The next steps on Godzilla are to reinforce window and door lintels that are crumbling under the weight of ceiling beams. There are a few openings that obviously need fixing, but our contractor Angelo would like to reinforce every window and doorway in the house with steel so they don’t resettled and cause new fissures. Or even hairline cracks for that matter. Here we disagree.
Angelo takes pride in his work and imagines (with horror) that one day someone will come to our house, spy a crack in one of the walls, and ask who did the work. Whereupon Angelo’s reputation will be ruined. He’s also one of many Italian construction people who have suggested it would have been cheaper to raze Godzilla and start anew. This is probably true. But if we wanted a new house, we would have bought clear land instead of our lovely ruin filled with centuries of quirks and history.
So, how to tell which openings need fixing and which ones we can actually leave? It’s expensive to do this, so we only want to be paying for what’s structurally necessary.
Angelo is a fretter and I love him for it, because it reassures me that whatever he does in our absence will be done to the best of his abilities. It’s the aesthetic I worry about. We like the cracks and skews that give Godzilla its character. Will we be able to convince Angelo that some of them can safely stay?