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A couple years ago, this dude down the street from me bought a house. He and his family moved in and began their life. He seemed like a handy guy, building bicycles out of his basement. In addition, he started fixing the outside, transforming the once defunct exterior space into an amazingly cute bungalow.

Each day on the way to my office, I’d admire his handiwork, aspiring to have a house that looked so polished and approachable on the outside.

As the years progressed, his business picked up as I often saw him camped out at all hours in his basement constructing bicycles. Not only did I want to meet this dude, I wanted to do business with him. If he was capable of transforming his house into a thing of beauty, certainly the craftsmanship of his bikes were amazing.

Coincidentally, my daughter was in need of a bike. As spring arrived, I prepped to visit my neighbor. However, as I approached the house, I noticed a stark absence from the residence. The minivan was replaced by a dump truck, the stroller had given way to a crane. The hum of the family I had watched for years was replaced by the cadence of an organized blue collar workforce.

What the hell?

Days later, with my curiosity eating me, I slow rolled by his house.

They were literally lifting the house up off the ground. Apparently, the foundation had been failing for years, and it was now time to replace it.

Months have passed, summer in this seaside town is in full swing, yet the family and the man I had admired for years were no where to be found. Apparently, they moved away for the summer, waiting for the figurative and literal dust to settle.

Everything about the house I had admired; the hand detail on the railings, the custom siding, the manicured lawn, were now all a heap of dust and destruction. However, no matter how much this man cosmetically fixed the outside, the glaring issue of a failing foundation finally caught up to him, his family and his business.

His lively hood completely displaced because he ignored the fundamental flaw of his residence.

Looking back, it’s hard to see if he would have still purchased the house given its failing structure, or if he would have forgone the initial cosmetic fixes in lieu of the less sexy internal construction.

Either way, this chap I had admired from afar is now out a significant amount of money and my confidence in his craft is now crushed.


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