Good bones is a f*ing lie

I’d been thinking about what Justin B. said to me some time ago and he restated it again when I emailed him yesterday in response to his mass “we’re OK” email. He said that you don’t know if your house really has good bones until you’ve gone through your crawlspace and looked at them. Basically, the line ‘these houses have good bones’ is a crock unless those bones have been examined. Don’t assume that just because your house has been standing for 100 years it isn’t itching to self destruct in the next few years.
I’m now afraid to get calls from my contractor. I swear every time he calls, he’s telling me he’s found some fresh new horror. And we’re just starting. Yesterday’s find was more missing brick behind drywall. He’s amazed at how whoever did it chose to hide the problems rather than fix them. Then later he says we need to ‘talk’ about the windows.
I just wanted to move the bathrooms around. Maybe have a nice wood floor, that’s all. Some insulation here. A new door there, and I’m done. Instead I’m addressing whatever emergency endangering the structure of the house because in the 130 years the blasted thing has been standing, it hasn’t occurred to anyone to do more than the odd crappy patch job. Bathroom floor rotting? Cover it with tile! Massive hole in walls? Cover with drywall! Sagging joists? Water damage? Cracked plaster? Hide ’em all with drywall.
Yeah, I’m bitter.