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What Is an Old House?

By The Craftsman on Dec 17, 2012

Image credit: gatordawg / 123RF Stock Photo

The bumper sticker on my truck reads, "Please Recycle. Buy an Old House." It’s not often that a company can fit its mission statement on a bumper sticker. A beverage napkin maybe, but we boiled it down to bumper sticker length. Honestly, there is a bit more to our company’s mission, but the real reason I formed my company was to save as many old houses as I could before they are all gone.

Too many people today look at an old house and see nothing but a big headache. They imagine they’re about to sign the mortgage on The Money Pit. Just the smallest thought of maintaining an old house makes them stock up on Valium. But there is so much more to an old house. Take a peek at my post 10 Reasons to Love Your Old House if you don’t believe me.

Sometimes it’s difficult for me to put into words why I think these homes are so important. As I write this, I’m trying to come up with a fun title like "4 reasons an old house rocks", but this is apparently not going to be one of those posts.

There really isn’t a set of steps involved in loving and appreciating an old home. You’re either inspired by the history behind their doors or you’re not. Much like your perspective on half-full or half-empty doesn’t change the amount of liquid in the glass, your opinion about an old house doesn’t change what it is.

It is old. It was built by hand without power tools. It has housed multiple generations of very different people through very different times. It was likely someone’s first home. It was likely someone’s last home. It was probably cared for tirelessly by one owner, and it was likely neglected by the next. It was sometimes repaired properly and sometimes not so much. Whatever it was, it is now yours to do with as you please.

Personally, I’m inspired when I see an old home. And the ones that inspire me the most are the bruised and battered ones looking for a contractor in shining armor. I can see the diamond in the rough and it is beautiful.

This post begs to be more of a dialogue than a monologue. So tell me, why do you read a blog like this? If you’re an old house owner, do you love or hate your house? Is it more pain than it’s worth?

How can we expect to improve ourselves and our homes without a community to talk about the things we know and learn the things we don’t?

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