How Did I Get Here?

What it is really like to restore a house

Restoration Diary, ,

It’s 10:30 at night and I am lying underneath our house in a 3 foot crawl space, wedged beneath two large intersecting pipes, wearing a bra and blue jeans in the semi darkness. The washer and dryer aren’t hooked up yet because we are still working on the back porch. It is much easier for me to get dirty and take a bath then for my shirt to get dirty and need to be hauled across town to the laundromat.

Rocks and dirt are cutting into my back as I wait for David to push one of seven coaxial cables through a small hole where our cement foundation connects to a floor joist. My “job” is to reach my hand into the small hole, grab the cable and pull it through to hole.

D (yelling through the floor boards): Do you see the cable yet?

H (yelling back): No.

D: How about now?

H: No, I don’t see anything. Shine the flashlight in the hole. No, I still don’t see the cable.

I hear David pulling the cable back out of the hole and putting it back in at a different angle.

H: Ok! I see it. Stop! Stop! Stop, pushing the cable.

I finally grab the cable and pull it through. With one hand, I keep pulling…and pulling…and pulling the cable.

H: David. DAVID.

D: Yeah?

H: How much cable is there?

D: About 15 feet.

H: We are going to be here ALL night.

D: Keep pulling. Just keep on pulling. Keep on pulling. Ok, keep on pulling.

H: Stop. Saying. KEEP. ON. PULLING! What do you think I’m doing?!

D: Ok. That’s it. Stop pulling. Stop pulling!

H: Oh, thank God. David, you did put the cable through the hole in the wall stud before you put it through the hole in the floor, right? David?

I see the cable frantically moving back up through the hole in the floor.

H: David? DAVID?! David, tell me you are kidding.

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Comments { 3 } October 19, 2004

Staying Married Through the Restoration

Our secrets for not killing each other during the stress of a major remodel

Restoration Diary, ,

Sometimes people ask, “How do you do it? How do you stay married while living in the house during the restoration?”

Well, sometimes we do it better than others. I’ve read interviews featuring other couples who have traveled down this road and when they say how they had no problems and this experience has brought them closer together in their marriage, I think who are they kidding?

Living without a fully functional kitchen for over a year like we have tends to make meal times difficult and we end up eating out more than we should.

The worst thing we face is what we term the “bathroom situation”. We have no shower. The upstairs main bath has been stripped down except for a bath tub. I feel sorry for David when I see him rinsing his hair by pouring water over his head from a cup. We have a working toilet and sink in a closet-sized half bath downstairs on the back porch, not very convenient in the middle of the night.

Plus, just the problems of an older house – bad electric, bad roof, furnace problems, mix in two busy careers equals one frazzled couple.

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Comments { 4 } December 6, 2003