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When It Rains, It Pours

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 18, 2013

You’ve heard the saying: When it rains, it pours. Or how about this one: One thing leads to another. Nowhere more is this true than in household repairs. First we had a roof leak. We had the leak fixed but not before it stained our living room ceiling. Since our roof tile was over 30 years old, we contracted for a new white barrel tile roof. This got done.

Meanwhile, an insurance adjuster came by and paid for our ceiling repair. These contractors are due to start tomorrow. We’ve spent a couple of days moving everything fragile or mobile out of the living room, dining room, and hallway since the men will be removing the popcorn ceiling and replacing it with knockdown. The bathroom also needs a makeover as water dripped through from the leak there, too.

So we are moving away my years-old crates of books from the dining room when we notice coffee ground size particles on the ceramic tile floor…and a few dead insects. And more particles sprinkled among the books. Lately, we’ve seen some flying insects around the light sources at night. Could this be where they are coming from? I call the termite guy, swallowing my dread that we might need the house tented next. I hope it’s drywall termites that can be spot treated. Otherwise, we may be in for more unpleasantness.

I really should get rid of those books in my never ending TBR pile. My Kindle and iPad are looking even more attractive, and my piles of print books less so. The pages are yellowing and who knows where I got them.

Speaking of yellowing, we’ve noticed a section of roof tile outside turning yellow. Could this be due to the black olive tree nearby whose leaves can stain? But they didn’t stain our previous white flat tile roof. Or is this section defective? I call the roof people. They’ll call back to schedule an inspection—I hope. They’ve been paid, so they have little incentive.

My husband suggests we cut down the black olive tree, and maybe our mature lychee tree along with it. They’re both too close to the house and rain dead leaves upon our gutters (that need a cleaning). The fruit on the lychee, which we’ve enjoyed for many years, is now too high to reach. And the tree’s roots are encroaching on the house.

Then there are the driveway and the pool that need renovations, and…the list goes on. Maybe we should call this the Homeowner’s Lament. I’m glad my Kindle free promotion is over so I can pay attention to these issues. It’ll be impossible to work anyway with people in the house tearing down the popcorn ceiling outside my office door.

What will we discover next? Are you sticking it out in your aging house or running to buy a condo?


12 Responses to “When It Rains, It Pours”

  1. My dad had a theory about cars — as soon as you have to fix something, trade it in, because it’s just going to get worse. I’m not saying it’s smart to move instead of fixing a house, but as soon as you fix something, the “oldness” of everything else becomes apparent. We did our old kitchen in bits and I vowed that if I ever had to do it again, I’d bite the bullet and do the whole thing. When we moved up here, that’s what we did, and I think I’m much happier with the overall renovations even if it meant living in total chaos for a while.

    As for books– I have way too many. I’ll be giving away a box of them in a contest very soon.

    • I donate my used books to the library for their book sale. When you move, you can redo things all at once. It’s easier than when you’ve been in a place for a while and have to prioritize.

  2. I so understand. We just put in new windows. Need a new roof, and the whole house inside and out needs to be painted and re stuccoed. I need new kitchen cabinets…mine are from 1966 when the house was built. I have great empathy for your one after the other issues. And the repairs will not increase the value. But, have to be done. I lived in so many apartments before we bought this house and I hated it. So I’m sure a condo is not in my future. The dogs and cat don’t make it conducive to condo living and I love them too much to give them up. I hated hearing people above me or beside me keeping me awake at night. And listening to arguments made me uncomfortable. If you own a condo there are monthly fees and so many other issues that would make me crazy!

    • New windows are expensive. Did you get hurricane impact ones? We need the repainting too but that’s not urgent. I don’t like condo or apt living either. It’s easier but cramped for space.

  3. So true, Nancy! If it’s not one thing, it’s another. The joys of home ownership, I guess. I’m not ready for a condo, but some day may want to give up all the glamour of having my own yard for one.

  4. Diane Schultz said

    I’ve noticed that in older neighborhoods, houses seem to dwindle as their trees overgrow them. When researching ways of financing a house to “flip” I learned that sometimes cutting and selling a mature tree could provide fairly good money ($1000, for example). Perhaps it has to go to a specialty wood place (hard woods are getting more expensive) or a tree company (sells for fireplaces, at least up north). But I thought that the neighborhoods themselves would look revitalized if they cut the old trees, ground up the roots, and used part of the proceeds to buy $100-200 trees that are a decent size (5-7 years maybe) and will grow back over time to have many beautiful years with the house. My mother used to grow lemons, and my mother-in-law had an avocado tree. I think both would grow where you are, so you could opt for something other than lychee if you want, or simply let it go and plant a new one which will give you more years of fruit again, plus fit the house better. As it is, you may attract wild parrots, which will be beautiful but may bring other concerns (scat/droppings, noise). I have no idea what insects and animals would be attracted to lychees. Good luck with your updates!

  5. So sorry about the house troubles. It’s a nightmare, but things will be fixed and then it’ll be over. Some communities (like mine) do not allow any more fruit trees to be planted. I still have my beautiful guava tree. My friends sold their totally redone house in Boca Point and moved to a condo in downtown Delray. Although it looked fine & passed inspection, they now have tons of work to do due to hidden leaks, etc. So if you love where you are, stay put! I am. Everyone hates workmen in the house. Get rid of the trees and the books. I donated hundreds to the library…kept a bunch that had sentimental value.

  6. I feel your pain! Sometimes it seems a home really is a proverbial money pit. We need to renovate both our bathrooms and our kitchen – the two most expensive rooms to redo, of course. Not happening tomorrow, but someday. But speaking of trees, losing the big tree that used be in front of our house was the best thing that could have happened. Our yard, roof, and pool stay so much cleaner now and besides, it wasn’t a Florida native and never should have been planted. Good luck with everything. It’s worth it in the end.

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