Category Archives: Design

The Number of Electricians It Takes to Change a Light Bulb

The sorry truth is that I write a new entry in this blog when I’ve been charmed, appalled, defeated, or flushed with victory.  Clearly, my long absence suggests that it’s been a pretty dull winter. There was reason to be … Continue reading

Posted in Construction, Design, Renovation, Trades and Tradesmen | Leave a comment

This Is Not a Fence

The signs of my dereliction of duty to this blog are mounting. Folks are writing to ask if I’m well or if the house has collapsed or if the urban bears that terrorize Point St. Charles have eaten me. Here it … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Construction, Design, Renovation | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sex, Shelter, Art, Intoxication, and Death

It’s hard to imagine a 120-year-old house that isn’t hoarding a few secrets and surprises behind its walls, under its floors, and above its ceilings. Secretiveness and guilt make people hide things but there’s also the simple fact of loss. A ring slips … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Design, Discovery, Renovation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments


When you apply for a renovation permit from l’arrondissement du Sud-Ouest, or the Southwest Borough of Montreal, the document you eventually receive and  must  then post in your window displays a big, green “T.” If you’re thinking in English, no handy signification … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Design, Renovation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Santa Stymied

Taking the chimney down wasn’t really on my Christmas to-do list. Patricia’s logic was unassailable, though. If the chimney were taken down on the first and second floors, what was left of it in the basement could save us money. … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Design, Renovation, Tools | Tagged , | 1 Comment