I can't remember how many times we have said, thought, or heard others say, "it is so nice to own your own home so you can do anything you want to it." Well in 1993 we found out that before you can do anything you want to the home you need to have a loan in place. In the spring of 1993 it was time to seek a home loan on this property since we purchased it on a contract for deed. We wanted to use my VA Loan eligibility so contacted a lender and went to work on the mountain of paper needed to make it happen. As part of it a VA home inspector was sent to qualify the property and it was at this point that our freedom to do as wee wished was tested.
There was a list of minor details, such as a hand rail on the basement stairs. I am not opposed to a safety item like this, but the house had been standing for over 60 years and as far as I could tell had never had a handrail. The only person that ever used these stairs was me for access to the furnaces and hot water heater. But I of course would not let a simple hand rail stand in the way of getting the loan. But the most frustrating repair was the shingles on the 1930's portion of the house. The picture above is the only shot I have of this repair, probably because I was so upset to waste time and money on a roof that would only need to last another year or two at the most.
There was two layers of asphalt and a layer of wood shingles on the house and it did not leak anywhere. The pitch was so steep that it would need to be bare sheating before any water leaked through it. I tried to tell the guy that we were going to build over the top of it and that we would begin the next spring, but he wasn't listening to any homeowner try to dodge a repair. In fact his line was, "make the seller do it if he wants to sell the place." Well no sense arguing with him, after all the flat roof portion was totally shot and still leaked and he didn't mention it so I dummied up and applied the shingles.
The other somewhat major project was his concern over ground water and the foundation. The old gutter and down spout worked just fine but over the years there had been a little settling around the foundation. He tried to tell me that this settling was caused by bad gutters and wanted it replaced along with some dirt work around the house to privent puddling near the foundation. I didn't argue even though I knew what he was saying was not the case. So the repair was fairly simple, I brushed on a new coat of paint on the gutter so it looked new and raised the splash block at the base of the down spout so it had plenty of fall away from the house. We did use some river rock around the foundation to make it easier to mow and shed the water away from the foundation. And although the library addition covered this spot two years later we did enjoy the cleaner look during that time period so didn't complain about the work.
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