dressed up like a lady: The Foursquare

Jan 24, 2014

The Foursquare

We knew when we moved in here that we'd probably have to replace the deck. It sat untreated for too long before we bought the place. We tried flipping a couple boards last summer just to see, but sure enough, they were too far gone -- and what's more, for some reason instead of deck screws, they were secured with GIANT NAILS. Just to assure that doing basically any repair work on any of it would be 10 times harder. 

It's just as well. Half of the deck completely covers the part of the yard that isn't properly graded -- we need to remove it just to regrade the soil so we don't end up with basement leakage. I don't know what we'll eventually do back there. Maybe just shave off half the deck and have more yard? Maybe scrap it all for some kind of stone patio -- something not so vulnerable to the elements? 

It's one of a million little non-emergency projects for the Foursquare. The duct work was never finished for the addition, so you need a plug-in radiator to be in the office in winter. The outlets are all outdated. The upstairs shower faucet is crooked. We'll need the valve rerouted and the electricity rewired before we can replace the dishwasher. The downstairs toilet leaked so long that it started to rot the surrounding flooring, so we uninstalled it, but haven't gotten around to installing the new one. Again, just as well -- it's somewhat weirdly located in the laundry room. Not that I'd complain about having another toilet at some point.

Of course, there's cosmetic stuff. But who doesn't dream about punching out a kickass retro kitchen or sweet looking tiled bathroom? What's weird about all this stuff is that I don't want it to already be done. I want to do all of it. We didn't save our pennies and maintain good credit and accept the selfless help of loving family for a house somebody else perfected and fucking flipped -- we did all that to buy the Bailey's house. Which is a less than accurate comparison because this house was not decrepit when we bought it. However, it was A.) Very large by my standards, and B.) Only well within our price range because it demanded to be fixed up, personalized, and perfected by us.

I love this house. I love our home. I love this broken deck that we will probably dismantle and burn in the fireplace.


  1. Don't burn the deck. It's probably pressure treated wood and will make poisonous smoke if burned.

    1. Heh, yeah I wrote that mainly in the spirit of poetic license -- inspired in the moment by it being minus 17 outside. I know not to burn chemically treated wood, I promise. :)

  2. Dude. I hate our deck. I want it gone yesterday.

    Okay, I don't -hate- it, but it was clearly built by the previous owner's son who had no idea what he was doing, it's not in code, so even if we wanted to fix it we'd have to knock it out and rebuild it; they're not messing with us right now because it was "grandfathered" in when they changed the code. It's crappy is what I'm sayin' here.

    I want to knock it out and replace it with a stone patio. I love me some patios. I have this dream, hahahaha. The same dream I have where we're replacing all the bedroom carpets with hardwoods and building a built-in bookshelf/entertainment center in the living room and all that nonsense.

    Ours has giant nails, too, btw. Because our decks were both built by people who were NOT GOING TO LET YOU PULL THIS DECK UP EASY, DAMN IT.

    There really is something about doing the work yourself, too; it just makes the house that much more YOURS, in the end. On the other hand... I am super lazy ;)

    1. Haha, WHY the nails?! My parents never had much money, and my dad's a pretty handy guy -- but even HE always said "Do your own demo work; it's easy to destroy things. But don't build anything without a professional unless you can do professional level work."

      Other strange corner-cutting in our house: The valve supplying water to the dishwasher was installed downstairs in the basement instead of right next to where the unit goes, and it was placed so awkwardly up against a support beam that it's PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO GET A WRENCH ONTO IT. Hilarious.

  3. I actually love that old look of the deck, and I am a fan of wood in general..:)

    Dress To Cook

    1. I must agree, Rona, I do love the way the old wood looks, even if it's kind of deteriorating! ;)


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