Natchezian not afraid of tough job

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 9, 2000

Richard Moroney III is not worried as he knocks down a wall at his Melrose Avenue house, despite admitting he has little knowledge of construction.

He looks upon the situation as a challenge.

&uot;You’re supposed to let plumbers and professionals do it, but I’m not afraid,&uot; he said.

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Moroney, 25, who recently came home from college, is living at the house on 120 Melrose Ave., previously vacated by his father. Since coming home, Moroney decided the house was in major need of renovation.

The family had rented the house for years, but recently purchased it.

&uot;If it’s going to be our house it needs to be in the condition, where someone can either live in it or sell it for profit,&uot; Moroney said.

As part of this process, Moroney knocked down an upstairs wall separating a hall closet from a bathroom.

His vision is to expand the bathroom, which already connects to one bedroom, and make a second entranceway opening on a second bedroom.

The job has taken some twists and turns along the way. Moroney said his father, who is a building contractor, was very upset to learn his his son had exposed the main sewer vent for the house.

&uot;I suspected just some supply pipes to be there,&uot; Moroney said.

And he has been amazed at the quality of the original construction and the expensive ceramic tile in the bathroom.&160;The house dates back to the 1940s.

&uot;They didn’t play games back in the day,&uot; he said. &uot;They built things to last.&uot;

Moroney, still has a few classes to take at Mississippi State University, but he is taking some time off and is now working for Danny Smith General Contractor, a local company that specializes is renovating old buildings.

Even though, five generations of Moroney’s family, have been employed in construction or contracting, Moroney said he has just recently been bitten by that bug.

&uot;Every generation has had something to do with building houses,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s the curse of the family.&uot;

He thinks his job at Danny Smith’s is helping him gain some of the knowledge he needs.

&uot;When I was a kid growing up, I wasn’t interested in (building) but now just out of the blue, I have an interest in it,&uot; he said. &uot;I’ve gotten this weird inclination to want to build stuff and fix up old houses.’

The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter throws a dart at a map and finds a story wherever it lands.