More Buried Treasure


Just about two years ago I walked through this really lovely house with a huge, unused attic. I’m a city kid. The whole idea of leaving 100-plus Sq meters of attractice space unused was unthinkable. In San Francisco,  in Paris, you don’t just let that kind of space sit empty. So I got the house and told my architect to include plans for a master bedroom suite in the attic. He said what, the four bedrooms downstairs aren’t enough? He brought in a contractor who said yes, absolutely, it will be gorgeous. All we have to do is sand the floor.

The architect is gone and the contractor remains. One reason he is still here,  two years later, is this floor. It wasn’t so flat after all. We couldn’t just clean and wax it. We didn’t figure that out until the bathroom was plumbed and the kitchenette cabinets delivered. Oops.

So, as I kept writing unbudgeted-for checks, the guys screwed down the existing floor, with screws at about 7 cm, roughly 3 inch, centers. With the existing floor as flat as possible, they poured a layer of this self-leveling, lightweight,  fiberglass/concrete mixture. On top of that, the layer of green foam pads, to give the floor a bit of spring. Finally, you can see part of the oak flooring that Xavier is installing.

When he is done, obviously all you will see is the oak floor. And how much hidden money, in the form of all those layers, will you be walking on? I don’t know. Maybe this time next year, I’ll be able to tell you. Maybe in 5 years, I’ll figure the amount will be worth it, for all that extra space. Maybe.

9 thoughts on “More Buried Treasure

    1. Thanks. I’m trying to take the long view, too. I can do the work now or deal forever with wobbly furniture and trip hazards. It feels like a lot of money now but it’s less than it would be if the guys came back later, plus it’s done. One day, probably just a month from now, when the furniture is moved in, I’ll be over the pain of it all and wondering which rugs to put down.

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    1. I don’t know. Maybe I should have had you guys over when I first got the place. Back then it was easier to see how well-proportioned the house is and how well built. From what I know of the family history, it was well cared for until the ’80’s, when the last family patriarch died. For example, this is not the first geothermal system the house has had; he had one installed when they were really cutting edge. They used it to heat the radiators. When he died the money went, too, and things were let go. I like to think I’m just returning it to the standard of living to which it was accustomed — and which it so richly deserves!


  1. The clean and crisp works well in your house.
    Ours, however, must remain wonky… Any attempts to sharpen it up have been fiercely resisted by the building.

    The house and I are still setting the agenda between us……………..



    1. Thanks. I’m finding that the house has two kinds of spaces. In one, I can modernize with no problem. In the others, I don’t know. It will be tricky to find the right mix. I am not a chandelier person, so in some places, I’m not quite sure what I’ll do.

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      1. That’s the tough bit, making decisions, whatever the budget.
        I support vanishingpirates philosophy-
        do what suits you & fits your life. What else matters in the end?


    1. No, I’m staying in what used to be the housekeeper’s apartment. Do I wish I could afford a housekeeper? You betcha! I think that floor will be commandeered by the guys who have been commuting crazy distances. They are pretty sick of it. They can eat at a place around the corner but sleeping there is not so great.


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