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