What was required was clear, but I
dreaded facing it.
The 1935 vintage colonial we were
rehabbing had an up-to-date floor
plan. It was consistent with and typical
of much newer, four-bedroom,
two-and-a-half-bath, two-story colonials.
But the house was old enough
that it had terminal water pipe problems.
The badly stained ceilings made
that evident to even the most casual
observer. Expensive replacement was
imminent – no doubt about it.
It wasn't just replacing the pipe that
was troubling. It was the overall
havoc that generally accompanies
such work – the access holes that
would likely be punched in the ceilings
and walls, and the broken plaster
that always gets tracked around and
ground into the strip oak floors, in