You know you live in an old house if…

The Dorobeks’ got a house! We’re working on the turning it into a home part! I know I’ve told y’all that lots of times now, but the whole house thing still does not feel real! I guess the cardboard boxes all all over the place, empty rooms, and boring beige walls aren’t helping. We’re still in the figuring-out-how-things-work stage of this house. You know things like, where are you naturally going to kick of your shoes and throw your keys? Where are the water hoses hiding? Are we really going to use the garage for our cars or to store crap? How do you turn on the sprinkler system? Why do all the plugs only have 2 prongs? I could go on and on, but I think you get the point!

You know you live in an old house if…

live in an old house

You know you live in an old house…

1: If you have to work on your computer in the bathroom because it is the only place with a desk and a 3 prong outlet. Yep. True. 2 prong outlets are priving to be very annoying. We did finally get some adapters, so we’ve moved the computer out of the bathroom and into the living room. But, the whole grounding of the wire situaion is going to be expensive. We’ve had multiple estimates done, and they range anywhere from $75 to $150 outlets. We have 50+ outlets in our house : /

Jamie Dorobek CRAFT

2: If you can’t make the mortgage you can dig up your sprinkler system. It’s made of copper. Note: Please don’t come dig up our sprinkler system. That would not be nice.

3: If you find a wallet from 1940 with a folded piece of paper inside that says: “Special orders for German-American Relations.” Andy actually found it in a cabinet, but I was super excited about this find! I have big plans to make a shadow box and let the shadow box live in this house forever. Look at those pictures

Jamie Dorobek CRAFT

4: If you’re only allowed to take 4 minute showers. After that, the toilet starts bubbling, the drain starts backing up, and it’s time to get out. : / #OldHouseProblems

5: If your bathroom tiles are chipping and there is mint green peeking through! Now, this is exciting, and super scary. I mean look at these mint green hexagnal tiles. Oh my cuteness! (That’s an instgram picture… follow me if you’d like!) Anyone know how to get old paint off of a floor? #Help

Jamie Dorobek CRAFT

Anyone else live in an old house? What can you add to the list? Oh and don’t mistake this for complaining, I love our old house. It’s charming and fun… I’m just stating the facts here, folks. What I really wish is that the magic house fixer fairy would appear and do things, like drains and outlets and while the fairy is here, maybe she’ll scrape the paint of the tile.  So, do you know how to get paint off of tile? Do you think it’s as easy as pulling it off? Who paints tile anyway?! Is that a thing? Have you found any fun, old things in your cabinets? What are you old house problems? #OldHouseProblems I’d love to hear…


  1. HA right there with ya, Jamie!! We moved into an old house 2 weeks ago and are already discovering these “fun” things…I know it will be tons of work but we’re excited :) PS LOVE those hexagonal tiles – but have no idea how to advise you!!!

  2. We live in an old house- circa 1920- and I love all the charm, but I did not love all the work it took to get it to its current updated state. Like you, I love the original stuff, luckily for us no one messed with it. Of course that meant they also didn’t mess with the old cesspool, the two prong outlets, the cloth electrical wire…ugh. I wish you the best of luck! I am sure it will be gorgeous when you are done!

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      Thank you, Kim! We do love the charm, but those 2 prong outlets are not that charming, ha!

      • Barbara Cole says:

        Jamie, Fix at least one in the bathroom for your hair dryer because it can be dangerous. (Dropping it into the tub, etc..) Maybe one in the kitchen for the toaster and coffeemaker, etc… Then you don’t have to ground the rest unless you have a problem or until you want to.

  3. Our windows use to have giant springs in them and weighted a ton. I loved our old house:)

  4. ha! Glad I’m the not the only one! My house has many “quirks” too…

  5. I craved an older house but the expense of them kept us away. Instead I will have to put up with updating a house from the 80’s!

  6. we lived in a super old house when we were first married! It was up on blocks, built in the 30s and didnt have central A/C! and you know how hot i get haha! also, we lived there 3 years and just always used the adapters on every plug… we never changed them.

    We also had one window unit in the living room and to get cool air to our room we put a fan in front of the window unit and blasted air back to the bedroom haha! one winter we had the heater on every night in the living room and our closet was behind mirrored doors, we didnt realized it was building up condensation from the shower and heater at night then getting so cold in the morning so one day i hear a huge crash… all of the shelves were so water logged and mildewed they fell and i had to throw a big part of my clothes and shoes away cause they were so moldy… it was so gross haha :(

    cant wait to see the mint green tiles!

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      OMG! Y’all did not have central AC… I barley believe you 😉 That shelf situation does not sound fun. Come over and help me peel paint!!! We’ll get Allison… It will be fun, promise!

  7. Let’s see… 5 minute showers before the hot water runs out, only ONE outlet in the kitchen and TWO in the living room, pink bathroom tile, metal awnings over windows, washer/dryer in garage, tiny closets… but there are perks too :) Hardwood floors, cute front porch, big trees, big yard, phone nooks that double as jewelry displays, eat-in kitchen…

  8. On our 1910 home we used a product called Citristrip to get the paint off the tiles. It’s worked really well, the previous owners had painted all the tiles including the walls in our bathroom, ugh!

  9. Oh man the two prong outlets are killer!!! When my family moved that was something we never thought about, needless to say my mom had my dad fix that one super quick! Even with all the quirks their house is built better than the house before that was 20 years newer! I really do think older homes are gems. Pulling up wallpaper is like a timecapsule too! We had wallpaper that was 4 layers thick under wood panels. It was fun to guess what years they were put up. Enjoy the house!!

  10. My ‘new’ home is 212 years old. I do love it but yes it is exasperating! I’m almost done changing the outlets (thankfully the bank had the electrical box changed before I moved in)! But still only 1-2 in each room–even the kitchen–ugh—-that’s a redo in the savings. I have the original tree logs for the studs in the basement–still with bark on them. No closets in any room—NO closets! It is just me here so I made the smallest room into a dressing room. And copper—-well let’s just say it is probably worth more than what I paid for the house. It’s fun, too when I find things in the yard while digging holes for flowers…small bottles, etc. That’s my old house.

  11. Our first home in California was really old. Luckily, we bought it pretty much “turnkey”, but we dealt with a lot of “old home” issues…mainly plumbing and insulation. I became a pro at basic plumbing though!

  12. Oh my goodness, those mint hexagons are amazing! Good luck at uncovering them!

  13. Oh boy. I really could go on forever. But first let me congratulate you!
    Our home is from the 1920’s. when we moved in, the only outlets for 3 prongs were for major appliances! My husband has since switched them out himself (super duper easy to do). Our wiring is original . I think it’s called knob and tube. New light fixtures are a challenge. The plumbing is scary. The last guy who came in advised us to always shut our water off when leaving for the weekend because it looks like our pipes could burst in places any moment. Joy! And in one bathroom, we discovered metal tile once we pulled off the paneling (what??) seriously- with each thing we do, we discover something new. And it’s been 10 yrs!

  14. Our 1918 or thereabouts house gives us these treasures:
    * stairs that you can’t carry a conversation while walking upon due to creaks – after being redone once!
    * two toilets in the house and the second one is an “outhouse” in the basement
    * a front door that doesn’t open when it’s cold or hot – we live in Michigan so it’s always one or the other.
    * a good chunk of my kitchen storage is unusable due to the flour bin and built in sifter. Charming but what the heck do I do with it? I’ve found weevils in it so I can’t use it for flour…
    * plaster walls so hanging things is fun. I’ve found that putting painter’s tape over where you want to hammer a nail keeps large chunks from falling off.
    * our laundry chute is the old chimney from when the house was heated with a coal burning furnace. To do laundry I open a big metal door presumable from where you would shovel the coal for burning.
    * we used to have two-prong outlets but we rewired out entire house four years ago since our wiring was about one step up from knob-and-tube.

    Good luck!

  15. Lauren says:

    I live in a 1922 bungalow to duplex conversion. I don’t have ANY outlets in the bathroom. The window in the shower looks into a bedroom. There is no light fixture in the kitchen. There are no outlets in the kitchen. The floor in my bedroom is at an angle (6 inch difference). I do have two 3-prong outlets… HOWEVER, one of them is an obsolete “Australian” style 240 volt duplex socket once used for washing machines. It’s in the bedroom.

  16. Aren’t old houses the best? We live in a house that turns 150 years old this year and have found Civil War-era nails in the basement. Every project taken on, we have to think about the “ripple effect,” or what else will break or need to be fixed in the project process. One simple project leads to 10 other minor projects.

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      Civil war era nails… that is awesome. I do love old houses :) Happy birthday, to your house!

  17. Hi Jamie!
    Love your new “old” home! You might try soy gel to remove your paint. It’s the best stripper I have ever used! Water based/soluble. No harsh chemical, you can even get it on your skin. Peels the paint right off, won’t hurt Your tile or grout and clean up is a breeze! Water! I have to order it online but a paint store may carry it.
    Good luck!

  18. We live in an old house too! I can totally relate. We find old wallpaper peeking through that has been painted over, we have an old closet that is halfway up the stairs that was turned into a bathroom, and you have to flip two different switches to turn on the garbage disposal. It is an adventure!

  19. LOL, only 4 or 5 layers of wallpaper on the walls and 1 coat of paint over the tiles! That’s not too terribly bad. The house I grew up in was a ’50s ranch style. Most of the rooms had 5-8 layers of wallpaper on the walls, and a couple even on the ceilings! When we were finishing the entryway, we discovered after the first 15 layers or so of wallpaper, there had to be another 10 or more beyond those!!!!!! Wow. I think we ended up doing a wainscoting type of paneling on the walls, in a white wash. Funny thing is, when we moved out 30+ years later, the entry is what sold the new buyers.
    Enjoy your priceless treasure.

  20. “Never to trust Germans” … umm … you can trust me! Really! I promise!

    But about the old house: I grew up in an house, builded in 1927, my parents still live there. What I love most about it are the frame and panel doors and the high walls! My parents did a lot to the house and it got even more charm now… Maybe I can blog about it one day!
    Thankfully my little student apartment is also in an old building, so I have as well frame and panel doors (or something similar…) and high walls! And I have the funny crooked walls, oh what a fun! In the end I was missing 1 centimeter (0,4″) to have enough space for all cabinets! Now I have one less cabinet but an open shelf in between them…… :)

    Love, Midsommarflicka

  21. We lived in a 1890’s home in NC and the floors all sloped or sagged and we shared our home with field mice ! And I had a Creepy Leprecaun (sp? ) door to our attic right next to our bed. But we loved it.

  22. Over here from Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke – glad to be reading!

    We bought my in-laws home. When remodeling, we found an old, worn-out brief case with a bunch of my father-in-law’s army photos, his mess hall pass, etc. SO cool, and an amazing piece of family history. Love your shadow box idea.


  1. […] pics and post. Bad me. I did show you a few when we first moved in and gave some funny deets about living in an old house. I’ve also been posting a lot on instagram. Needless to say, here’s the backyard. […]

  2. […] of your home. Cheers to happy (old) home buying! Oh and if you liked this post, check out “You know you live in old house if…” and see what we found hiding under our 1946 […]

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