Our FourSquare

Our FourSquare

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Everything's turning up.....FLOWERS!

Just thought I'd post the variety of flowers at our house that have bloomed after being under cover for a VERY long time . . .

This wall paper is located in the first bedroom upstairs.  The bedroom has a door from the hallway and it has a closet.  It also has a door that goes into what we think is the master bedroom.  Our guess is that this room was a nursery.  What's anybody's thought about this that has some background knowledge for old homes.  I've searched the internet, but have not found a plan like this house.
This is my favorite - if I could find it I would consider putting it back up!

You can also see some of the more recent paper that was very cute that was for a nursery - little bears and pastel green.  However, we are not in need of a nursery - so the room shall probably just be a bedroom.  We've thought of various uses - haven't decided yet for sure.

Same room - it's what was a nursery - I'm not sure of the original purpose.
This wall paper is in the room that is directly located by the back stair case and is over the kitchen.  It has short walls with an opening into each side for storage.  On top of this is a baseball - green board painted looking wall paper and some aqua paint and some white paint in some places.
This is kinda pretty also - but I'm the only one with that opinion.
 This is located in what we think is the dining room.  It is under a layer of paint and I think another wall paper - but I haven't been able to get just paint off to reveal the top wall paper.  I'm sure this was very grand in its day!
Ummm - yeah - well there's this...

And now The Continuation.....

We left the BigBox - brick molding in hand - and a door sweep, and a new threshold at the proper width PLUS some of the frustration we brought in with us - we left it there - hopefully no one will decide to take it with them (it was kinda ugly!)

Arrived back to our lovely home with the new floor at the back door - put the old threshold back in for now, covered the door with the tar paper instead of the sweep - we now have 2 of these and called it a night, went to the DD's and family and spent the rest of the evening being entertained by the grand baby - she's such a welcome sight! Another plus? They have running water.  Sorry, I do miss that fabulous innovation!  Maybe next week????

Sunday morning...LET'S DO THIS!!!!! New day and everything is great!  Alright...so....storm door....look at nothing else - don't do it!  We put the brick molding in place on the outside of the door jam - well, that doesn't look to bad. 

I know - we need to restore this some day - but right now, stopping the rain from coming in is first and foremost! Look at that - we did get the hinge piece on the right direction, 1 for us despite the horrid directions - they even have diagrams - but  you still can't - without a doubt - tell which direction that piece goes.

Anyway, now, take the hinge piece back off after the pre-drilling to the door. We attached it to the brick molding - no problem. Time to attach the door to the hinge piece - OK, good.  Attach the other side - what? Wouldn't it be easier to cut out for the latch now?  No, OK...that's all the depth it needs? Alright....we'll see. 

Hey, the door closes - no problems, insert the little piece that goes in the latch hole - WOW! I can't believe that works - but it does! I'll take a pic later to show you. Crazy! OK - now for the top part of the door frame (door frame - really? OK - but it works).  Well, hmmm, yep, we made the decision to put brick molding there and then we will put some decorative wood piece or glass above it like a transom window down the road.   Alright - yep - this is going to work too!  Still, something is going to go a miss, isn't it? 

Continuing on - the brick molding is in place above the door, attach the rest of the door frame to it - still closes perfectly.  *wipe sweat from brow.  We decided to use some of our older, weathered plywood for now for the missing 8 inches above the door.  Ya know, that door looked regular height - I guess when things are always so far above you, you tend to not notice how far above you - this door actually should've been 88" - so that will be something we put on our search for list in the restoration category.  Any thoughts anyone? 

So - continuing on - DH caulked the door, trim, transom area, etc. I'm really wanting to become skilled with the caulk gun - maybe someday...sigh 

Scaper looks like this...have you seen it?
A little more scraping needed - rut roe (love Scooby Doo, don't you - always that right response at times like this) Small Project turned into Taking Up Our Whole Weekend Project. So - no problem - even though it is Chuck's favorite scraper / do anything tool and now mine, as well.  Chuck has a cow magnet on a string that will fish this puppy right outta there - next time we come!  Don't worry scraper, we'll get you out!
DH accidentally loses grip on the scraper, listen... - "ting" - now it's under the breakfast room - it fell between the very small opening between the steps and the breakfast room / used to be porch - so yeah - there's this opening that was covered up with by a wooden step that was also removed at the beginning of this
At the time of the falling - the floor was completely recovered with new wood. Scraper fell between the board and concrete on the right side - really???

Next, we(read Chuck) must attach the storm door closers (yes - that is the proper term - who knew - just looked it up) to the door.  I will learn how to use these power tools - but this is not a first project for a beginner. I did; however, help screw a board into place yesterday! 

Attaching the closers was a tad difficult with the gale force wind coming through the kitchen - as another blogger had mentioned - architects back in the day did know how to design a house with proper ventilation and natural cooling - what a wonderful breeze comes through the house.  Shutting the door into the kitchen quickly solved this problem and we are back on track. 

Hey - there's the new lock on the back door!
Closers on, time to finish putting the trim on the trim (not a typo - there's trim for the trim) so it looks seamless.  DH says - here's this piece that goes on the bottom - ummmmm - clearly I need to be the one that reads the directions so we follow the sequence. Definitely an anecdote to share with 6th graders on how you will use sequence of events in your life! LOL Unscrew the frame again - still not going on - you know what? It looks fine without that doesn't it? Yep. 

Next? UGH - there's one for the other side too and if we don't add it - that's going to catch pant legs, legs, etc.  Well - what's the deal?  This one slid right up there!  Sooooooo - I guess - like that silver thing under the radiator - I'll work on this another time - by myself - it'll go on.  We step back, admire our work and agree - we are not looking at anything else - the electric and plumbing must be first and foremost now!!!!


The plan for our next work weekend: replacement of knob-and-tube wiring - which has been the plan for Day 1, from Day 1 - but - truly when you have water coming in from everywhere - that does need fixed first!

The next post will be about snipping and pulling. Hmmmmmmm...................

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

And again...the 4 hour project that consumes the weekend

I'm not really sure why I thought our home would be any different than the rest of all of you who have taken upon themselves the renovation / restoration of an old house...I guess because I'm so much of an optimist. 

This weekend's plan was to simply put in a storm door on the back door to stop water from coming in.

***side note - from previous post - for those unaware or unsure what DH stands for it means: Darling Husband - although some of the possibilities that have been brought to my attention could be put in to play at various times - just wanna keep those options available.

So, back to the storm door.  We decide - hey, let's look under the vinyl where the water looks like it has been coming in under the door and see what it looks like.  I take the trusty knife and cut along the lines of the vinyl to peel back a section - oh goody!!! We have water damage - surprised? - no.


Let's cut this first section and see what it looks like under there. What? more gray, damaged wood that seems weak? No way!

Alright - let's go again....dang! This is ridiculous - how does it ruin all these layers and still had not just caved in - how did the inspector not pick up on this - hmmmmmmm

OK - well - this has to go too and so there it is - the ground! Woot! Woot! Total replacement! How exciting!!!

At this point, Chuck decides we need to stabilize the corner - so let's put in a 4x4 under the corner to help support the corner - due to the fact that the board it's on is also rotted.

Off to the lumber yard - but I stayed home since we had no way to lock up the house because there is now a hole and no door at all.

Okay - so what shall I do while the DH is headed back to the lumber yard?  Well - peeling paint and wall paper is always fun....or I could see what is located under the broken hardwood in the "gold room"...yep - let's go with that!

I must say that scraper with all the different sides has come in tremendously handy!  It just does so much.  So I dig into the floor where it is broken and I find dirt.  Why is this floor packed with dirt? Hmmmmm. There's  no bugs of any kind here - unlike the storm door / floor replacement project - I guess I forgot to mention that - when we pulled up the threshold it was like New York City on New Years - but the people were replaced with .................... ants!!!!!  Back to the dirt - it's just dry dirt.  Thinking back to the previous weekend - termites - termites we learned from our friends at Journagens - live in the dirt - perhaps they like to move their preferred home ground into where they find their food source - being wood. I don't know - unlike my normal self - I have not researched until I'm blurry eyed about termites - I will though, fear not!  But, I'm now thinking termites - but maybe since there are not any now - maybe this was an old problem - let's hope!!! I vacuumed out all the door and dug into the other space of the broken floor board and cleaned it all out as well - I think they did more damage here! Dang termites!!!!!
Let's see what else -

There was that silver bar thing under the radiator that we tried to get out the other day - but, the vacuum is entertaining me quite a bit as well and how else can I use the vacuum AND the scraper - ohhhhhhhh - the wall where the bathroom and "gold room" connect - there's lots of stuff there.  I dug out some dart pieces, a marble, some Legos - okay this space is now cleaned and removed of unneeded items / toys.  Okay - let's take a look at the silver bar thing.  Well - the vacuum isn't of any help - nor the scraper.  Tried moving the silver bar under the radiator - not enough clearance - various positions - still not going - finally - not really sure of the exact twist but it was FREE! Alright - so all these finds have now been relocated to the fireplace / mantel area. 

Still no DH - where are you Chucky???  Oh - wow - there's those mirrors all in a row in the "gold room" - so what do you think might have been the purpose?  Unfortunately I did forget to take pictures of before - I may have to put them back up to take one! LOL  The tool of choice - a pry bar!  Tools are soooooo fun! 1st one - down! 2nd - down!  Third - down!  4-6 nails per mirror. Fourth - I knew this was going too well - they managed to actually get these nails into some wood - after prying and prying - finally it gave - the glass that is! However, it all stayed in tack (not sure on the spelling of this - so this will do for now) - so no broken glass to clean up! I'm not going to be superstitious about this - things haven't gone in a positive direction anyway.  And now for the 2 mirrors on the back of the solid wood door - seriously - who does this????? By the way - there were NO hidden holes behind the mirrors - that's what we were expecting being that the mirrors were kinda in an awkward place and so many of them - we expected a gaping hole! Yeah - no big hole here!  So the door ones - yeah - not very easy - but they are all down - sans pliers - who needs pliers?  Well - my mom - but we managed without them.  Just a helpful hint: when the DH comes back from an extended trip to the lumber yard - don't bug him about pliers for a project that isn't on the list to be completed for years. Just saying...

Okay - so back to the gaping hole in the floor. Board replaced - check (this is the one I helped screw in with a power tool, I might add!!)

4x4 in place. Check! Now to add some further support for the replacement floor, check, and so on and so on - BTW - sprayed for the ants prior to all this - spraying took place as soon as we found them!  Die suckers, die!!!! 


The floor is all back in place - it's getting late - so let's just put in the new threshold, check the measurements again for the storm door, put the door back on, put some tar paper up against it (supposed to rain), and call it a night. Check! But wait - there's more!  The door is too big for the current jam.  Okay - again - communication between the DH and DW(darling wire) has gone awry.  I thought he thought the door was too small - either way we need to go to the Big Box L - but the DD(darling daughter) says it closes in 25 minutes and we're 15 minutes away. SO - that gives us 10 minutes - we're going.  We made it and by golly - it doesn't close for an hour and 25 minutes - woohoo!!!! Chuck says - brick molding will work - what? I don't get it - explain - alright - sorry DH but your ability to explain needs some work - but I know we can do this!!!  Also we looked at their example of the storm door because the directions - well - lacking - simply lacking.  I took pics and studied it closely - knowing all to well - I will not remember when we get back - but I'm studying the dang thing!

to be continued....

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekend 1:Restoration

The plan:
  1. to remove the 3rd story window,
  2. replace it to make the house water tight,
  3. and remove the knob and tube wiring.
  4. Hahahahahahahahhahaha...hahahahahaha.
And there is the DH!  Hi honey!

See the knob & tube wiring at the header?

The window was replaced - after removing much more of the window than originally intended, much scraping of paint; and yes the scrapings were retained and not allowed to contaminate the neighborhood. Then - hmmmm - by the way - did I mention it was 3 stories up? Just in case you missed it - 3 stories!  I'm sure you've done the same.  Yes - scraping paint, standing on the peak of the kitchen roof, holding on tight to the inside wall studs and window frame - directly below one strand of knob and tube - that still lights up with the tester.  Probably not the smartest thing I've done in my life - but, perhaps, foolishly - it really wasn't that scary - and who's going to do it - if not me? It had to be done.

First stupid accomplishment in the name of putting the house back together.  We were able to use the old stops on the new window and we are hoping this is the only window we actually replace.  The rest will be rebuilt - but with a storm coming in Sunday - we didn't have time for the learning curve of rebuilding a window.  We did keep all the rest of the old window - to either recycle parts or however we can use it.

By the way - I'm not the one to hire if you don't want paint on your shingles too.  I'll get better!  I had the wrong brush for that part of the job.  Now we have the right one for the next window trim painting. You can see it in the picture if you look close.
The new window - from this distance can you even tell it's a new window?

Hopefully this is the fix and not the horrid job that was done with the flashing against the main house!

I think, all taken into consideration, it went well.  The storm didn't surface though, so now it's a waiting game to see if that was the problem. So that was Saturday - morning through early evening. The rest of the evening - babysit the granddaughter!  Yeah!!!! Love that baby!

Day 2 - Sunday...Plan had changed at this point - we really needed to try to sturdy up the front porch since we were making so many trips in and out.  The plan - put plywood down.

Ok - so first misunderstanding. DH wanted to buy 3/4" and I felt 1/2" would be sufficient. I thought the DH wanted to put the plywood over the existing boards, but his plan - cut out the boards and put the plywood over the gaping hole.  Very surprised the DH agreed to the 1/2" plywood - not like him to give in when he knows he's right - perhaps he felt it was a learning point for me. Hmmmmmm.  So he even went to the point of cutting it and demonstrating how it was not thick enough. OK OK  - well you could've explained yourself better...LOL - but right???

So back to the lumberyard - and there ya are - a sturdy entrance! 

So much for electric - why? Well, because of all the little bugs with all their little friends - also known as TERMITES!!!  Hmmm, didn't we have an inspection?  No mention of termites on / under / in the home - the only mention of termites was in the detached garage about 50' away from the house.  Why are we keeping secrets like this Mr. Inspector?  Not GOOD!  So back to the store to buy them all party drinks - there was no suffering - it was an instant death!  We will need to hire someone for further treatment, but for this weekend - game over!

ALSO - Lots of lock changing...we bought locks prior to fully checking the old out - we will learn - maybe...
So - basically I took the old locks apart and swapped out just the chambers where I could - I'm sure I can probably just buy the locking chamber somewhere - but oh well - it's done.  We additionally changed the lock on the back door. No pic though, what?

And - all this without plumbing!  I had called the utility company Wednesday to have it transferred to our name for Friday and turned on - the house had been winterized.  So we met the truly wonderful realtor, Sandy, about an hour from our new home for the closing and since we were early we made a call to the utility company to schedule having the gas turned on and she informed the DH that there was a leak on our side of things with the water - of course there is! - YIKES - all we could picture was all this water running all over the house because we forgot to close all the faucets, etc from the house being winterized.  However, this city has considerate, thoughtful, wonderful people working for them and they had the sense to shut the water right back off when they saw the meter spinning when the turned it on. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!  So, the first thing we actually did upon arrival to the house was close all faucets, etc.  Thank goodness - that would have been a disaster!  Soooo - still no water - though - to be continued....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The beginning...

Que sera sera - that's been my mantra of lately. Not sure the spelling is accurate - but the meaning is accurate.

The closing is finally going to happen. Do you know it's almost impossible to get a loan these days on an older large home, despite excellent credit?  True Story - and so it begins...

The preparation of our retirement home or sooner.  Can't wait to get started!! That's another story by itself.  So - apparently when you close - you don't necessarily get to take possession...Who's heard of this craziness?