The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Location
    Martinsburg, WV USA
    Posts
    1,075

    Default Old Houses?

    Ok, so I'm a little late in posting this, but are there any other "old house nuts" out there? Y'know, those of us who think vinyl siding and replacement windows ought to be outlawed? Who'll spend hours researching the correct finish for all of that woodwork that's taken months of work to strip of countless layers of paint? Who think that polyurethane looks like plastic and can appreciate the warmth of shellac (the real stuff you dissolve in denatured alcohol)?

    Yes, I have old doors in my basement, several antique lighting fixtures in my attic, old windows in the rafters of the garage, and a Chambers stove awaiting restoration and installation. Our current project is the dining room: in the midst of stripping woodwork and installing a tin ceiling.

    So does anyone else love old houses?

    Lorree
    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom
    "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    8,122

    Default

    Yes. I live in one built in 1870 as opposed to something newer and shinier, in a historic area. It's sure got it's issues - holes and some chips in the original hardwoods, ancient windows on pulleys that I'm not allowed to replace (some of them even now open). The house is clapboard.

    The historic society made me angry sometime back when we replaced the front siding that was peeling, chipping, and splitting. We replaced it to look exactly the same as it has looked for the last 20 years or so - white wood clapboard, the good wood. They decided this may or may not have been different than it was in 1870, so they ordered a stop work order and staged some sort of protest outside my yard. Complete with threats to our contractors and stealing bits of siding from the demo pile.

    Due to this, every planter in my yard is now pink. I sort of like it with the white clapboard. Interestingly, my neighbors think this is awesome.

    Nothing worse than McMansions in previously lovely fields. I just can't handle them.
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2002
    Location
    Eastern MA
    Posts
    2,429

    Default

    YES!! I'm so excited - we're about to move from my too-modern 1918 house to one built in 1850. I cannot wait - I figure at the rate we've been moving and w/ each increase in house age, in another 2 moves I'll have my early-1700s house.

    Our realtor emailed me this morning because the sellers of the house we're buying have a few of the original doors in the basement and they wanted to know if we wanted them or if they should toss them when they move out, and I think I may have scared my realtor with my insanely enthusiastic "YES!! WE WANT THEM!!!!!!!!!!" reply



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Location
    Martinsburg, WV USA
    Posts
    1,075

    Default

    RPP, I'm going to be replacing my exterior doors (front and back) with old doors. Will likely pick them up from the stripper tomorrow (if the weather cooperates). I'll refinish them myself. Current front door is boring, non-descript metal-clad wood. Bleh. Current back door is old, but falling apart. Might be able to use it elsewhere, but it needs to be retired from its current job as an exterior door.

    Trixie, have you thought about rehabbing your old windows? There are several sites that have lots of information on how to do the job. Properly rehabbed old windows with storms are pretty much just as energy efficient as replacement windows -- and they look tons better. (I'll be doing our dining room windows once we get to stripping the woodwork on that side of the room.) The project can be a bit time consuming, but isn't terribly difficult.

    We haven't done much to the exterior yet but I'm dying to get rid of the aluminum siding. Luckily we're not in a designated historic area so not too many issues with maintaining appearances. But I'm trying to get a more historically correct appearance anyway. Now I just have to win the lottery....

    Lorree
    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom
    "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2007
    Posts
    3,172

    Default

    1876 here
    I would LOVE to see pics or blogs of any of your renos! So far we've just done some redecorating, ripping up godawful 70's gold felt carpet, and finding out exactly how hard it is to strip wallpaper that has been painted over. I invented new curse words for THAT project.
    The beauty of it is the established gardens - old lilacs, tons of perennials...and a house with CHARACTER.
    Our downstairs floors have a lovely chocolate brown finish, but I don't know about going and stripping them though they need doing. Upstairs are softwood - should I repaint, or strip and do a more natural finish?
    We also have all original windows - I love looking outside and seeing the ripples and quirks that come with that
    Dee
    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
    http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    8,122

    Default

    I wish I could renovate my old windows but I don't think I can - our historic society is so rabid that it would have to be done with a great many permits and no storm windows on the front windows. The best we could get was that they reframed them when the siding was done. I was super happy when some of them opened after years of not opening.

    They wouldn't even let the contractors redo the door frame. The door frame is crooked. There used to be a breeze in my living room. The door itself had HOLES IN IT until I caulked them shut (little slits in very old wood). Can't replace the door - historic door. Can't reframe it without ripping the whole thing out. Can't rip the whole thing out without more permits. They hate us now, so permits might be difficult. Sigh.

    My father and I re-weatherstripped the best that we could on the interior of the door frame last year and it did make a difference - at least you couldn't SEE much daylight through it any more.

    Sometimes it's a bit of a balance to keep the place from falling over. I still quite prefer it over the McMansion.
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2004
    Posts
    4,401

    Default

    I love old houses, too. My first one was an old sea captain's house built in 1769 and it was still solid, with all kinds of beautiful woodwork and a gorgeous compass rose inlay in the dining room floor. We rehabbed it, keeping the beautiful period detail. Our current house is c. 1820 and it has warm pumpkin pine flooring, wavy pane windows and a great history. I love this old house, even with its quirks, because it has a great personality.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,936

    Default

    My parents have an old house in Chapel Hill NC...I can't remember how old, but one of the 100 oldest houses in the town. We even have an old barn in the backyard because one of the previous owners was a UNC professor who went to work in his horse and buggy, and kept the horse in his barn. How cool is that?

    Restoring/Renovation has been a labour of love for my parents. It had an appalling 1960s style renovation, so the first big project was to redo that. They've just done the main hallway and are now doing the backyard/patio, then the dining room, then master bedroom and attic area (has a disgusting 1960s spiral staircase!).

    I love the house...I've lived in Victorian flats here the past few years, which I also love - drafts and everything! Our windows could really use some help, but I think the landlord's next project is to sort out the kitchen.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2007
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    102

    Default

    My house was built in 1926. I love it. It will be here another 85 years. It is so solid and seems to have been used lightly all these years. The kitchen is original as is the bathroom. Someone stuck up horrible wallpaper in the butler's pantry and I have been at it a year taking it down.

    No one could believe this is what I wanted when I bought this house. Are you kidding me? It has so much character and an incredible spirit!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Location
    Martinsburg, WV USA
    Posts
    1,075

    Default

    Trixie,

    I don't know your historical society, so I can't speak to those issues. But "renovating" the windows involves removing them, stripping old paint and glazing compound, setting the old glass back into the frame and reglazing/painting, tightening up any weather stripping issues, installing new cord (they still make it) through the pulleys and onto the window/sash weights, and rehanging the windows. Then they're good for another 100+ years. Oh, and did you know they make *interior* storms?? (You can make them yourself too.) If you're allowed to replace a pane of glass if it breaks, I'd think you'd be allowed to renovate your windows. (But then bureaucracies don't have to make sense.)

    Chai, our original flooring is heart pine. Lovely stuff. I refinished our bedroom floor upstairs (will eventually do all the floors but we're going room-by-room) with Waterlox and am so pleased with the results.

    Dee, I have lots of pics on Facebook. But if you check out the forums at www.oldhouseweb.com you can see tons of reno projects. And several posters have blogs chronicling their endeavors.

    Lorree
    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom
    "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2004
    Location
    Earlysville, VA
    Posts
    2,193

    Default

    I love to look at old houses. Having said that, my parent's house is a 1781 edition. Beautiful to look at, but I refer to it as "The Money Pit."
    \"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2003
    Location
    itty bitty town, GA
    Posts
    3,004

    Default

    Trixie - my Mother and stepfather redid several old houses in historic districts (Columbus, GA and Savannah, GA) which proved to be quite a task when it came to dealing with the historic societies. I remember how much they butted heads in particular with the one in Columbus. I don't remember exactly what the issue was one particular time, but my Mother went down to view the courthouse records, looked up various old plans that were on file for the house, and discovered the historic society was dead wrong in how they wanted restoration to proceed as it was not at all original to the house. With copies of the original plans in hand, she consulted an attorney who drafted a letter to the society and that was the last she heard from them - they were all mouth LOL. Love the pink planters BTW!
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    632

    Default

    Colonial era stone home here. We do have replacement windows, though....are we still allowed in the club??

    The Walls are about 2 feet thick and made of the brown stone of the area. Between the stone walls and the tight windows, its easy to heat (coal stove in the kitchen) and cool. None of the floors are even close to level and the square footage is small, but we love it.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    4,810

    Default

    Y'all are making me so glad that 1) I live in a town so tiny we barely have any government and no historical societies that are anything other than groups to gather info -- no regulations, and 2) my ancestors were too cheap to make any but the smallest renovations, and so the house is fairly close to what it was when built.

    My great-great-grandfather built it in 1895 (give or take -- the original deed records were lost in a courthouse fire).

    The only really bad thing was that somewhere in the 50s or 60s, someone convinced my elderly maiden aunt to glue indoor/outdoor carpet to the heart pine floors. But, when I was younger and fitter, years ago, I pulled it all up and scraped all the rubber off, and when I moved into the house five years ago, a local guy was able to do a great job refinishing the floors.

    Neither the kitchen nor the bathroom were original to the house, so I don't feel badly that we redid the kitchen, as replacing the original (which was a sep building out back) would have been terribly inconvenient! And I'm not going back to an outhouse, either!

    I did have to replace some windows, but everywhere you can see from the ground level, I was able to leave the old, wavy, bubbly glass. And I saved all that was removed as well.

    Fortunately for me, my new husband is a contractor/home builder who hates McMansions and loves old homes, so any expansion we will need to do will be handled gracefully.

    The house, which looks big from the outside, just isn't. No closets, no real room to "hang out" in. But, we still have yet to re-do the upstairs, so we'll see!

    Walking the same floorboards that my great-great-grandparents did is awfully cool though!
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2001
    Location
    Here and there
    Posts
    5,504

    Default

    I love old houses... I don't own a home because I can't find one I like on enough land in a place I like that I can afford. Sigh.

    For the holes in the old hardwoods - a friend of mine in an 1800's model (may be older!) home had a very cool idea. She also collects antique license plates and has started using them to cover the holes in the floor. I'll take a few pictures next time I am over there...
    Not all who wander are lost.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2008
    Location
    North Georgia
    Posts
    2,086

    Default

    A lovely home (1880, I think) in upstate NY has caught my attention, but my fiancé wants to eventually build our home and make it incredibly energy efficient.

    How do you guys with older homes battle energy efficiency? (Or do you? lol)
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2002
    Location
    Henrico, NC 36 30'50.49" N 77 50'17.47" W
    Posts
    5,988

    Default

    I redo them for a living. Here's one I did in the lower right of this page. You can click on any one of the thumbnails to get a full size view. We had to jack the chimneys back into place as you can see, and rebuild the top 1/3 of one. It's an 1828 plantation owners house that was on the Roanoke River which is now Lake Gaston near our home.

    http://www.starbornhavanese.com/pictures.html

    I have just started on this one: http://msumc-emporia.org/oldbrunswic...20Advocate.pdf

    I've invented ways to waterproof the old basements, and we put them back like they were, even matching tool marks on pieces replaced.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Out for Lent
    Posts
    34,420

    Default

    I love old houses

    BUT:
    If they had the double pane windows back then, they would have used them, ditto on the vinyl siding

    I keep thinking back to, oh, 20 years or 30, when having old houses became the rage back home: They discovered that those horrible eternit (TM) siding was actually a blessing: It had conserved many old facades that otherwise would have been lost.

    Some things are cool to keep, some are better when you reestablish them (some of the old building materials are by far superior, just not as easily aquired or applied by an expert anymore)
    But some things are good to throw to the curb.
    Old electric wireing and old windows are just one (old doors are awesome to have tho!)

    But windows that look the period are pricey to obtain! (If you are lucky, you have enough substance to retro fit them with double pane glass!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
    GNU Terry Prachett



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2002
    Location
    Henrico, NC 36 30'50.49" N 77 50'17.47" W
    Posts
    5,988

    Default

    You can still get any of the material used in the old houses, but you have to be willing to pay for it. We have an outfit that we deal with that can not only supply the old heart pine, but does a good job of matching grain pattern. I have sent them a sample of some floor boards that we needed, 6" wide 1 1/8" thick floor boards 20 feet long, and so far no one, including the Historic Preservation ladies can tell the difference even when I point it out.

    This costs WAY beyond anything the average home owner would consider though.

    I've come up with a way to weatherstrip the old sash, that's not noticeable either, and the windows work better than they ever have, and keep the drafts out. They are still single pane though, so this type of restoration is not for the light of wallet, if you want to live in them.

    The houses in my links above had people living in them up through the 1950's, but they never had a wire or pipe in them.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    yonder a bit, GA
    Posts
    3,689

    Default

    My parents own an historic Townhouse in Charleston, South Carolina. The work is constant, preservation board can be impossible sometimes. The floors slope a bit, creak, carry noise, etc. But oh my god, we love that house. My mom got her masters in preservation and has done hours upon hours of research on her building. She has drawings, maps, early photographs, you name it. I love the heart pine floors, original windows, crown moldings.... I swoon when I step into that house.
    When they were repairing the wall in the dining room, they discovered the original painting color, a robins egg blue, right when the contractor returned with their preselected mossy green. He turned right around with a sample of the blue. :-)
    My mom's also had a few pieces of jewelry made from glass and china found in the patio.
    I absolutely adore that house. Sigh :-)
    Last edited by bits619; May. 31, 2011 at 09:02 PM.



Similar Threads

  1. Unconventional Houses
    By Velvet in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: Oct. 31, 2011, 09:44 PM
  2. Modular Houses??
    By ManyDogs in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Jul. 4, 2011, 09:37 AM
  3. Old Farm Houses
    By Serigraph in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 107
    Last Post: Jan. 11, 2010, 11:19 AM
  4. Crazy Christmas Houses??
    By iechris in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Dec. 26, 2009, 02:16 AM
  5. houses & horses book?
    By t. nason in forum Off Course
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Oct. 13, 2009, 04:28 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •