Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Behind the scenes

When we bought our house in the 1970s the term "urban pioneer" was au courant, and we were definitely oh-so-energetic.  Like us, most of the other young couples lured both by the potential of these large, derelict houses and by their inversely small prices were doing much of the renovation work themselves.  Times, of course, have changed, and today it's rare to see homeowners here in Munger Place wielding their own tools.  Except for us.  Mr. C and I, being loathe to deal with workmen, still engage in hard and dirty manual labor.  So here we are reroofing the large back room which was added to the house sometime during its twenty-five-year stint as a nursery school.  (It was an upholstery workshop when we bought it.)

A good start on day one.
Many, if not most, of the things required for home repair and maintenance aren't that difficult once you acquire some rudimentary skills.  (It also is quite helpful if one of you is an engineer.)  And a good selection of tools is essential.  After that, it's just work, much of it repetitious and either messy or dirty or both.  Fortunately, once you have moved beyond the steep home renovation stage to the home maintenance plateau, the amount of labor subsides.  And the necessity for it can be conveniently overlooked or willfully ignored.  But not when the first rain since June brings water cascading from the ceiling into every bucket and pan that can be enlisted into service.  So, supplies were purchased, tools were gathered and out we went to put it right.

Coming along nicely on day four.
The second half awaits.

It's not so bad once you get started, once you accept that you're going to be hot and dirty and tired, but you are going to get the job done. We were lucky to have some out-of-the ordinary-for-August coolish days at the beginning, and we only worked for a few hours in the mornings.  And, then, ah, what could be nicer than getting all cleaned up and doing what you please, in air-conditioned comfort, for the rest of the day!  So here's the end, roof replaced, deck refurbished, and we're none the worse for wear, I'd say.

Now we've moved on to repairing and refreshing the room that's under that roof. 


  1. What an inspiring post. We are in the maintenance stage and enjoying projects like all new screens etc. I work really hard at calling contractors, and organizing installation. hahahaaa..

  2. ack, I forgot to include this: what a wonderful tree top hideaway in the last photo!

  3. A lot more pleasing when you do it yourself too. You must have a great sense of achievement.