Our new house was built around 1903. I like keeping things as original as I can. The kitchen floor had a couple layers of tile and finally terracotta tile with chicken wire nailed to unfinished yellow pine. Over the years, it looks like the terracotta bled through to the wood and it is splintering badly from the large nails all over. Yesterday a floor guy told me that between the stains and the splintering, I should just forget about saving it because it wouldn't hold up to the sanding and…Continue
I am slowly renovating a 1916 four square. I have had the oak trim downstairs and the fir trim upstairs stripped and refinished. It all looked beautiful. But after time, the fir upstairs began to get sticky. I thought the stripper had not thoroughly dried the wood before refinishing. When I brought the problem to him, he was perplexed. He did some research then explained to me that some woods, including fir, redwood, cedar have a tendency to bleed. He suggests that shellac would seal in the…Continue
I am restoring an old home and am getting closer every day to paint time. I know someone who is also restoring an old home who uses only oil-based paint on all the interior trim. Comments? Opinions? Pros vs Cons? Thank you! Continue
the vent goes down the wall and hot air is present. why would there be a radiator and a wall vent? the house was built in 1907. what is the purpose of the wall vent? It is not connected to the outside that I can see.Continue
Started by Ralph in Old Houses: 1900-1945 yesterday.
Hi,A few months ago I bought a 1906 house. I think the house had a somewhat big remodel in the 20s or 30s, since it has a later porch and I think the aging original owners (who lived in the house until the mid 50s) were the ones to first make it a two-unit. Most of the other houses in the neighborhood with original porches have neoclassical columns. The house was remodeled again sometime in the 50s, when the downstairs kitchen was expanded and an upstairs porch was added to the back of the…Continue
I'm restoring my 1929 American Foursquare, and need to find someone in the Northern Virginia area who can do real plaster, not just drywall with a coat of plaster of paris over it. I only have a few days to find someone, as my contractor wants to move ahead quickly. I am in Alexandria, if you know of anyone who can repair/replace a ceiling with plaster over lath, please post contact information!Continue
Started by Janice Clark in Old Houses: 1900-1945 yesterday.
Hello.New to the forum. About 2 years ago I bought a house built in 1927. We think its a Sears home, but I can't find the model.Anyway, it's my first home and I have millions of questions. Here's one. Is this split in the front porch column anything to worry about? I noticed it last year. Dont think its gotten bigger. The column is hollow, not original to the house I don't think. The house is two story, roughly 1700 square feet. Cantilevered second floor over the front porch (which I…Continue
Hi all... looking for some advice for best practices in cleaning and possibly restoring original NYC Brownstone shutters. I got an amazing deal on a huge lot that came out of the Dakota building (John Lennon's old haunt). Looking to add a few to my own townhouse Victorian windows, where the originals were removed. They of course will need slight tweaking, but I'm more concerned with cleaning them up a bit. The original finish in places that were obviously exposed to UV has almost turned black…Continue
OK, this one has had me puzzling since we did the inspection two years ago. I've never seen this before. Old logs/tree trunks as support posts in the basement. See attached. Old school. I'm sure many of you have come across this? Some notes:*1927 house*I doubt the basement is original; likely house was jacked up to add poured concrete basement at some point*posts are unbelievably strong; I'm a young guy and if I tried to kick or hit these posts, I'd end up in the hospital. No rot. But hey,…Continue
See photos. At first glance, hearth looks like its heaving upwards. But I dont think thats the case. I think floors are sagging. I've read that floor sag around fireplace is fairly common. We also have gaps under neighboring moulding on either side of chimney.When we moved in, one corner of the hearth/floor kind of looked like this. Since we moved in (heavy couch, family of four - we spend 80% of our time in there), the whole thing started to equal out like this. -In the basement, I see…Continue
Our new lakefront cottage has a vintage look and I am trying to decide if an Arts & Crafts look or a Coastal look is more appropriate. I think an Arts & Crafts look is tougher to pull off but I really respect and admire that style. A coastal look may be more suitable to something that is lakefront and is easier with all that wicker and white paint. Any thoughts? I have attached a picture of the front. …Continue
I have turn of the early 1900's "replacement" windows and good old aluminum storms. Drinking straws make wonderful, easily removed gaskets. They even fit in the storm window bottoms. When I close a window, its tight!