Sunday, August 13, 2017

Old House Update - July

As expected, July was very busy, dusty and dirty for the old house, but we made lots of progress and it is exciting to see it coming together finally.

First, we got our car back.  Yea!   DH missed it (Scout really missed it).  The repair shop had it two weeks then DH stayed at the old house for another two weeks to work on the house, so Scout was relegated to driving the van for a month.

All fixed from smashing into the deer.

The whole family spent the long 4th of July weekend at the house. It was a fun weekend with a lot of activity:  Sprite went with her grandparents to watch the parade, DH and I went to a concert at the park put on by a band in which two of his brothers are members and the kids walked to the school to watch fireworks.  

And we stripped wall paper:

Kitchen entryway into dining room

We found at least 8 different wall papers on the kitchen walls. We also confirmed an idea that I had that the arch was not original to the house.  You can see the right upper curve was filled in from a straight cut at one time.

The wiring is nearly done!  Only the outlets in the basement need wires pulled and hooked up and the outlets in DH's office only need to be hooked up.  The hardest outlets this month were the outlets for the stove.  Turns out that wall was originally a load bearing wall that someone decided to open up to the dining room.  It may be some of the reason for the sloped floors upstairs.  This happened well over 50 years ago, long before open concept floor plans became trendy.  So, our guess is that there was a full wall between the kitchen and the dining room with a door on the right.  That fits with the style of homes from that era where kitchens were normally hidden away from the living areas.

Most of the plumbing is finished with the exception of the upstairs bathroom.  We have a new hot water heater and I even have the washer hooked up and a new electric dryer. We also have a new natural gas line to the house so we will no longer need to worry about filling the propane tank.

The sheet rock started going up to cover the worst cracks in the walls.  


The kitchen looks amazing.  We probably didn't need to strip the paper after all, but it was interesting to see all the decor choices from the past 100 years.
Kitchen wow
Kitchen - look at that chimney!
Dining Room - North

Dining room - south

Upstairs Hall

Upstairs door is no longer an arch.

Bathroom Shower - getting ever closer to having a working shower!

Toilet area

Office/Bedroom ceiling - pretty and smooth
We aren't doing the sheet rock ourselves -- R-, son of the people we bought the house from, is doing the sheet rock  with his sons.  They still have some mudding to do, but the sheet rock is all installed and taped and looks so wonderful and clean.  

All this has taken most of the last several weeks and DH has gone up there alone or with Sprite every weekend.  He wanted me to go up to have a look at the progress for myself and make some decisions that needed to be made.  I left last Thursday afternoon and made it up there for bedtime.  Friday morning, I took a lovely walk around the property and decided to see if we had apples on the two trees.    I tasted on of the red ones -- not ripe, but they will have a great taste when they are ready!
Granny Smiths?

Red Delicious?

I also saw my brother-in-law's bees (from a safe distance), poked around the barns a bit to see what needed to be done to make them usable chicken coops and looked to see if there would be walnuts (couldn't see any).

I did have a goal for making some headway on the walls.  There were several holes in the plaster wall that needed to be repaired and I was determined to fill these.  I had purchased plaster and a plaster repair kit from Big Wally's Plaster Magic.  I watched every video they had on their YouTube channel and figured that I could do that.  The hardest thing was trying to figure out where my supplies and tools had been moved.   I did have to go into town to find hardware cloth -- a wire mesh needed to support the plaster where the lathe had been removed.  Finding that took longer than actually filling the holes.

I started at Orscheln Farm and Home.  I looked in their paint department as I thought that, since Big Wally videos showed hardware cloth being used for repairing walls, I would find it in with the Spackle and patch repair supplies.  No luck.  I went down to the hardware store on the square.  They didn't have it but directed me to the lumber yard.  The lumber yard didn't have it either and told me to go to Orscheln's.

"But I started at Orscheln's."

"You were in the wrong department.  You need to look in the fencing department."

Hmm.  I was starting to feel like the Boy Scouts in my son's troop during their first summer camp  who were sent from campsite to campsite to find the left-handed smoke shifter.   But I found the hardware cloth as right where the gentleman at the lumber yard said it would be.  Once I saw it, it made total sense why it was in the fencing aisle.  It is mostly used for making cages for small animals.  I bought the smallest roll they had and went on my merry way back home.

Per directions, I cleaned each hole, drilled holes to the lathe, squirted first conditioner then glue so the plaster would be re adhered to the lathe.  I fitted the hardware cloth to the hole.

Then I screwed in the clamps and mixed plaster to the consistency of peanut butter. and filled in the holes.

First layer
I found it works better if you let the glue dry and remove the clamps or you get plaster in the screws which makes it hard to remove them later.

I also learned that you can't mix your plaster too far ahead of time, because, of course, it hardens while you do other things.

Lesson learned. 
Final layer.  (Different hole -- this one didn't need gluing first).

They still need to be smoothed down and topped with joint compound, but it was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.  Even with the wasted plaster, I had just enough to fill in all six holes.    I have five more tubes of glue that will be used for fixing the biggest cracks in the remaining walls.

So it was a very busy month and DH and I are very happy with the progress.  There is lots more to do but we have the whole school year in which to get as much done as we can.  Two kids started school this past Wednesday and the third will start this coming Thursday.  Scout is a senior so we will have lots of senior related things to do this year which may slow us down a bit, but I don't want miss any of those precious memories.

** Not affiliated with either Big Wally's or Orscheln Farm & Home -- just companies where I've purchased items that seemed to work.


bbarna said...

It is coming along splendidly! This so reminds me of the 125 yr old farm house we moved into when I was a teenager...we helped my dad with so many projects over the years. I just love these old houses. Did you reinforce the load bearing wall?

SewPaula said...

Thank you! We're trying to figure out the best way of dealing with the wall.

Regina said...

Looking good! The rewiring here was a big project as well, and we had to jack the main beam in the basement to reduce sag and shore it up. Love the multi layers - it's an archeological dig having an old house!