Making Room for the New House
It all started with a threat, a very serious threat indeed. I still remember the day, when our son Michael dropped in for a quick visit and announced with an authoritative voice, “One day, as soon as I am rich enough to do it, I will come with a giant bulldozer, push your old house into the lake, and have a new one built for you.”
Of course, at that time, we took his announcement as one of his typical jokes, which revealed in one way or another his hidden criticism of our dilapidated dwelling.
In spite of the modern appearance on the outside, our house had many problems. Too late I had realized that we needed eaves troughs. The water running off the roof penetrated the poorly vented crawling space. The floor joists began to rot. Hard to believe but true, mushrooms grew in great profusion out of the rotting wood and dispersed their harmful spores into our living space. Then roof specialists came into town and offered to the gullible residents of Fauquier Professional services. They replaced our cedar-shingled roof with a convenient metal cover. The only problem was that the ‘specialists’ failed to put tar paper under the tin, the annoying consequence of which was that ice was building up under the cold metal and would melt during the milder days causing water to drip right through the ceiling. To prevent any further damage I placed a fan into the attic and let run all winter to draw out the warm humid air. I could go on and on to describe how the house began to lean, such that following the laws of gravity marbles, even pencils and pens would be rolling off the table, or worse how over the past forty years pests both large and small established permanent residence in and under the house, mice, ants including the much feared carpenter ants, pack rats, raccoons, even skunks, just to name a few of our uninvited visitors.
Let us return to Michael, who earlier this year turned his ‘threat’ into reality. Of course, he refrained from dumping our home sweet home into the Arrow Lake. Instead, we needed to dismantle the house – actually two homes, the original building and a double wide mobile home attached the former. To dispose of the doublewide in an environmentally friendly way turned out to be easy. I simply sold it on Facebook and had the new owner agree to remove it at his own expense.
The buyer’s helper did a fantastic job of salvaging the tin, the rafters and practically the entire roof over the mobile home. So I approached and offered him all parts of the old house, windows, kitchen counter, water tank, toilet, and even the ancient purple bathtub in exchange for removing and recycling the entire roof with all its timber and insulation. He even took off the vinyl siding most of it undamaged from the walls and will use the material for the house he is planning to build in the near future.
What a way to recycle and to reuse stuff that would have otherwise landed in a landfill!
To be continued …