Building a House With Character(s) Part Three

One Woman’s Journey to Bring Old House Charm to a New Build

By guest writer: Lisa Knoop (Follow Lisa on Twitter @peaceloveknoop)

Part Three – Enjoying the New View

Our Carpenter. All the rough and finish carpentry in our house was led by a big guy, a gentle giant whose nickname among the guys he works with is Shrek. He was in the house daily as it was being built so he had a first row seat to my many unusual requests (see above maple syrup buckets). When I brought him surprise projects the guy’s eyes lit up like it was Christmas. He designed and built a ladder – with wood screws because he thought that would look neater — for the reading nook we created on the second floor for our youngest daughter. I found an old beat up newel post for the stairs with rusty nails still in it, and he spent days trying to position it so that you can see that it was turned on an angle. But what makes him truly likeable is that he cannot tell a story without using the F-bomb. I was an unexpected arrival during countless of his colorful stories, and each time all 6’5” of Shrek blushed beet red. 

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The Punch List Crew. So, when I got to the end of the build, there was still a list of unfinished bits – toilet paper holders to hang, lighting to finish installing, kitchen cabinet hardware to make out of plumbing supplies. (That last one might be specific to my house.) Enter the punch list crew. I’m not going to lie, when we moved in I did not picture men showing up first thing every morning to continue to build our house. Fortunately, my punch list crew leader is British. I find I like him around just for the accent. But after two weeks of seeing him every morning at 9:00 am in my kitchen, that thrill had worn thin. It was then that I decided that we should fly the American flag from the front porch. And the Brit was just the guy to install it. He had to read the installation instructions as it was the first time he had put up an American flag. He is now well versed on how, when, and where you may display the flag. I love that a Brit hung our flag. It is one more story that breathes life, charm and humor into this new house. Now it’s starting to feel like home. Well done, mate. 

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