I’m in a weird place. We’re making a lot of progress on the house, and yet, I’m feeing incredibly stressed today.
Ben told us in this morning’s meeting that the move-in date is likely to be closer to mid-November than November 1. Oh, and not surprisingly, the cost of the renovations has risen again. Oh, and, the vinyl siding they’ve been removing to frame in the new windows is too brittle to put back on the house. So we can either buy new vinyl siding (completely unappealing on every level) and take the time and money to install it (no thanks) OR we can leave the areas around the windows un-sided until we can afford proper siding. They’d just cover up the areas where they removed the vinyl with that tar paper stuff. So then we’d be the hideous house in the neighborhood with the Tyvek paper siding flapping in the breeze. It’d be ugly for us and for our neighbors (Ben O and his wife, and Ben’s sister and her husband) to have to look at every day. But buying toxic, ugly vinyl siding that would only be there for a year or so is not a great option, either. It’s a devil’s bargain.
Honestly, I can’t take it anymore. Why are we even doing this?
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I’m a little sad to see the stairs leading up to our “second” front door gone. (In case you don’t know, our house only has two doors–and both are on the front of the house. There are no windows on either side of the first floor of the house, and no door in the back.) When I was at the house doing demo, I liked to take a break by opening that second front door and stepping out onto the top stair landing, from which I could look down our street and see Casco Bay.
But, like the back stairs behind the old kitchen, those stairs are gone now. It looks like the builders found something else, too. Under our vinyl siding, there’s something possibly even more garish: asphalt sheet siding stamped in the pattern of bricks. It’s really quite hideous. Nick and I were harboring a secret fantasy that underneath the vinyl we’d find old cedar shakes that needed nothing more than our loving touch to come back to life and restore dignity to our little old house. But, instead we found what one blogger has termed “ghetto brick.”
I do sincerely hope it doesn’t contain asbestos. We need to take some of it down to replace the four windows in the old porch room. Some quick Google research seems to indicate this kind of siding was more popular in the 30s and 40s, so hopefully it will be asbestos-free. Regardless, we will probably just have to leave it where it is right now, and replace the old vinyl siding once we’re done with our repairs. It’s possible there are wooden clapboards under the asphalt siding, but I can’t even imagine the work it would take to get that looking good again.
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