You know you're an old house owner if ...

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You know your an old house owner when ----

Postby Goofy on Sun May 09, 2004 4:46 pm

You spend Mother's Day searching Old House Forums for answers to your never ending conundurms of repairing plaster, kitchen plumbing imbeded in stone in your efforts to install shut off valves, chimineys loosing morter and worrying all the time that once you get it all done - the house will collapse and so will you. When you have to do this all alone and can't even afford an expert it gets scary. Not being a risk taker, I'm amazed that I bought the house. Seemed like a good idea at the time? A historical custom Craftsman in California, with sweeping views of hills and lights and golf courses, on over a half acre in a beautiful town - What I sucker I am. Yeah, it's gained about 250,000 in equity, as is, in just shy of three years, but I still feel like I'm on a dead drop roller coaster. I wish a happy Mother's Day to all and hopefully a lesson. Never buy a old house when you have kids or with the right side of your brain, co's it's going to drive the left side to drink.

Postby RaechelR on Fri May 21, 2004 11:05 pm

You saw "1900 house" and loved it, and are sooo excited to hear about the rest that you tivo them too. I love old things.

So That's Who I Am

Postby meta on Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:05 pm

I never realized it till I read the posts on this thread. I guess I'm a certified OHL (old house lover). It was that discussion of movies we like because of the old houses in them. I do that all the time. My most recent favorite is Mrs. Miniver. Never mind that the house is fake from start to finish; I love it. Of course I also like her hats.

My father was a country doctor (1950s era) who made house calls up and down the Catskills, and I used to love to go with him on winter evenings so I could see inside the uncurtained windows as we drove past farmhouses.

My husband and I are going to close on our house, a 1922 bungalow in western MA, on August 2. I am so excited I can barely stand it.
Bungalow (sort'a) Owner August 2 '04, Yippee
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 3:17 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts

Postby mrcaddy on Thu Jun 03, 2004 8:20 am

...What is "1900 House"?

Postby Don M on Thu Jun 03, 2004 8:57 am

"1900 House" is a TV program where a 21st century family was put into a house built in 1900 and set with the various kitchen equipment and systems present in 1900. The family lived & worked as a family would have in 1900 and all their problems and hardships were documented in the program. It is another reality TV program except the twist is putting a modern family into a 1900's setting. There is currently a 1600's House or town being aired. The children in the 1900 House missed TV and all the things they had in the 21st century etc.
Don M
Posts: 6965
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:35 am
Location: Boiling Springs, PA

My List

Postby Dave on Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:58 am

Some may be related to others already posted, but here goes..

- you go into the basement to get tools for a project you're working on upstairs and end up working on something in the basement.

- you remove boards, moldings, etc just to see what's behind them.

- you have ebay automatically email you everytime a new Elmira stove is posted

- you've had a temporary kitchen in the dining room.

- you take a dim view of contractors because all they want to do is muddle your house.

- you wonder why the silent paint remover doesnt cost $40 like it is supposed to, but vow to buy it at $400 anyway

- you sway your head side to side while looking out the windows so you can see the wavy glass.

- any heavy object can't be pushed across the floor, it has to be picked up

- when helpers are stuggling to get the sofa up the stairs, you're worried about them scratching the moldings or denting the plaster.

- It would be a chore for a visitor to find your TV set.

- When driving, you tell your spouse how you would improve certain houses you pass.

- You actually know where everything in Home Depot is.

- When in Home Depot, in the molding isle, you feel a mix of disgust and humor.

- Same when you're in the door isle or the window section.

- You can never find a tape measure but you own four of them

- One of those tape measures is probably under the seat in your car

- Your friends want a home theatre, you want a high tank toilet

- When you want to go upstairs you have to stop and decide which stairs you want to take.

- You've come to the conclusion that no salvage yard will ever have doors that match yours.

- You know more about the neighbor's house than she does.

- You wish "This old house" magazine would talk more about old houses.

- You cringe when someone suggests you finish your attic

- You don't want people to give you decorations as gifts because you're reasonably sure whatever they give won't match the 'period' of the house

- Your spouse has told you at least once that "we need some modern conveniences."

- You quietly disagreed.
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:02 am
Location: Salem MA

Postby Raechel R on Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:46 pm

You can't easily find a book about wall colors, because they all show white mouldings and picture rail, and you can't picture that color with your mahogany colored shellaced woodwork throughout.

You look inside homes in your area to see if any of their paint ideas in the front room or other rooms is good for your house.

(at least in our town) your neighborhood has the most junk outside 4 times a year on pick up anything trash day.

You and your neighbors consider buying neighboring houses & fix them so the neighborhood looks better.

More people walk on the sidewalks for fun in your neighborhood, not just kids.

There are books about your part of town for sale and you own them,

When contractors make suggestions you have to explain why it is a bad idea they are making, and then explain how you want it done.

You wish there were more magazines for restoration not remuddling. And that the existing magazines didn't have so many ideas that are for the "uber" rich only.
Raechel R

Postby Suzanne on Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:30 pm

I love this thread - it could go on forever, and I feel as if we are all cut from the same cloth, no matter where we are.


You read up on every aspect of repair/renovation because you can't afford to hire anyone, and wonder "What's so hard about electricity and plumbing, anyway?" (Electricity scares me, it's that fire thing)

Any neighborhood renovation project is an opportunity for dumpster diving. The city is renovating the house next door. I am now the proud owner of 10 solid wood interior doors. Have plans for 6 of them. I wasn't fast enough for the shutters and balusters. My other neighbor and friend was.

House tours - an opportunity for ideas, criticism, contacts and house envy.

E-bay: thank you Lord, I'll never buy another tool from Home Depot! I also have gotten 2 great old light fixtures that need re-wiring, but would have cost much more from a salvage/antique dealer.

People on this forum who have sites charting their progress - pictures! - I love every single one of them. Thank you all, keep it up. I get so much inspiration, advice and encouragement from your progress, and I love seeing the different houses in different parts of the country.

Old House Web - I'm addicted to this site. I read several others, but this one is the easiest to navigate, and the advice and comradery is first rate. Thank you all!
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Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:51 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Postby sharonk on Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:54 pm

When you go on vacation, you make sure you hit the salvage places in the city or town you are visiting...you can always bring back some replacement lamp shades or door knobs...

You end up building storage to hold all your salvage...currently we have four three panel doors and a stack of drawers from a built in buffet in our new storage room...I went to buy two more doors last weekend, but they were sold before I got there!

You have a shopping list of the doors you need, their maximum sizes and the proper door swings. You also have a list for the windows you need.

You bring a measuring tape on an Old Homes Tour so you can double check on the "correct" height and width of windows!

Postby Iowa4Square on Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:36 pm

I think that I fell in love with the concept of Old House Restoration when I read "Gone-Away Lake" and "Return to Gone-Away" by Elizabeth Enright. They're juvenile novels, probably set somewhere in the NorthEast US, probably mid-late Sixties. Two kids wander into a late-Victorian lakeside resort (the lake had 'gone away' from unrevealed causes, but I suspect some weasle developer built a dam or changed a watercourse). They meet two old people who had lived there as children, and returned to finish out their days. Eventually, the kids convince their parents to buy the "Villa Caprice", the summer home of Mrs Brace-Gideon, which had been closed up for the winter. Mrs. B-G never came back, and the house had sat sealed up tight for 75 or 80 years. "Return" is the story of that house restoration. They find Limoges china in the kitchen, fascinating books in the library, tons of unfashionable furniture in the attic (the Hepplewhite breakfront in the attic pays for the new piping, the Chippendale highboy pays for the new wiring). There's a Turkish cozy corner, a newel post with a gilded cast iron statuesque light fixture, and.... wow, I guess I remember more of that story than I thought.

The Enright books were absolute favorites of mine, and I too think they had a lot to do with my love of old houses. Here's some trivia- did you know that Elizabeth Enright was Frank Lloyd Wright's niece? His sister Maginel's daughter. And Wright's son John invented Lincoln Logs!

Here's another sign of being an old house owner: when walking or driving through a neighborhood, you "mentally undress" the houses of their vinyl siding, backyard decks, and attached garages, fantasizing about what they'd look like "naked!"
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