This Old House, part un

Before she died, one of my mother’s favorite things to chat about was this house I live in. She’d often suggest it as a way to “revive” my neglected blog. I’m not putting these stories down just for her, but because she’s right. They’re ridiculous and deserve to be shared with the world.

First, a little background. Since our time here is limited, we rent our home. It’s the most economical relationship for us to have with property, and since we’ve been in the house almost two years, I can promise you: IT’S A SMART DECISION.

The house, according to the realtor who represented it when we first arrived here, was built in the 1920’s. I’m not so sure that’s accurate, but I haven’t been able to stir up any definitive data contradicting or supporting that assertion with my vast Google skills. I have turned up all kinds of fun minutes from some development meetings regarding a neighboring home that two owners ago really didn’t want built. When you live in an old, gentrified area people get picky about hedge height and all kinds of other things. I’m sure if I were an owner and not a tenant, I’d have opinions on large modern homes going up around century-old sleepy ones, but I’m just a visitor here, so it’s amusing more than anything else.

Old homes have charm. They also have all kinds of issues. I’m not even sure where to begin with some of the issues this home has had in our short tenure, so I’ll just try to start from the beginning.

When we arrived here, we lived in a hotel for a month or so. It wasn’t an easy transition due to lots of things that aren’t worth going into now, just know I was REALLY looking forward to full-size laundry facilities when we moved in. And the day we moved in, the ancient dryer died.

We figured it out when the same load ran for 3 hours and still was sopping. Oops. Our owners are in the UK, so we deal with the management company they hired. Thankfully, that company is very responsive, and they sent someone out right away. Since the dryer was elderly, the parts were more expensive than just replacing it, so a day or so later, a new dryer arrived.

The gentlemen who brought it in spoke only French, which isn’t surprising since Quebec is just across the river, and barely installed it. They took away the old beast, gave a bit of show to connect the new dryer and left without much word. My dad and Matthew finished hooking it up. Apparently, what scared off the installation guys was the nearly 200 feet the dryer vent has to run across the basement.

This was our first introduction to old homes: modern things often have to be made to fit. Why they sent the line all the way across the house is a mystery, when the washer and dryer are opposite an outside wall, but someone at some point decided it was a good idea, and until someone other than us decides to fix it, we live with it.

About two months later, the washer died.

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2 thoughts on “This Old House, part un

  1. I remember a house in Toledo that all the doors were shorter than I was used too… if your trying to date the house- that’s something they aren’t likely to change outside of a major (bare studs) remodel.(look and see if some doors are higher than others) and let us sincerely hope the wiring been redone in the last 50 years or so, though i suspect Dad would have looked for that first thing.

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    1. Matt looked at the wiring, and it was modernized. We can see old knob and tube, but it’s not functional. I think the house has been though several rounds of renovation, so it makes it more difficult to date. The kitchen was probably done around ten years ago, based on the sticker on the built-in fridge.

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