Destroying The Work of Past Generations..

My wife is an avid watcher of TV, especially the ‘flipper’ shows where someone buys a house for $20,000 and puts some paint on it and then sells it for $40,000. To me, that very idea is WRONG on so many levels:

It Gives People The Wrong Idea — It is kind of like sports in my mind where a kid decides that he will be a professional in basketball/football, you name it. He then spends literally all his waking hours playing that sport to the exclusion of everything else. As a result, he is totally unprepared for life when he is among the 1 in 50,000 people to get that one job. To me, sports just wrecks too many people lives with false hopes to have much overall value.

The same can be said for the flippers. They leave the impression that easy money can be made for little or no effort. There is certainly a vast proliferation of these types of shows in cable/satellite channels now encouraging naive people to spend their hard earned dollars on something that will eventually bury them.

On another level, many are demolishing history — On my trips through the living room where my wife watches her shows I frequently see two twin brothers who are trying to convince people to let them remodel their homes. These guys just seem to have a way of dissing all the work of past generations. They snicker and sneer at anything that is older than 10 years old. They say “how can up possibly live in a house like this???” They then go about showing their potential customers that for a mere $50,000 or $100,000 they can make their home look “modern”. They are tearing down or remodeling older architecture instead of appreciating past generations of work!!

It amazes me that every home they, and so many other copycats, redo seems to look exactly the same when they are done. I wonder how many years will go by before another generation of flipper disses their work as being cookie cutter?

But in some way I guess I was a flipper too. When I retired from the corporate world we bought a 1925 farm house that had already gone through three bad renovations and flipped it for ourselves. The difference was that about half of what we spent was behind the walls. Much of the wiring had been done without a code inspector and was just plain dangerous. The well went dry after running only 5 minutes and required another 15 minutes to refill. duct work had to be added along with a new furnace and air conditioner. Since most of the period features of the house had been destroyed by the previous remodels we spent quite a bit of money to recreate them again.

We are in our 17th year living here now so according to standard flipper rules, everything needs to be updated. We have too much carpet, not enough granite and only two bathrooms. That’s just plain unacceptable by today’s standards. The trouble at least for them is I like it just as it is. Especially since I built much of it myself.

2 thoughts on “Destroying The Work of Past Generations..

  1. Bravo for not following the herd, R.J. I spent about a year and half looking for houses with my daughter and her husband. We saw old homes, new homes, flipped homes, foreclosed homes. Sheesh! Jenny was totally sold on the idea that houses were shabby if they didn’t have wood floors, granite, undermount sinks, etc…. Almost every new or remodeled house had the same features and I thought it got really boring in that respect. They did finally find one…and yes it has wood floors, granite, undermount sinks, but it also has carpet on the lower level which she will replace as soon as possible. Oh yes, and wood burning fireplace which wouldn’t do, so they have already switched it to gas and refaced all the stone in a more modern look. That was probably a good thing to do, but I still balk at the expectations of young people today. We are just preparing to upgrade our small galley kitchen and are not doing granite or all the trendy stuff. We will stick with laminate which is affordable and suitable for our smaller space in a 1964 rambler, and a surface mount sink and faucet. We are having our solid old cabinets refaced with new style doors and hinges, new soft close doors and drawers. We’re sticking with a new hood over the stove and not a microwave which we rarely use. And that’s it. If we had any talent like you do, we would do some work ourselves, but alas, we do not. We’re using a qualified kitchen contractor and quality products. We will pay, but it will be a lot less than it could be if we followed current trends. I’m sure my daughters will roll their eyes at our choices, but we’re happy!


    1. Now that Jane is a common sense remodel. It seems folks think that somehow they will be better cooks if they have all the right stuff. Of course, you and I know that is nonsense but it is impossible to convince them of that. I can just see ten years down the road where the then remodeling experts will be tearing out all the “absolutely necessary” stuff of today as being totally cookie-cutter.


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