Hello, I purchased this 1794 home four years ago. It had been "saved" by a local person as it is believed to be the oldest house in town. It was indeed a labor of love for them, and I've no doubt they exhausted their budget, but a lot of DIY was done (in DIY quality) and quite a few areas of "let's just paint over that") not to mention 200 years of DIY plus before them. The interior is by no means "historic" looking, there is what may have been once a fireplace (closed in) and no working fireplaces. It was once split into two apartments. There are some nice old wood floors and the original part of the house is very solid. It is also on the NRHP but with no restrictions. After much research I gave up on the idea of keeping some of the older windows and opted for warmth and light. The pine tree, BTW is gone now so the front is open and much landscaping has been done since this first photo was taken when I moved in.
The front porch with the columns is rapidly deteriorating and in reality, I just want to get rid of it completely. I've been in touch with the historical society and can find no photos or sketches of what the original may have looked like. I've no doubt the section to the left was added later. I'm thinking of just having it removed, opening it up (which would solve one of my major complaints about the dining room behind it, darkness) and adding Georgian style molding around the door and some simple front steps. This would also open up my landscaping opportunities. I'm a big gardener.
I guess I'm looking for opinions, thoughts, ideas from other old house lovers?
Curious.... the property is on the NRHP but has no restrictions.... I didn't think that was possible. Can you explain?
Also, noticing the house number is 13... bad juju. Just kidding.
If you would reply to the first question, I can respond. Merry Christmas to all.
I have no idea how. I have the booklet and I'm guessing it's because it fell in with several homes in the area now categorized as a historic district? Because history on this house is extremely light, it's hard to say. It does have it's own plaque, so I'm honestly not sure, but I do know I wouldn't have bought it if it had restrictions. I've been in touch with the historical society and no one seems to have any old photos from any time period or sketches, etc, although it is believed to be the oldest home in town. Yes, the number 13. A pivotal number in my life and so far, other than the usual old house woes, no bad juju and not even a single ghost who cares to make their appearance.
If yours is the house I'm familiar with near the historical society on the south side of the main highway, I'm only a few miles away in the west version of your town. Anyway, my suggestion will cost a few dollars but I can assure you it is a great investment. This name is Chad Fabry and can be reached at 585 465-8591 (Structure Smart Homes Inspections).
He is completely independent and so far as I know the only local, he's in Ogden NY, with credentials in historic structures. My house was built in1803 and I've used his services twice. He works on an hourly basis and is fair. The most important thing for you is that he can give you a full assessment or just his thoughts on how to proceed. He can also evaluate the information you currently have on your home. I'm confident once he evaluates your home you will have a far better idea of how to proceed. Good luck and I'll be checking on the progress.
Thank you Michael:
And I am drooling over your house and that hearth you're opening up. Oh. My. Goodness. What a beauty. The only thing I don't love about this house is the lack of original details and even a single working fireplace. It wouldn't be practical to attempt to open up what may have been one at this point. (I moved from a house with FIVE, and an Amish wood cook stove.) But like many of us weak minded old house lovers, its important location for my son to finish school and innate charm lured me in. (Of course that first winter I spent in my 55 degree living room despite the new furnace looking like an LL Bean winter clothing model will forever be in my mind.) Even though this isn't my forever home, I like to leave them better than I found them.
Thank you for info and I'll likely be following up in the Spring to assess next steps.
I'm not seeing anything that would be 200 years old. I'm seeing a simple farmhouse with an Italianate-era cornice. (1850-85) Maybe some older cabin is hidden under the side "addition". The 2/2 windows are very 1880's.
The porch reads as post-1893.
Every Victorian needs a front porch.
I agree, I do think the main house or what was of it is in the larger portion however, based on the placement of the basement and crawl spaces. I was thinking the side addition to the left used to be some sort of porch as the area to the left of the door is my "office" and there was probably once a door there leading to the outside. Thank you for supporting my suspicions on the age of the exterior and additions. I don't feel very committed to keeping the porch.