I have to start by saying that I LOVE my house, although I didn’t immediately LOVE it like this. Willy and I never saw the house together before we took possession, and were actually in different cities when we made the decision to buy the house. We had been looking for a house for about three months, with me doing the scouting visit, and a joint follow-up if the house was a contender. I liked this house, but our travel schedules conflicted and he had to do the follow-up solo. He saw our life here and we bought the house.
We moved in, I fell in love with the house, and we started making some of the changes we planned to update the look of the house. The usual take down a wall here, change the tile there type of updates. That was when we started to notice a few things… a live wire buried in the attic, improperly supported walls, generally half-assed work that caused our scope to creep so that we could fix the house. It was clearly obvious that the previous owners had used contractors who were great at making bad work look really good.
Unfortunately the previous owners had done extensive renovations and additions to our house. The year after we moved in a large crack developed in the wall to our family room. We did some exploratory digging, which led to more digging, and determined that the foundation under almost half of our house was decaying. It needed replacing. Two years, a gazillion dollars later, and more crazy bad work by previous contractors we had replaced the foundation. This bad work included a septic tank left with in the foundation, under our kitchen. A septic tank that wasn’t emptied before it was built on top of! In the end we were happy and had a bigger house, as we had added to our basement (they were digging anyways…). It was a long and slow renovation, with much of the digging being done by hand, but it ended with a solid foundation.
A solid foundation under half of the house, that is. After the renovation was complete, I kept checking the cracks in the other parts of the house compulsively to make sure that they weren’t changing. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to relax until I knew that the rest of the house wasn’t going to crumble, so last fall we had an engineer come and checkout the house. He gave us a good report, but agreed with my suggestion that preventative resealing of the foundation was a good idea.
Last week we started the digging to reseal the foundation. They dug, and found some expected repairs, but also found some unexpected repairs that has led to the inevitable scope creep. There is a good deal of work that needs to be done to the foundation under our garage. It looks like there will need to be more repairs done to the room adjacent to the garage, but they haven’t dug that up yet. I cringe.
It’s the money pit, but it’s our money pit. It’s our forever house and we love it. It would be nice if it would stop breaking now.