Category: This Old House

Because War

Our house was built in 1941. In 1941, as you may know, the United States entered World War II, so homes built during the war years have galvanized pipes instead of copper, because all the copper went to the war effort. Fast forward 76 years and all that galvanized pipe is rusting from the inside out. Gross, but hey, none of us are iron deficient.

Yesterday, our friend, Phil, and our nephew, Spencer, began phase one by replacing the pipe that goes from the main into the house. They dug a ditch, pulled out the old pipe, and put in a new pipe. Today it passed inspection and they are filling in the hole.

Waiting for the inspection, contemplating the ditch over coffee.

Phase two hopefully begins in June, when the downstairs bathroom will be removed, all the remaining galvanized in the house will be replaced, and then the bathroom will be rebuilt. Fun!


Portico under construction.

I haven’t posted here in a while because I haven’t been able to hear myself think. We’ve recently had our roof replaced. Almost immediately after that a crew came to build a portico and fix several issues around the house. Davis & Bankerd Custom Painting has been terrific. In addition to painting they do a variety of home repair projects. We’ve worked with them before and really like them. Even though they’re great guys, I’ll be happy when they’re done.

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

Outside  putting in the pipeline to the house. How is she going to get out of that hole?
Outside putting in the pipeline to the house. How is she going to get out of that hole?
Inside assessing the thickness of the walls.
Inside assessing the thickness of the walls.

Our house was built in 1942 out of brick and block. The walls are 8 inches thick. The upside of this is that the house is very sturdy and you can’t break in by taking a Sawzall to the side of the house like you can in modern houses. The downside is that there is no insulation, and anytime something needs to be done that breaches the wall, it takes forever.

Today, the crews working for the gas company have to breach the wall. As is typical for this house, it’s taking forever. It’s very noisy and the dogs won’t stop whining. The good news is it’s not costing us anything. The bad news is we had a mercury meter inside our house and that sounds like a bad thing. I’m guessing it must be, because the gas company is spending a lot of time and money putting in new gas lines, replacing these meters and putting the new meters on the outside of all the houses in our neighborhood. If I begin exhibiting Mad Hatter type symptoms, I guess you’ll all know what to blame.

I’m supposed to be wrapping up the revisions on my book today, but it’s a little difficult to concentrate with all the noise and people coming in and out of my house. Did I mention the dogs are really freaked out and won’t stop crying? The very nice people who are replacing the meter tell me it will all be over very soon. I hope they’re right.