It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.
- David Allan Coe
Don't buy a house because it's pretty.
I bought my/our house about 6 years ago. I loved it because of how it made me feel. The house had the added bonus of being in an ideal location and zoning for business. I worked in this building in my first year as an RMT. It always smelled good. It had so much character.
Fast forward to about 3 years ago, I was in need of some work on the house. I ended up getting a referral from a friend (it happened to also be a set-up, just so you don't all think it was unprofessional). Ryan put in a set of french doors and we started dating after I paid him :P
Ryan found lots of things that he wanted to work on in the house. The main bedroom was very poorly insulated, the dining room was sagging, and the kitchen was a wind-tunnel. We knew the kitchen would be expensive, so we decided to wait to renovate that room.
We shouldn't have done that.
We (mostly) finished fixing the bedroom and dining room, bought a few pieces of "forever furniture," and finally decided to take a look at the kitchen.
We discovered 4 layers of ceiling, 3 layers of wall, and 6 floors. The roof had apparently been leaking for some time. The exterior wall facing the street was not attached to anything except the floor.
Everything we had found was fixable until we discovered the foundation. It was composed of loose rubble and was covered with spray-foam on the outside to prevent further erosion. This discovery explained why the kitchen floor slanted so much.
I seem to remember Ryan having a very bad feeling before finding our foundation problems. I also seem to remember wanting to just leave everything alone and remain ignorant. We called our family friend Gary who is an Architect to help us decide what to do.
Our lives have been turned upside down by all this house business. We were told to document it because it's just so bad.
I'm very glad to bring you the story of our house :)