When Rosslyn Redux comes up in conversation with new acquaintances, I’m reminded again and again that home renovation is a universal theme. Whether folks have firsthand experience renovating an old house or have always dreamed of turning a tumble-down into a work of art, whether they’ve watched a friend’s marriage come unraveled while trying to renovate an old house or simply know viscerally, instinctively that they would never voluntarily undertake a home renovation, everyone has strong feelings on the subject. Everyone!
In fact, I’ve begun to wonder if the inherent value of recounting the Rosslyn Redux adventure might be that it invites others to share their own stories. On Friday I posted the following invitation on Facebook and Twitter:
Complete the phrase: “I would LOVE to (or would NEVER) renovate an old house because…”
The comments I received kept me smiling, laughing and cringing all weekend. On Sunday I gathered all of the responses and randomly drew one comment to win a Rosslyn Redux cap. The winner is John Sherdon who’s sage comment is included in the list of favorites I’ve quoted below. John, shoot me your mailing address and I’ll send you your cap. And thanks to everyone who submitted comments!
“I would love to renovate an old home because I have experience. My family has renovated 2 of our old homes. It can be a financially stressful project. The beauty of the renovation is keeping the character and charm of the original while creating something new. The fear is uncovering more and more to renovate – The worst phrase that often comes out: “Might as well re-do that too.”” ~ John Sherdon
“I would never renovate an old house because my wife would murder me, early in the process.” ~ David Diamantes
“I would love to renovate a house because during the process it tells you their story and when the home is restored to what it once was it is like a story told that remains with you for ever.” ~ Valasie August
“I would NEVER renovate an old house because I like my roofs and I like my marriage! I saw The Money Pit…”Two weeks… two weeks….”” ~ Lorca Damon
“I would LOVE to complete your phrase when we EVER complete the renovation of our old house…” ~ Kimberly Rielly
“Never! Ever! Again. Because I have, and you shouldn’t go broke twice!” ~ North Country & Hudson Valley Rambler
“I actually helped my parents renovate their old home when I was a kid, and had a blast. I also worked in a historic museum, and would love to have the chance to bring back an old home to life.” ~ Sherman Yazu
“I would never renovate a house because I still have the report card that reads “Sharon’s mechanical abilities are fascinating to watch.” Seriously. Do NOT ask me to build anything; it will just be bad.” ~ Sharon Cathcart
“I would renovate a house on a dime! I mean, change is like a holiday :)” ~ Kim Falconer
“I would love to renovate a house because I love to create. Unfortunately, I do not have carpentry skills.” ~ Mia T. Starr
“My parents bought and renovated an old home (built 1820). 45 years later, they’re ALMOST able to say that they’ve completed the process. (Time to start their second renovation?) Although I admire those who do – and definitely enjoy the funny/interesting stories that go along with the undertaking – I would never renovate an old home … which is precisely why I built a new one.” ~ Jane Hooper
“I would LOVE to renovate an old house because I grew up with a father who did exactly that. And when he would finish, we’d move so he could start over and do it again. It was amazing to see the transformations, and very rewarding to help make it happen.” ~ Kristy Ullman
“We already renovated an old house – time-consuming, money-draining, effort-taking… but so worth it!! Had some spooky goings-on as well…” ~ Mandy Cowley
“As an architect, my brother, chose twenty years ago to restore a run down mansion in Bernardsville, NJ. It’s been a long and never ending project and has also been financially taxing. I would never renovate an old house because I do not have the patience, determination, dedication and cash to devote to such a project.” ~ Rosamond Lincoln-Day
“I would LOVE to renovate an old house, because peeling back the layers is like revisiting periods of time… It’s amazing what you can find out about the people who lived there before.” ~ Rose Wall
“Hiya! My husband and I renovated an older house and I have to say, with time and financial constraints, it was a pain. We plan to do it again, minus the limitations. Creating that transformation and bringing a forgotten house back to life is AMAZING.” ~ Sarah Ballance
“I would love to renovate an old house because what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger; )~ I speak from personal experience having renovated a mid century mess into a beautiful house that I adore and that now feels like me…and Yes, I’d do it again in a heartbeat:)” ~Michelle Shell Rummel
What about you? Would you LOVE to renovate an old house? Or would you NEVER renovate an old house?