The Outsider: Home not so sweet home
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | May 23, 2019|
Renovating. It’s that time of year, isn’t it? With the onset of spring and the first signs of buds on trees the world looks great again, full of hope and promise. And, so what do we do? We go and ruin it by renovating. Just when we should be out and enjoying nature, before the black flies really hit, many of us are embarking on mammoth DIY projects, the kind of which seemed totally insurmountable last year but which now our lovely wives insist will be a breeze.
I hate renovating but I guess you already worked that out. You see, I do a lot of it in my day job. Go in, check out some rickety old cottage that a person from Toronto has paid way too much money for. Then, when they insist said cottage ‘spoke to them’, and has ‘so much soul’ we proceed to tear it apart and renovate, when what should really happen is the cottage be razed to the ground and rebuilt brand new. But that’s my job, I guess.
And renovating does make you think. There is never a dull moment when you don’t know what you’ll find inside a wall or roof space. And I don’t just mean the critters, dead or alive. You see, a cottage from the 1950s was built somewhat differently from how we do it today. Let’s just say that back then folks took a few more liberties than they do now. And the building inspector did not exist. So, what did they do? Prop a few sticks up, pile stones around the base and pour over some concrete ... hey, presto there’s a foundation, perfect. Bang some dimensional lumber together, slam on a bit of siding, add insulation or not depending upon budget or being bothered to, and there’s the family cottage.
But, now Mr. Bags-O-Money from the city wants central vac throughout, a walk-in rainfall shower in the remodeled master suite and a cinema room addition on the side of the rickety old cottage, so sticks and stones won’t do.
Renovating keeps you thinking, alright. But then there’s renovating my own house, and that’s a whole different ball game. I’m still peeling back the layers and uncovering stuff, still finding all kinds of construction conundrums to solve. Yep but now I’m doing it on my dime. Now I’m thinking, ‘Damn it, this little problem’s gonna’ cost me a fortune.’ Now, I’m seeing my renovation through the eyes of Mr. Bags-O-Money but still wearing my own pants. You know the ones? They have pockets nowhere near as deep as his and holes in the knees to boot. Now renovating really hurts, in my aching back and dwindling bank account. Now I’m 30 feet in the air tearing off siding and scraping out years of bat droppings, mouse poo and dead lady bugs, and it’s costing me my money and my weekends. As spring blossoms into summer, I’m renovating and I hate it.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider