My wife and I are in the midst of remodeling the house we bought a year ago. The kitchen needs updating, the playroom needs more adult focus for its “play” theme (think bar, TV, wine fridge and possibly a mini Thunderdome), and the carpet needs to be pulled up to so we can refinish the hardwoods underneath that someone thought were a good idea to cover. This is potentially our forever home, and we want to make sure it has all the amenities we want to live with for the next few decades.
However, once we started the remodel process, we learned that our house, like most houses built in the 60s, is a death trap.
The layers of laminate under the carpet – an archaeological dig of our house’s historic record – is lined with pure cancer (err, asbestos). Our wiring features the valuable “burn your house down if your load is too high” early-warning system. The pipes are not so much pipes as pipe-shaped tubes of rust. Some of the windows are potentially lead-lined, presumably because of Superman. Everyone knows Supes was a peeping Tom before Crisis on Infinite Earths retconned that character flaw in 1985.
Yes, sir, building on an Indian burial ground is standard for your modern 1960s home. We funnel supernatural energy through your certified radioactive waste foundation to cut your heating bills in half!
We’ve learned valuable things with this remodel. Between the two of us we’ve bought five houses over the years, and uncovering unforeseen problems like this is pretty standard. Any remodel should have at least 25% added to the cost estimate, filed under “Fixing stuff your house is trying to murder your family with.” And despite all the short-term pain, our house will be better on the other side.
Superman just better keep his distance. The creep.