Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Open Letters to Previous Owners

I’m a big fan of the website Timothy McSweeney: Curses With Pox, Not Plague. It’s a creative writing website.

My friend Dan the Librarian told me about an entry on the site called, “An Open Letter to the Man Who Installed the Carpet in 1974 for the Previous Owners of the Home We Just Bought.”

I’ve thought of making a Previous Owners Hitlist, composed of the infuriating, confusing, and just plain bad decisions previous owners have made about “improving” their houses.

Have you ever composed an open letter to a previous owner? If you feel so inclined, leave me a comment on this post or send me an email with your open letter to a previous owner of your house. I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on this.


2 Responses to “Open Letters to Previous Owners”

  1. February 12th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Tara says:

    It’s not an entire letter, but under the “I’d like to meet” section on my MySpace page, I’ve noted that I would like to meet the “A$$holes who lived here before me and were firmly convinced that caulk is an acceptable structural building material.” Why use nails when you’ve got caulk?!? Why make things meet? That half inch gap can be filled with…Yep, you guessed it CAULK!

  2. December 2nd, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Nina says:

    I haven’t but I’d sure like to talk to them. Why did someone put wood paneling up in the attic, hiding a toy tin car from the 20s? It was RIGHT behind the wall! Was that deliberate? Who thinks that indoor/outdoor carpet would be nice inside the entire house? Who put carpet glue down on the original hardwood floors and installed carpet? Why did nobody, in the past 100 years, think that maybe we should tear out the old flooring before adding yet ANOTHER layer (to total about an inch and a half) to the kitchen? Why are there switches to nothing? Literally NOTHING even wired to them?? Who thinks that a drop ceiling would look good in the kitchen? Who decides to do plumbing work to the bathroom above by tearing through the plaster ceiling below…then, instead of fixing the plaster, just put a drop ceiling over it? oh, and the most important of all…WHY…WHY WHY WHY WHY would ANYONE paint over the beautiful woodwork and brick fireplace? WHY!?? I’m gonna be stripping paint for the rest of my life! Oh…and where is my coal chute door? I want that back! As well as the original downstairs registers. And the original swinging kitchen/dining room door. And original side door. And coal stove. And what the hell is the deal w/ the useless hall closet? Was that original? And why didn’t anyone, in the past 100 years, decide to clean under the porch? And why doesn’t electricity go to the garage? OH! And who the HELL decided to put asphalt shingles over the perfectly good original slate shingles!!!?? Stupid idiot! I really wanna find that guy! Ok I’m done.

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