Archive for the ‘Old House Remodeling’ category

Brick Sidewalks and other Blessings

August 4, 2007

Brick Sidewalk

Our house is on the corner which gives us sidewalk across the front and down the long side, about 225 feet of it. This weekend we set about trying to uncover the entire thing. The edges were under 3 inches of eroded soil and much of the gaps between the bricks were filled with grass. My husband and son took turns with the weed eater for 8 1/2 hrs while I swept up 6 garbage bags of refuse behind them.

The effort was well worth it. The photo was taken standing outside our gate which is in the center of the sidewalk. Now, if we can only find a product that will keep those pesky weeks from filling in the gaps as soon as it rains.


Not-so-big Victorian

May 1, 2007

The HouseLast September we bought a 3 bedroom/1.5 bath historic home (circa 1889) in a tiny berg in Delaware. Both my husband and I were enthralled with the interior architecture. It has 4 bay windows with stunning arches over them, original wood floors on the first floor, and lots of character. We bought it when the market had just begun its downturn, so we made a real deal about 25% below the original asking price. Better yet, it had a floored attic with windows and a lot of potential. With five children (ages 15-24) still at home and the rooms a little bigger than a phone booth, we needed that extra space.

So, you guessed it, we immediately began to finish out that attic. It’s about 75% finished now and two of the boys have moved into the new bedroom. The rest we use as a family room. It has been so great to have that extra square footage. But now the improvement is in a holding pattern.

  1. We can’t finish the floor until the old knob-and-tube wiring is replaced. The attic floor gives access to the second floor wall space.
  2. We can’t finish the walls containing the windows until the windows are replaced. This isn’t a big deal and we should have it done soon now that the weather is warmer.
  3. We can’t put in a permanent stairs until a chimney is removed. That pesky chimney has created a world of problems. The roofing material is asbestos and most contractors won’t touch it. There is a large antique chimney pots at the top, and we’d like to preserve it. We also have a 12/12 roof that’s too steep to stand on. So, we’re waiting on an estimate and continuing to use those pull-down hall stairs for a few weeks longer.

A thousand thanks to my dad for replacing the old wiring on the first floor, for wiring the entire attic floor, and for framing out the studs on the new rooms. If it hadn’t been for him, we would still have 4 boys crammed into an 9×12 room with a miniature closet.

The kitchen is another topic altogether and best saved for another day.

Have a great one,