Tuesday, November 19, 2013

and November 19th makes three

Three years in our once grand old place. We've made it through without dying of hypothermia, being electrocuted or attacked by rabid squirrels (although I hear them in the ceiling above me conspiring against my soffits). Although it feels like so little has been done, our to done lists prove otherwise . . .

1. Fence in our half acre lot to corral the monsters

2. Repair the boiler to get the heating running again

3. Decipher and reconnect all water lines in the house

4. Reconnect all the detached radiators

5. Rip into walls and floors to repair countless leaks after we turn on the water after completing the above for the first time.

6. Tear off the entire roof, replace rotted sheathing boards with new ones, new copper flashing throughout, re-install all original Buckingham slates that weren't ruined by tar, add in decorative band of grey slate to make up for the unusable ones

7. Repair original Yankee gutters, line with copper, some new copper downspouts

8. Tear off T1-11 that was hiding the once-was-window, i.e. giant rotted hole in the house. Replace with temporary vinyl window from ReStore

9. Rebuild back two-story porch, re-position stairs for more space

10. Tear off of the front addition including a staircase, dividing walls and three closets and doorways. Rebuild matching cantilevered stair bay, install french doors in enlarged door opening (cry over lost closets)

11. Install new huge electric panel and rewire entire house. Proudly display Sparky the electrocuted mummified squirrel until he starts to stink

12. Remove miles and countless layers of wallpaper (documenting the spectacular original papers underneath, only to have the photos lost forever when my camera was stolen)

13. Rebuilt four of our five chimneys. Realized after the fact that the 5th chimney needed work more than others...

14. Developed Popeye-like arms learning to do three coat plaster, second floor is finished

15. Started to strip woodwork

16. Since stripping the woodwork and wallpaper wasn't satisfying enough, started scraping walls where they painted over plaster with no primer.

17. Have painted half the interior, 11 rooms, thank God for oops paint and ReStore

18. Ripped out all the carpet, luan, contact paper, asbestos tile, vinyl and (unsalvageable) linoleum from all the rooms. Ripped out cheap oak revealing original qswo and mahogany patterned floors.

19. Scraped linoleum adhesive (the infamous black goo), set nails, sanded, stained and finished random width southern yellow pine floors on the second floor with Waterlox (and enjoyed the company of the voices I started hearing in the box fan hum, aided I'm sure by the fumes I was inhaling).

20. Demoed and started to work on a temporary kitchen, loved it so much we now consider it our forever kitchen, plumbing, walls, ceiling, paint removal, everything in one never-ending room...

21. Remove all the rat super-highways (i.e. dropped ceilings)

22. Remove all the partitions divvying up the different apartments, remove all non-original walls

23. Build, plumb and tile laundry room from scratch

24. Build walk-in master closet from scratch

25. Started to repair broken glass in windows using salvaged wavy glass

26. Knocked out wall to restore original pocket door opening

27. Repaired and worked on re-installing some soul in our two working bathrooms

28. Restored and re-installed early electric light fixtures found in house

28. Removed storm door enclosures revealing entry french doors

29. Began painting new work on exterior as it was done

30. Freed all the screwed and painted shut double hung windows (just about all of them)

31. Built our beloved haphazard firepit

32. Dug countless holes in the yard looking for treasures

33. Made rock borders and began garden beds

34. Created a patio out of broken roof slates

35. Moved the driveway to it's original location and filled in the berm and front yard, rescued the Virgin Mary from her muddy grave, built brick and stepping stone paths and cobblestone stairs

36. Disposed of room-fulls of trash, going through each and every item and trash bag to make sure nothing important was thrown out.

37. Attempted to tame the back forty, failed, and am thinking about petitioning the Borough to let me have a goat to help with this...

38. Installed countless pieces of salvage we removed from demoed homes in the course of the above projects

39. Began to cultivate an appropriately cluttered Victorian aesthetic

40. Rebuilt basement stairs and rebuilt the exterior basement doors

41. Rebuilt demolished fireplace in guest bedroom

42. Remove house eating trees

43. so. many. cedar. shingles...


I'm worn out just typing this, so no pictures for you, I'm going to bed - but before I do, you can see that the blog material around here is infinite, so thanks for reading and I hope I can keep you somewhat entertained for a good long while...