New Feature: Answers for Your Questions

Mail, mail, we get e-mail here at Casa Decrepit. Most of it is spam, but what the heck, every now and then you send us questions about the house or the current projects, and a lot of it repeats itself. So I bring it into the public eye, because what the heck, some of you may be too shy to send us e-mail. Here we go.

Are you guys crazy?

Technically, no. Both of us have a clean bill of health, apart from a mild asthma and some animal allergies.

Are you a licensed [architect|electrician|plumber|other building professional]?

No. Neither of us holds any sort of professional qualification to do anything in the built environment. On the other hand, you are not required to be licensed to work on your own house (the theory is that you're going to hurt yourself more than you will hurt others). So are we concerned about the work we've done on the electricity, or any of that? Not really. Noel went and read like a million books on electrical code before doing any wiring, and it's really very simple, as long as you obey certain rules. Not to mention that there are inspections, but don't rely on inspections or the electrical code to keep you safe: they're only there to make sure you're getting a bare minimum of quality of construction.

For things where we could get seriously hurt or killed (like fixing the gas lines), we hire professionals. For things where we could get covered in a few gallons of raw sewage (like dealing with the waste lines) we hire professionals.

There has been some confusion about my own status. I am a draftsman, I work for architects, and I'm going to architecture school. But I'm not an architect.

What happened to all that pink paint?

Actually, this is kind of an old question, because in my post of December 12 you can see that we still have all that pink paint. I bought a bunch of paint stripper, but outside projects have been more pressing. Also, as horrid as it is, the pink paint is protecting the wood from damage during construction.

So it's still there, but it will go away eventually.

What were the previous owners of your house thinking?

We get this a lot, and I think the answer is that they liked the bright colours, but they weren't much for maintaining an ancient wreck of a house. Not everybody is up to dealing with a crumbling Victorian, and I don't fault them for that.

How can you stand that much pink?

Actually, I've kind of gotten used to it. See? Corruption breeds corruption. Not that it's staying, but it doesn't make me want to stab my eyes out every day. Also, it's not quite so, uh, vibrant in person.

Why haven't you been posting so much?

We haven't been posting because we haven't been doing anything. The foundation work has wound down, and we're trying to find a carpenter to put our front stairs back on. You should see back before we got all reality-TV with this project: we'd sometimes go months without posting anything.

What's your next project?

When the front stairs are on, the bricks are cleared out of the yard, and the trees and roses we're expecting in January are all planted, we're going to work on finishing the living room walls that we started three years ago. Note to self: don't ever start a project when you cannot work solid on it until it is done.

On the other hand, I'm really happy with the quality of the plaster work I've done in those rooms. Even if lots of it cracked when the house was put on shoring and then taken off the shoring, and will have to be repaired.

After that we're going to do a lot of plumbing work. We're nonstop fun over here.

posted by ayse on 12/17/05