John Plocher and I are in the process of fixing up our 90-year-old Spanish Mission style home in Willow Glen (San Jose, California). One of the duties of homeownership is maintenance, particularly fixing what does not show. We just completed Phase One of a maintenance project, including adding new French drains to redirect water away from the house, repairing some rocky tiles on the side porch, replacing a front porch post, adding better support for the ground floor so that the front door opens all the way, and replacing a walkway-with-a-step with a ramp. This work will not meet the realtors’ goal of “increasing the value of your home” for resale, but since this is our family’s forever home, it is enough that the work increases its comfort and value to us. We got virtual tours of the ongoing work under the house using FaceTime.
Some of maintenance challenges come from ours being an old (if well-built) house, and others from the land being part of the original Willow Glen swamp of the Guadalupe River. The ground shifts annually with seasonal moisture changes, causing stucco cracks and sometimes making doors stick. The most unhappy person with the construction has been Princess, our porch cat, who resented the disruption of her royal domain. Phase Two is being planned now!
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