It took the insurance company forever to figure out whether our settlement would be based on tearing down the house and replacing it with a new one, or repairing what remained. Either of these options would have taken only about six months to complete, and the insurance company would have taken care of everything.
I will not elaborate on the discussions and planning processes that caused us to head in our current direction, but the insurance company's decision to restore our house is what led us (one more willingly than the other) to decide to do something a little different with the insurance settlement.
There would have been some complicated code issues with our old basement that had nothing to do with the fire settlement and they would need to be taken care of first (out of our own pockets) if we chose to go the normal route. It would have been expensive and not financially feasible for us at the time. I suggested a home equity loan, but Doug had other things in mind.
Doug decided that we should tear down the old house and make our addition into a smaller, nicer house and that we really had no other reasonable choice. Hmm. So okay..... I did actually like the idea of a smaller house. After living with the actual structure of the addition plus our house all of those years, I had begun to realize that the whole thing was really going to be much too big for us unless we opened up a boarding house or something.
But at the same time I also didn’t like the idea of tearing down a house that dates back to the 1870s. I think old houses are special and should be saved whenever possible. I really liked the idea of ending up with a fully restored version of my house. It was kind of crappy and run down before, so a refurbishment would have been great, and so much better than it had been. That would have been enough for me. They even said I could change the floor plan around a little bit. And it would be finished in about 6 months. ONLY SIX MONTHS. I really missed my old house and was so sad that it had burned down and I really just wanted to move back into it as soon as possible.
In spite of all this, I reluctantly agreed to go along with Doug’s crazy new idea. But I remained very unhappy about the circumstances which caused this decision to need to be made.