52. Now that we’ve seen the worst…*

We’ve been working on this little cottage every weekend for almost a year now.

We are no longer under any illusions. We know that the wiring is haphazard, the upkeep has been minimal, and it was built in fits and starts without much planning. (This is not to cast aspersions on previous owners and builders — they were our grandfathers and great uncles; they were our fathers and mothers, and we loved them.)


Checking to see how easy it will be to disconnect the sink faucets and drain…

We thought we were prepared for what we were going to see when we took out the cabinets.

We were wrong. WAY wrong. We were not prepared.

We were both so appalled that I only took one small picture, and that was AFTER we cleaned up the floor of insulation, mouse nests, hickory nuts, dead bugs, a mummified mouse, and an inch of mouse droppings. There was no photo of that, because, quite frankly, I don’t want to remember it.

But that wasn’t the worst.


Yes, in the picture above those ARE holes in the walls. See how the wall doesn’t appear to meet the floor? It doesn’t!

Yes, in the picture above, you can see mouse-chewed wire through the holes in the wall.

And yes, in the picture above, that IS a hole in the floor. Under the cabinet were three pieces of plywood about 8×12″ just sitting on the joists. Not nailed down. Of course, those boards moved when the cabinet was pulled out and dropped into the crawl space below. Basically, there was not a nailed down floor under the cabinets. We spent seven minutes staring aghast at the ground; we spent three minutes wondering if Gus the groundhog (see post 21. Apple Picking Time. ) would poke his nose into the kitchen; and we spent eighteen minutes scurrying around fixing it temporarily, so we could sleep at night. While I guarded the kitchen from Gus, raccoons, snakes, bears, or any other critter that could possibly make their way up that hole, Mr. H.C. found enough boards to cover the floor for now while we try to figure out what’s next. We are not wimps here; we’ve seen holes in the floor before…

Just one more polite rant: These cabinets were installed by a Professional Cabinet Company. What kind of professional would leave holes in the floors and walls and shrug and say, “Oh just leave it, the cabinets are going there anyway!”???

Right. A cabinet company that is still in business! Admittedly these cabinets were installed 35+years ago; but thirty-five years ago, did they still leave holes in floors? Now, we’ve all seen or heard horror stories of Professional Remodelers who have done irreparable damage to houses. Any stories out there? C’mon, the worst remodel saga you’ve ever seen — in 100 words or less. Let’s hear those stories!

Plans seem to change daily around here… And it’s not usually boring (unless you’re sanding windows…) So we’re off to buy metal lath, plaster, and some floor boards.

Let’s hear those stories…

*Mr. H. C. reminds me that this, very likely, is NOT YET the worst…

15 thoughts on “52. Now that we’ve seen the worst…*

  1. Oh, dear. That’s not good. Renovations of old houses aren’t fun. …But… in the end, it’ll be worth it! Right?? Ha, ha, I’m sure it will be beautiful once you’re done. It’s just the process that’s not beautiful. :)


  2. Wow! I’ve never remodeled, but love older homes. I guess in my mind, I zoom in on the after picture. Maybe you should focus on that too! Ha ha. Hope the worst is not much worse. I know I wouldn’t be able to sleep after uncovering what you did.


    • Oh my goodness! I had no idea… I’m so impressed. Your house in Maine has this little cottage beat for sure! And I loved that post on the Devil dog and the sad old lady. God has protected us from a life like that hasn’t he! Thanks be to God for his wonderful blessings. Now I have to ask — what happened to the little house in Maine?


  3. you’re in the country now! Can’t you imagine Pa doing that 50 years ago? He would have said “aw, that house is no account”! Like you said, we love them. (and he didn’t treat his real job, his farming, his real house, or people that way – but he wasn’t necessarily a handy-man)


  4. In hindsight, it would have been more economical to bulldoze the place and put in a modular home or log cabin or something but what fun would that have been?


  5. There is no joy in Mudville. Also, how about a load-bearing wall torn out right below the bathroom, ALSO to be rescued by Mr. HC? :)


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