Thursday, September 30, 2004


The bathtub needs another treatment of the drain declogger. I suspect that there is a piece of soap stuck in the pipes, so it might need part of a stick as well to dig around. Anywho, this morning's shower and clog got me thinking of maintenance and homeownership. Maintenance is drugery, and if we call a plumber, it's expensive too. Maintenance makes the act of just getting a house look like the easy part, particularly if you have an older 100+ year old townhome.
When driving through New York City, my friend Nora B. pointed out a depressing looking apartments above a bridge. She said it looked liked someone designed it, built it and then didn't keep it up. The once bright colorful paints were peeling, dingy and faded.
That could describe the history of many of the townhomes in my area. I'm still slowly, with fits and starts gathering census data for the area. I have recently stumbled onto 1880 households with white servants. The grand houses that held these important people and their live in staff, are a little less grand now. Big houses with ornate brickwork and large windows. Keeping up the brickwork, getting the birds' nests out, removing that mini-tree that established itself in a crevice, costs either time or money or both. The building of the grand house, done. Keeping it grand, annoying and expensive.
This was a topic hammered home in those first-time home buyer seminars, maintenance, keeping the place up. So many people put so much energy and money into getting a house, and in this market, that is a requirement. Unfortunately, their spirits and bank accounts are drained by the time the first crisis comes around. Darned it, those crisises come early. Mine was a hole in the wall. $400. Second was running toilet. $200, and that was WITH the home warranty. Then the flood. Insurance took care of that. I guess I spent a coupla hundred just to deal with minor things like insulation, leaky valves, etc. Then there was taking time off to wait for the guy between 11 and 3 for the quirky phone lines, or to look at the furnace. Will the person who borrowed, scrimped saved, took on an extra job have the ability to deal with the $300 problem that shows up, followed by a $90 problem and another one, and another one. With homeownership, there is always something.

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At 9/30/2004 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drain cleaner is basically chlorine in gel or congealed format. We have a consistent bad drain problem too, and drain cleaner got expensive. We found that a 1/4 bottle of cheap Chlorox poured down the drain before going to work and left to ferment all day does the trick. Even with those gross black/green flakes that are amalgamations of your hair, body flakes and lord knows what else. I just had to share. - Jimbo

At 9/30/2004 3:30 PM, Blogger Mari said...

Ah, Jimbo my congested hero! I'll pass this along to the roomie as she is the ruler of the bathroom.

At 9/30/2004 5:48 PM, Blogger John Whiteside said...

You are making me feel so good about reverting to renting.


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