We know by now that our house was constructed by monkeys without tools who were smoking crack, that our electrical system is haunted, and that our faucets are conspiring with the washing machine to slowly drive me mad.
That’s all to be expected when you become a homeowner. What I didn’t think about, before I signed all those papers and agreed to pay the bank until I have retired, is that I was agreeing to remodel a twenty-five year old house with a perfectionist. Someone who can’t sleep if he knows the milk carton is sitting crooked on the refrigerator shelf.
We have a wall that goes along the laundry room and a hallway. Inexplicably, there are doors both at the entrance of the laundry room and the middle of the hall. We have given up questioning why. We decided to take out the door in the middle of the hall. It seemed to be a backup auxillary door, and we felt comfortable shedding the redundancy. But once we started demolition and were about to take out the door frames, we realized that the wall on one side of the doorway was about an inch farther out than the wall on the other side of the doorway. Upon further investigation (bashing big holes in the drywall and peeking behind it), we found that furring strips were attached to the studs and the drywall was against that, rather than the studs.
My solution was to put in a little one inch-jut and be done with it. But I see now just how foolish that was.
Last night, P. decided to tear out all the drywall. He figured he would then take out all the furring strips and attach new drywall to the studs. The two sides of the wall would match up, we could tear out the doorway, angels would rejoice, etc.
I stayed upstairs, far away from the madness.
A little while later, he came upstairs with a strange expression on his face. I followed him down to see what the problem was. All along the base of the wall, about a foot high and exactly as wide as the furring strips made the wall, was a concrete footing.
Clearly, what we should do at this point is put up new drywall and be done with, I thought. I forgot that he was a milk straightener.
He is now chipping away at the concrete with a chisel and hammer so that it is flush with the studs. I figure it won’t take more than a month or two. And while he’s distracted with that, I can put the milk back as crooked as I want. We both win.