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Our Own House, “What’s Up With That?”

March 22nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Hi Friends, Neighbors, and even perhaps Detractors,

Firstly I want to thank everyone for your support patience and understanding. it has come to my attention that some are wondering “what the heck, he has all these opinions and his own house looks like junk?” Yes, some people judge me because of the state of my own home and it does frustrate and sadden me. Both the state of my home and the fact that some people judge me.

So I feel that I owe everyone an explanation, at least as to where the money and time go and why more hasn’t been done.

The short story – and I would love to sit down with all of you at length and share my philosophy, plan, and dreams – is that Amy and I have five year incremental plans for the house and our lives. Yes I know, I know, we are a year behind and this is now year six since we bought our home… But we have, behind the scenes, created a duplex with the rear rental unit fully restored on the interior including a new kitchen & bath. And all of the mechanical systems; electrical, plumbing, and heat, throughout the entire house are brand new and up to the most stringent and recent codes.

In addition to that work, we have “mostly” created a beautiful and comfortable unit for ourselves to live in. We did live without a real kitchen for 3 ½ years and one room is still designated the “home shop”.

As everyone, can see we haven’t moved forward very quickly with the cosmetic work on the exterior. This is for a couple of reasons, one being that it is overwhelming – just kidding! Really, last year when we wanted to push forward with exterior work our back foundation finally gave way and collapsed. This was not a bearing wall in the foundation but for obvious reasons Amy and I spent most weekends cleaning up the mess and rebuilding the stone work up to the sill beam, instead of stripping paint and repainting the front of the house, which I would rather do! The other main reason is that this house will be our home, hopefully, for the rest of my life and I don’t want to, and can’t bring myself to, cut corners and just throw up some paint for the sake of appearances. I certainly know how to cut some corners when finances and time dictate but like the cliche’ to not do the proper preparation for painting would only be a waste of time and money and if MY house were to start peeling and looking bad after a year or two that would, in my mind, be much worse than to have it still looking the way it has for so many years before we bought it (I tried to hide the fact that we lived here!).

But the real and final excuse for our slow and tedious progress is that as a craftsman/contractor I don’t really make enough money to hire out anything that Amy or I can do and we don’t, as a business, have the resources to pay our own people to work on our house.

That’s the short sob story. Imagine the long version!

But whatever the hurdles Both Amy and I feel lucky and privileged to live here in Burlington and in this beautiful house, we hope to leave our mark on this great building so the next generation won’t have to fix things right the next time.


Thanks for asking and listening,


Tags: Value-Added Historic Preservation

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jack Schweiger // Jun 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Hey Amy,
    Had some free time and decided to check out the site.It’s really nice of you guys to share your knowledge and answer peoples questions.You guys do some really nice work.I like that you took time to explain about your own home .It still takes time and money even if you do it for a living.I wish you all continued success.

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