Sometimes, you have a great home. Everything’s working. There’s enough space for everybody, with a little room to spare. The décor is comfortable. The place was gorgeous, apart from the gaudy wallpaper in that one room.
That was not my brother-in-law’s place.
He inherited the property from his grandmother as his inheritance. His sibling got the other stuff, which was less valuable than the house but ultimately needed less work.
It was a good home, with enough room for a small family with two or three kids. It had lots of storage space and was in a safe neighbourhood and even something in the foundations to keep termites out. It has some nice features, like a mahogany bar that his grandfather won from a friend.
The bar is fully stocked with a wine collection, but my brother-in-law doesn’t drink, and my sister thinks the wines are more valuable where they are now. I believe she picked that up from our Uncle Steven, who had a collection of antique toys.
However, he and I realised there was a lot wrong with the place, and it was in his best interest to spend money to fix it all. Professionals were the right call for most of them.
The first thing we did was to prioritise. We needed to figure out what needed fixing right away, and what could wait. After that, we made a list of which ones could be handled DIY style because he and I both were good with tools.
We started with the gutters. He called for professionals that he knew did good work – click here for them – and called them up. Those gutters were clogged, but thankfully we caught them before they could do damage to the house.
From there, we figured that the stairs needed fixing too. It seems an old termite infestation ate through parts of it, and it was a little unstable. At my sister’s insistence, we didn’t replace it ourselves. We called in pros that installed and painted the new steps. They even coated it with a termite-retardant.
The bathroom had a leak. It wasn’t the kind of break that’s splashy, though. It was mostly the sort that if you left the bathroom alone long enough, you’d have a puddle of water between the shower enclosure and the toilet. You’d also have no clue how it came about.
For that, I called in my friend Kenny, and we got to work. Kenny’s a plumber and has been fixing odd leaks like that for years. It took us a few days to find the source, but it was a quick fix after that.
Finally, there was the mysterious creaking in the attic.
We eventually ruled out most causes, like old wood or damage. Circumstances meant that it couldn’t be because something was stuck there. The house wasn’t haunted. The carpenter we called in couldn’t figure it out either, even after days of carefully dismantling the floor of the attic.
The dismantling did fix the creaking, though.