And now back to the house…

The house restoration has progressed nicely over the past couple weeks.  We mentioned in a previous post that the floor joists had to be replaced due to termite damage, along with many of the sills.  This work has been completed and we are now working with a level floor structure to attach our subfloor and eventual flooring.  Here are a couple images to show the new connection details:

center sill

center sill

perimeter sill

perimeter sill

In addition, what we will call ‘light’ foundation work has been completed.  It was discovered that the brick walls do not have any kind of footings underground, they rest directly on the soil. Our neighborhood is high ground -relatively speaking- given it’s proximity to the river, and even without footings the house only settled a few inches over 150+ years.  To reinforce the existing brick chain walls, we added a few CMU piers that start 12″ below grade.  The existing brick chain wall will then be tuck-pointed and all will be coated with plaster.

Next on the list is interior wall framing, stubbing on to existing batten strips where needed as well as the entirely new walls associated with the bathroom and loft area.  This required us to pick our first fixture, the bathtub!  It is nice to have bathtubs on site while the framing is taking place so the walls can be a tight fit to the edges and tile work is a breeze. We opted to buy a used tub from Craigslist  – salvage can happen on many levels.  I’ll save the picture for when it is installed.

And this got us thinking – what else can we buy used?  Kitchen cabinets!  Here are the cabinets we are purchasing – solid wood construction.  There were enough of them in this kitchen to match our layout and the lack of hardware was appealing because we can add our own.  A little sand and paint should spruce these right up. Spending less on the cabinets means we can spend more on countertops and appliances.

can't wait to have some after photos...

can’t wait to have some after photos…

Mama Joe's stove.

Mama Joe’s stove.

It is a little bittersweet to see the house being transformed, but the excitement of bringing the property back to life outweighs any nostalgia about the beauty of dilapidation!  On that note, I wanted to share this link with beautiful photographs of abandoned houses.

Picture from the back yard - bathroom lean-to has been removed.  We are moving a window from another spot in the house to replace the one that was removed to make the doorway.

Picture from the back yard – bathroom lean-to has been removed. We are moving a window from another spot in the house to replace the one that was removed to make the doorway.

Our next post will be about Daniel’s progress with restoring the existing flooring, windows and doors.



2 thoughts on “And now back to the house…

  1. Hey guys, amazing project!!! You’ve made a lot of progress in a short amount of time, and the work looks great so far. My fiance and I are restoring an 1800s farmhouse in Vermont that was abandoned for 30+ years, so we feel your pain. It’s taking us forever haha, but we’re enjoying the ride! I’ll definitely keep checking back to see how progress is going. Good luck! PS – We have a renovation blog of our own (, not sure if it’d be more inspirational or disheartening, but feel free to take a look!

  2. hi Daniel..good to see your fine finishing touches the other day ..i hope you will consider helping my friend Ray whos an all around builder ..fixer..and anxious to work on a good project…hes living at 1928 pauger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s