Featured Blog Posts – July 2010 Archive (6)

Secret concrete room outside of barn

Hi everyone,

I just bought a 140 yr old farmhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Right outside in front of the barn is a 18" square "lid" that lifts up and underground is a 12 foot x 12 foot concrete room that has a drop of about 10-15 feet. You would need some type of ladder to get down. Above ground is the only access to this room. I was told that this area used to be a throughway for the Underground Railroad. I tend to think maybe it was a panic room during Prohibition. Any thoughts? I…


Added by Jennifer D. on July 30, 2010 at 9:51pm — 4 Comments

Windows - a pane in the glass

Setting panes in the basement last fall during freezing weather must have had its hidden merits. I think that darn glazing putty was just way more willing to cooperate. I think today holds the record for frustration level. How in the world do people put that little 1/8" bead of window glazing on that tiny 1/4" ledge around the sash before placing the pane of glass?

A "before"…

Added by Carrie Z on July 28, 2010 at 11:03pm — 2 Comments

More Summer Painting

The entry foyer has an open stairway that goes up to the 3rd floor. Tomorrow I tackle the foyer and the landings on the 2nd and 3rd floor. 10 windows, 9 doors and some painted floors to boot. I have assembled lots of sandpaper, plastic sheeting, drop cloths, quick setting plaster (for rapid repairs on some water damaged drywall) for an all day prep fiesta. I have hired a student to help. Also, just in case that doesn't absorb all of the time, I have decided to strip a stained glass window down… Continue

Added by Phil on July 24, 2010 at 10:08pm — 1 Comment

How the 2X Theory Happens

In a previous blog post I described my “2x theory” of renovation, which states simply that it takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you anticipate. Regardless of how carefully you budget. Regardless of how tightly you keep control of your contractors. Regardless of how much of the grunt work you do yourself, or are able to get done by people you’ve rooked for free labor. It just doesn’t matter. At some point in the…


Added by KARAN ANDREA on July 16, 2010 at 6:24pm — 1 Comment

Java & Plaster

The sheetrock & plaster finisher found a creative way to use the built-in drawers in my bathroom. He plonked a scrap of sheetrock on it and used it as a counter for…


Added by KARAN ANDREA on July 13, 2010 at 9:32am — No Comments

Third Time's a Charm?

Well, here I go again – I am embarking on my third renovation project. The first was a cottagey-bungalow home I bought in 1998, and the second was the 25,000 square-foot building I currently work in. Today, in less than an hour from this writing, I am going to do the ‘walk through’ on my new house. New only in the sense that it is new to me. I close Monday, November 30, 2009 on an American Four-Square house, built in 1924, in a lovely Western New York village.

Here’s… Continue

Added by KARAN ANDREA on July 2, 2010 at 1:00pm — No Comments

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