New to forum-bringing c.1850 issues with me... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-13-2008, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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New to forum-bringing c.1850 issues with me...

Hello to all here. I have been perusing this forum for a while now, and I would like to say that I am just so very impressed with those who give such wonderful advice, in a way that is not condescending, or in anyway given to make the asker feel stupid for the asking. The reason I say this, is that I have gotten (other places) such horrid looks or 'tones' of voice when I ask questions about our old home. Doing the restorations and upgrades ourselves, is very important to us. Unfortunately, many feel that hiring out the job is the only way to go. I disagree to a point. Obviously there are going to be things we cannot do ourselves. However, I want to cure my old house's ills myself, to have the satisfaction of doing it the way I want it done, and to have the sense of accomplishment and connection to owners past. I am an Archaeologist, not a carpenter or contractor, and my husband is an History Professor (PhD), but no matter how much research I can do, and no matter how much excavating I can do on the outside, I still need a ton of help making sure the inside is well taken care of. The past several owners only put bandaids on the woulnds of this old girl - they did not bother to 'do it right' the first time. This is something we have had to deal with and repair constantly. I expected problems with an old house, but did not count on the fact that other owners would not have taken care of it the same way I would have. I may be rambling, but I want my position understood, so that when I am the one asking the questions, or sharing our experiences with our own house, it will be known that I am a neophyte in your world. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this forum - I look forward to learning from all of you, and restoring and healing this old girl correctly!
(We purchased our SE Wisconsin home in May this year. It is a c. 1850 Cream City brick, two story Italiante farmhouse)
-Duchesswolff

Last edited by DuchessWolff; 09-13-2008 at 11:29 AM. Reason: spelling errors
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-13-2008, 12:17 PM
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Hi Duchess and welcome to the forum. I think I can relate to what you are dealing with. We purchased this house in 2007 and yes the same feeling that it wasn't taken care of in the way we would have.We have an c.1926 what seems to be (the best that we were able to match it up to) an folk Victorian. But also shows traits of arts and crafts era. It was a rental for a long time and when it wasn't it was remodeled in the kitchen and upstairs bath to what the style was in the 60's and 70's. Needless to say it wasn't done very well. Right down to last winter (our first winter here) we noticed a horrendous draft in the kitchen. Turned out to be they moved a door over 3 feet and just slapped up plywood no insulation. Your winters in WI are not much different then NE PA if anything I am sure they are colder. I would make sure you don't have the surprise like that going for you. But over all the way we have been tackling the repairs are by priority right now. Yes sorta like band-aiding it but our plan of action is going to go in order of the , upstairs bathroom and then to the bedrooms working my way to the front of the house. Sadly to say the plaster walls are a mess from leaks in the old roof that was replaced. The other sad thing about the house is that a lot of the original oak molding was removed from a couple of the bedrooms. As I am sure you already know it is not a fun and short lived fix with old houses. This isn't the first time we done this. But it is because I like the remodeling work. I hope I answered some of your questions. We did find out a lot of things on the net as far as seeing what somethings IE the kitchen and bath should look like. I am hoping i wasn't rambling on. You will get a lot of advice on here there are a lot of good woodworkers from all walks of life and you will get the answers you need. Good Luck

John

I don't plan my day in advance cause the word "Premeditated" ends up flying around the court room.......
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-13-2008, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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You aren't kidding!

Thank you John, for your reply. I understand completely about the priority lsit! We bought the house in May when there was a mini-drought going on here. The surprise cam during a very rainy couple of day when water came pouring in through the upstairs bathroom, down the exposed chimney in the lower level kitchen, and of course - the basement. The drywall ceiling in the upstairs bath has to be replaced (my husband fixed the three leaks from the roof tile being improperly installed). The plumbing was also an issue! Much like your dilemma, this was used as a rental unit, and the bathroom upstairs was added in the mid 1900's--ugh! We found the plumbing issue after using the shower stall up there - seems they did not bolster up the floor and we now have a lovely large hole in the kitchen ceiling where I hade to shore up the shower floor from underneath and replace the plumbing - no more waterfall - after a month leaving it open to make sure. Time to do more drywalling. The plaster walls are a different nightmare - but doable. The kitchen was actually added on sometime in the late 1800's, so the wall between it and the rest of the house is actually the original outside of the house (2-3 feet brick). I discovered the original doorway in the closet under the stairs - covered over by cedar in the closet, and behind the built-in on the kitchen side. All very interesting finds! Can't wait to pick everone's brains here!!! Thanks again! -Duchesswolff
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-13-2008, 02:24 PM
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Ahh yes I forgot about that, the plumbing problems in the bath. I never thought that would straighten out. As soon as something was fixed another thing came to light.

John

I don't plan my day in advance cause the word "Premeditated" ends up flying around the court room.......
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