Literally I think that is true. If it wasn’t for caulk my house would fall down.
When I bought my 90 year old house the back shed held a variety of things in it that I hauled to the dump. One of those things was a box full of all these different types of caulking. I hauled it all to the dump and put my tools in the shed.
Now I have spent the last few years working on it, using the word remodel would be incorrect. I have repaired it and kept it standing. Much of the work I have done has been on necessary systems, the kind of things that you only notice when they go wrong. Like when you go into the bathroom, shut the door, it won’t shut so you push on it and fall through the floor and land in a pool of water, yeah really that is water, well kind of. By the way don’t slam the bathroom door, please.
So now I have my own bucket of caulk, just as big. I even have opinions on caulk and favorite brands and types that I stock up on when they go on sale. Caulk for waterproofing, construction (ie sticking things together), exterior weatherproofing, silicone, roofing, metal flashing, black tar, insulating, you name it dozens of tubes of caulking. Ooooh a sale on at the hardware store! There used to be a time when I spent money on shoes.
And I have added to that array of things that glue things down, keep water out, prop up things falling away and other goos that you use to temporarily hold repairs at bay until you have the time and money to do them right. I also have a variety of putties, plasters, epoxies, glues, glazing compounds and other wonderful goops.
I have many times removed a wall or floor and looked in and said “what the hell was/is holding this up?” And the answer has been that wood, sheet rock or floor covering I just removed. Seriously. More than once I have thought “Oh Shit get something in there before the damn roof/wall comes down”.
Frequently while pulling something apart I have to cut out tons of caulk to get at something to figure out what is back there and has broken. These are the “repairs” that the previous owner made and never got back to finish. Not that I don’t have a few of those temporary repairs myself that have been stuck on the back burner for much longer than I planned.
Most of the time I am proud of what I have done. It is often a learn as I go kind of thing, and thank god I have friends that I can ask for advice from. How many friends do you know that you can call and borrow a house jack from within hours. I can think of three off the top of my head, at least if they aren’t already using them.
In many ways I knew what I was getting into when I bought this old house. Well as much as you can know. I grew up with my mom remodeling houses, though I have taken it to a more extreme level than she did. I have done some projects that I had no clue would become as big as they did,
if I had only known I would have sold the damn house. Thank god for the internet and friends in the building trades! Most of my friends start by saying “Well I suggest hiring someone to do that but since I know you won’t here is what you need to do………..”
Yeah I am proud of what I have done, but after seven summers of home repairs I hope I can take a break this year. And dream that next year I can tackle not a major repair but maybe an actual remodel. You know, do something I want to do. Something to make my house pretty and personal. Like gut the bathroom just for the hell of it and put in a walk in spa shower! *sigh* I think I’ve lost it.
So my advice is don’t buy an old house, unless your already crazy and want to take it to the next level of insanity. And spending and entire summer with a big blue tarp as the back wall of your house doesn’t phase you.