful to you as you evaluate options and plan your own home improvement projects. Please feel free to comment on the posts, share your own experiences, ask questions if you have any and contact us by email if you’d like.