We are having some work done on our 1890s house. The chimney is no longer used for ventilation. The roofers removed the top of it when they did the roof (with my permission). I am considering having the rest of the chimney removed as we have the walls and floors restored. It will gain some space in a bedroom, stairway/storage area, and the basement. Is there any reason to keep a chimney within the structure of the house?Continue
Started by Eileen Dushek-Manthe in Old Houses: Pre-1900 on Tuesday.
Hi All,I've been trying to find a solution to my blue lias stone floor becoming damp in wet weather. The stone flooring is most likely laid directly on top of compacted soil, definitely no DPC based on the age of the house and this being the original floor.The floor is in front of a previously blocked up open fireplace which was heavily used and has recently been opened up.Opening up the fireplace hasn't so far cured the problem and if anyone has any suggestions on what may cure the damp it…Continue
Started by Oliver Foster in Old Houses: Pre-1900 Jun 17.
25 years ago I realized that there were no high end sofas, sleepers or sectionals available that would fit through the narrow doors and stairways found in so many older homes.At the time I was living in a 1940s era townhome in which I could not get a normal size sofa down into my basement. I also happened to live a couple of miles from Old Town, Alexandria, a neighborhood with hundreds of genuine Colonial buildings from the 1700s (yes, George Washington actually lived there) with far greater…Continue
Started by Jeff Frank in Old Houses: Pre-1900 Jun 15.
I have an old house which has been painted sloppily over the years.I am planning on tackling the paint on the interior doors, so I bought a lead test kit to check for lead paint.When testing the paint, I do not get a positive result, but the underlying wood turns pink.Does this indicate lead is present? Could it be that the house was abated,but that lead from the original paint migrated into the wood?Thanks,ChrisContinue
I've spotted some unusual hardware in Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent. Can anyone explain what's going on? Why is there push plates/door plates on both top and bottom with a door knob in the middle? Here's a link to the actual webpage, but it's not as clear as the closeup picture posted below: http://126.96.36.199/masterpiece/locations/squerryescourt.htmlContinue
Started by RAH in Old Houses: Pre-1900 Jun 11.
Hello all,I have a 1939 house with a poured foundation wall. We've been experiencing leaks in the basement since we bought. Initially they were coming from a window well which had a patched over drain. That is still a problem area, but we're managing it until a more permanent solution can be found.Now, however, we are getting leaks from near the top of the foundation. I can't tell exactly where, as it is behind our basement stairs, but it doesn't appear to be coming in over the foundation…Continue
How were homes insulated before 1900? I know this is a broad question, but I'm guessing, e.g., an Italianate with a brick outside wall simply wasn't insulated. A mason told me they were typically three bricks deep, and then lathe, then plaster, done. But then weren't there non-solid outside walls? I once visited New Harmony, Indiana, and I seem to remember something about mud and straw being used in a wall. I've also heard of coarse wool being used. Anyone know what hollow walls might have had…Continue
Started by Lawrence Bottorff in Old Houses: Pre-1900 Jun 8.
Hey all,We have a 1904, brick foundation home with a basement access door off a storage/furnace room that leads to the backyard and stairs to the main floor that you access through a basement kitchenette next to the store room. My husband has made his home office in a room on the other side of the basement from both the stairs to the main floor and the basement door to the outside. Both the stairs and the access door are in adjoining rooms on the same end of the house so if a fire broke out…Continue
Started by Jessika Aguilar in Old Houses: 1900-1945 Jun 5.
Hello everyone!This is my first post here, so hello and it's nice to meet you! We recently purchased our first home, a California Bungalow built in either 1900 or 1906 (depending on which records you look at) with mostly Craftsman features.This being our first home, we don't know much about restoration and maintenance, so I've got a ton of questions for you!What are some common problems we should look out for in a house of this age?What sorts of repairs and period appropriate restoration…Continue
I would like some opinions on whether this old cupboard is worth fixing up and building a kitchen remodel around it, or should we just tear it out? Husband and I have differing views and it's making it difficult for us to move forward with a plan. Thanks in advance.Continue
Across the river from Manhattan, a mansard-roofed townhouse built in 1883 gets the superlative treatment, guided by a preservation-minded designer.
By Regina Cole
"This a monumental undertaking, restoration with a capital R,” says…Continue
Posted by Emily O'Brien on June 5, 2018 at 8:00pm
Forty years ago, collectors of early Americana set about creating a house worthy of the furnishings.
By Tim Tanner
Both Rich and Jean grew up not far from here, and met in high school. Jean had been a fortunate witness to…Continue
Posted by Emily O'Brien on May 6, 2018 at 8:16pm