Friday, July 26, 2013

Low-Cost and Expensive Phrases

Readers of this blog interested in architectural detail probably know that our house has an arched extension (link). Nice but humble, just a brick-arch. Coming from the Old World as we do, we call that a port-cochère. In the local speech it’s just a car port—and never mind the arches. So which is it? One of these phrases is expensive, the other is low-cost.

The answer to that came the other day. A huge beam that supports the roof over this structure (built in 1929), rotted out at one end and partially collapsed. Thank the Lord what remains of it still holds the roof. Sparrows had also burrowed into the rotten wood and built a nest inside it—but we didn’t know that until this dramatic event. I found a significant pile of rotten wood and black dust there one morning after a particularly energetic rain.

The repair will soon be underway—and will run about a couple of thousand. From this we learned that until the damage took place some 84 years after the house was built, this facility was just a humble car port. But now, after it’s fixed, it will have become a much more expensive port-cochère.

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