Inspection Time!

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The house is moving along fine.  We are finished with the structural part of the project and are now working on the walls.  The living room, dining, and den are sheet rocked, and the first coats of mud are on them.  They need to be sanded before the next two coats are added.  In the den, we are rebuilding the mantel.  The old fireplace had a low mantel with a brick surround.  The bricks fell down!

fireplaceWe reset the bricks, but our goal is to build a higher mantel in the arts and crafts theme with a tile surround. That said, the new frame is basically ready, and the hardibacker is waiting.  We also plan to use an old piano front for the frieze.  The piano has carved oak leaves on it in three separate frames.

piano     piano2

The last thing that is in the oven at the moment is the electrical panel.  The service had to be updated, and we have been waiting for months to have it inspected.  Just recently we learned that the new box couldn’t be in a closet.  Well…we no longer have a closet 😉  We now have a little nook for a desk.  Hopefully the inspector will appreciate our creativity!

electrical

He-man

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When all of the town doubted, I had faith.  When others said, “Leave it alone,” you chose to proceed. You studied, learned, analyzed and believed the impossible.  Then with a mighty blow, you let the hammer down and settled my world back on it’s foundations.  Yes my dear, I’m talking about you.  You are the He-man in my life.  Others look upon your stature and doubt your ability, but you and I both know that strength begins in the mind and heart. 

Others, thought to be much stronger than you, have quailed at lesser tasks, but you have superceeded them all.  You know no limits or boundaries.  When you spoke of moving physical walls and foundations, men scratched their heads and shied away.  Then with a single sledge hammer and a come-along, you did the seemingly impossible.  You moved a house back on its foundation.  You also moved my faith in you.  Not that it ever lacked; you just established it more firmly than ever.

I believe in you and in everything that you attempt.  Nothing is greater than your heart, nor can anything diminish  your devotion to your family.  Thank you for being a real man in a world where men are not respected.  Thank you for taking a stand and standing firm when others cower.  You are my hero and my home.  I love you.

Quick Update

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Our old house is proving to be in greater need of care than anticipated.  Originally we thought it would only need cosmetic work, then we saw neglect, and now it seems that there is serious damage due to the faulty support.  Once the walls were removed, it became obvious that the exterior wall had been moved off the foundation several inches.  The weight of the upper story had shifted the house and pushed outward.  The fix?  Not only do we need to support the upstairs (properly as there is none existing right now), but we must also pull the exterior wall back onto the foundation.  Many contractors and engineers have been consulted about this and though no small feat, it must be done or the house may collapse during the next wind storm.  So…wish us luck as we get this old girls legs back under her!

My New Old House

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After 4 months of bantering back and forth with the loan company, we finally closed on our new house. I say new for it is new to us, but truth be told, it is rather old. The best that we can figure is that it was built around 1915 or 1917. The style is questionable too because the house has been added on to about 4 times. We like to think that it is somewhat a shingle style with a little folk victorian thrown in!

Our goal in purchasing this house was first for the space. We have 4 children of our own and a neice living with us. The house we currently live in has a very small living/dining area and when the table is extended to include everyone, it reaches into the living room and blocks the outside door. The bathroom, bedrooms and kitchen all extend from this central space, which means that no one has any privacy! As for the back yard – there isn’t one to speak of. We have 2 dogs that take up the space. The second reason we chose this house was as an investment. Every home that we have owned in the past, we have almost doubled the price of at the time of the sale. This gives me hope for turning this old house around.

On our first day, we successfully ripped down the 1970’s panelling that covered the plaster walls.  We had hoped to do just that and  then paint it.  Unfortunately, the plaster was so cracked in places that the only choice we were left with was to tear it off too.  Another surprise was finding that the large front window didn’t have a header over it.  That may have been okay for a small window in the early 1900’s, but for the 6 foot pane of glass that now sits there, the structure is inadequate.

On the second day of deconstruction, a friend noticed a flash in the wall as breaker was switched on.  That flash revealed wiring that closely resembled a spider’s web.  Where it lead, no one knew, and why the house hadn’t burned down before this, only God knows!  Short story long, it looks as though we will be rewiring the bulk of the house.

What originally was supposed to be an interior designer’s playground has turned into an architechural battlefield.