This is the conclusion to why we built a new modern farmhouse.
Actually, I like to think of it as a new beginning.
We became suddenly ill with strange and seemingly unrelated health issues.
After some research, we had multiple mold inspectors look at our 100 yr old farmhouse.
Our farmhouse had a mold and bat problem that was likely leading to our health issues.
we tried one last time
We had come to the New Year 2018 and we made one final attempt to remediate the old farmhouse.
The mold inspector sent his crew out to fog the home again. We wiped down every inch, removing all visible signs of the mold growing on the furnace ducts.
Within 2 weeks, the mold was growing on the hot furnace ducts again.
the words that gave us the final push.
Before the Holidays, I had reached out to an architect that specialized in mold. I had sent her several pictures and told her everything about our situation, what we had tried and learned about our house.
Her reply is what finally scared us enough to take serious action.
“That kind of water damage can have serious, permanent and tragic impacts on people exposed, whether they exhibit symptoms or not. Your first task should be to get yourself out ASAP. I hope you already have.”
Talk about a head spinning moment. I sat in my moldy home as I read her words again, “…get yourself out ASAP. I hope you already have.”
we moved out
That was it. We had tried so many things to fix the old house and we were only getting sicker. At this point we felt foolish for waiting so long to make the move. We had known something was wrong for so long, and yet we just stayed, hoping somehow we could fix our home.
We have been extremely blessed to farm with our family ever since college. Across the lane from my aunt and uncle’s house is a little two bedroom/one bath house that was originally built by my grandparents when they first wed.
For the last decade, the “little house” had been used as our farm office, but maintained extremely well. So that’s where we would live while we figured out what to do about our old farmhouse.
what about all our stuff, like furniture?
Mold spores can penetrate anything that is non-porous. What does that mean for all our things like furniture, books, photos, decor?
If it wasn’t non-porous like baking sheets, glassware or laundry that could be washed in ammonia and borax, it had to be thrown. That meant the only thing we kept were some clothing we could wash in ammonia and borax and some kitchen supplies.
Oh and remember, you can’t keep anything that sucks air. So we kept zero appliances, even including my hair dryer!
Below are pictures taken just a month after we left the house. Without constant contact, the mold was able to flourish on surfaces like our black kitchen chairs, and dressers that were in our daughter’s room.
Now what, do we remodel or demolish?
We looked into the cost of remodeling verses the cost of building new.
It really came down to the foundation on the house. If it was in great shape, it’d be extensive, but we’d remodel. If the foundation was cracked, we’d demolish and start over.
I’m guessing at this point you know what the foundation looked like?! Yep, it was cracked in several places and bowing in.
Physically speaking it was not worth saving. Emotionally, it was like losing a family member.
The old house stood empty from March to June. It got harder and harder to look at her lonely shell sitting there day after day.
I had such mixed emotions; that house had hurt us and yet that was the only home I had ever known.
The night before she was to be demolished, I laid my hand on her exterior and cried. I cried for my family, for the trial we had been put through, and wondered “why”?
As I let my emotions flow out of me in whatever order they needed, reflection started to happen. It wasn’t only negative things that had resulted from this experience. Actually we had grown in so many positive ways because of it.
Under the stars that night, I locked a lifetime of memories into my soul, said goodbye to my house and vowed to never forget the lessons I had learned. This experience was not in vain.
So we said Goodbye to the old House and began the process of building new.
guess what? We loved the Building process!
We’ll be sharing everything we learned to help answer your questions and provide inspiration to enjoy your building process!