The Cross House
All old house restorers know this: Because of a lack of time and/or money, one does a “temporary” repair.
However, over the decades, I have learned that temporary usually becomes permanent.
For example, let’s say you have an original window. The sashes are in very poor condition, as are the frame and sill, but all are restorable. The problem? It is soon going to be January, again, and from experience you know that freezing air WILL blow through the window. And you just cannot go through such another winter. So…you do a quick fix. A temporary fix. The old sashes are taken out, a vinyl window from Home Depot is sorta fitted in (with a lot of spray foam) and while the end result ain’t pretty, at last, at last, no freezing wind now blows into your bedroom.
But, and this is the killer, twenty years later the quick fix is still in place.
We have all done this. We all know the restoration anguish of intention being displaced by…time.
Next month I will be sixty (eek!) and have learned (the hard way, of course) a vital warning:
In 2014 I did a temporary solution on the main facade of the 1894 Cross House. An original feature, kinda cool but so poorly designed for exterior usage that it had already been replaced due to rot, and the replacement itself had now also rotted away, needed replacing yet again.
This cycle of endless replacement seemed stupid. So I — gasp! — removed this feature and replaced it with a non-original…something…until I could figure out how to recreate the original design but with materials/detailing which would not rot away.
Since, though, this temporary solution was finished in 2014 a little voice in my head, quiet at first but ever louder, kept nagging at me: Don’t let temporary become permanent.
The months slipped by. Then the years. And the nagging grew VERY loud. And VERY insistent.
OK! Damnit, OK!
Geez! Damn! OK! OK!!!!!!!!
STATUS REPORT: I am pleased to announce that the damn nagging voice has been silenced. Well, at least until I create another “temporary” solution.
EMOTIONAL REPORT: I am so happy!!!!!!!!