If I always expect the unexpected, then nothing is truly "unexpected", right?

My "super wise" epiphany for today... if I always expect the unexpected, then nothing is truly "unexpected".

It came to me in the shower (as many "super wise" epiphanies do). I don't know... maybe I've been absorbing something while watching Sherlock, but it seems logical when I think about it. It is particularly applicable to home construction.

So when Hubby finished pulling down all the ancient sheet rock left on the framing in the garage that will be my studio some day, it was not unexpected that more wood rot was uncovered... because I've come to expect stuff like that. Luckily, it is wood rot that's just as ancient as the sheet rock. It's leftover from when the garage had its original flat roof (pre-1960s) probably when it was still an open-sided carport. There must have been a leak in the roofing that caused rain to wick down along the framing just enough to create some wood rot. It isn't much and is isolated to a couple of studs, so the fix is relatively straightforward. Hubby just needs to sister in some new studs alongside the compromised ones.

When we determined that we would be plunging into this latest home renovation adventure, we both expected things to go any way but straightforward, simple and swiftly. Again... expecting the unexpected. So that is why I am not posting photo after photo of progress with this project.

Over 13 years ago after optimistically thinking we could renovate/rehabilitate our entire home in 2-3 weeks, we learned that nothing goes quickly when it comes to this house.

Why, you ask? Just in case any of you have the idea that you'd like to tackle a similar adventure (and prove us wrong), keep these things in mind as you plan your renovation/rehabilitation timeline:

  • Expect any vintage home that was custom-built by the owner (particularly if the owner wasn't a contractor) to have weird quirks because everything is "unique" (we've sometimes used other choice words to describe some non-contractor-owner-builder choices we've uncovered)
  • Expect any vintage home that has had annexes built onto the original footprint to have multiple eras of construction materials represented as well as odd connection points or hidden damage from before the annex was constructed
  • Expect any vintage home built prior to 1960 to have construction that is sub-standard according to current building codes
  • Expect any vintage home that has gone through a period of dilapidation or neglect to have even more weird quirks than one that has been lovingly maintained over the years since it was built

So... from those of you that have been through this adventure already...  are there any other bullet points I should have included above?

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  1. Hello Cindy,
    We are facing similar challenges with our home and it is over 100 years old.
    Some "interesting" renovations have been done in the past and every job we tackle takes far longer than hoped with many extra repairs being needed along the way.
    I love our old house though and would never trade it for a new one!
    I am sure your new studio will be worth the wait and beautiful as I hope will my attic one be:)
    We are so blessed to have clever, handy husbands.
    Have a happy weekend,

  2. Oh my goodness, so true. The older the house, the more you can expected 'unexpected' surprises. *smile* It's so satisfying in the end, though.


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