Author Topic: The project house  (Read 321 times)

Offline bmwrd0

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The project house
« on: September 16, 2019, 07:23:06 PM »

A couple-four years ago, my wife and I came into a bit of my, from both sides. We had already watched my son graduate high school and head off to college and at that point, there was nothing holding us in California. My wife hated her job at UC Berkeley and I had been injured while working at the phone company as an I&R tech. Nothing was holding us back. C (my wife) had been offered a job at a university in Oregon, and that was good enough for us. We bought a nice little house in town, but I only saw it for around 10 minutes before making an offer. In the end, it wasn't the right place for us long term, so we moved into the above house after about a year. The other house makes a great rental, so no issues there.

The new house, a bungalow built in either 1908 or '13 depending on where you look, is a solid house in fairly good condition, with a strong need for serious cosmetic repairs (painting, interior woodwork, etc.) and general maintenance. Perfect for the two of us. Here is a brief tour.

As you go through the front door, to the right is the living room, the left is the dining room, and straight ahead are stairs. So, the living room:

When we bought it, the fireplace had an electric insert which was dead as a doorknob. So, we had that taken out and found that to install it, much of the back of the firebox had been removed. I don't mind paying a pro when called for, and this was one of those times. He rebuilt the box, fixed the flue door and brought it back to original condition, cheaply. It was nice to see someone work in a trade I don't know and show two apprentices how to go.

From standing at the fireplace

Most of this section was covered by a wall long ago, which was at the point of the long black/brown piece on the left. Back here were two additional bedrooms originally.  Now it has been opened up for a bigger living room and expanded bathroom.

Through the doorway on the left in the last picture, you pass my the main bathroom:

You can see the blue paint on the window frame, paint that has been removed from the rest of the exterior. That window is over the basement entrance, so nothing has been done to it. The rest of the frame had been stripped, but not sanded or stained. To the right of where I am standing is the toilet, and another window with the same issues over it.

Then you get to the kitchen:

My wife insisted on everything for this room, as she is the one who likes cooking. So we had the floor and countertops done. Not cheap, but happy wife, happy life.  You can't see it, but over the stove is a range hood, which is what I was installing when I found live knob and tube. There were no visible junctions for it, so that told me there were in the wall splices. Where? No one knew.

From the kitchen you get the back porch:

My wife's retreat, you can see her cookbooks and food dehydrator. This room, along with with the kitchen, has a ceiling that is one foot lower than the rest of the house. Found that out the fun way. There is also a fireplace on the right, just past the refrigerator. The porch was added on in the sixties. If you check out the foundation, it was well-poured but funky.

The final room downstairs is the dining room:

In the corner is a built-in china hutch, with my grandmother's china. You can just see the ceiling light, which was originally on the knob and tube system. Just two wires going threw a small hole. When I installed the rework box for that, the board in the ceiling was thicker than my hole saw would drill. Had to use an old fashioned keyhole saw.

Well, that is the downstairs, so for the next post lets go upstairs.


Offline bmwrd0

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Re: The project house
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 07:46:59 PM »
So, the stairs:

This was the only part of the house still carpeted, which told me this was going to be one of the problem areas. And I was right. Four of the treads were MDF and some odd glue residue covered the rest. And some are also cracked.

Top of the stairs:

You can see my office straight ahead, master off to the left, and the third bedroom is behind and to the right. Behind you are some windows, and a laundry chute.

The third bedroom, looking at the stair landing:

The blue pillar is actually the chimney for the original (no longer in use) kitchen wood stove. You can't see the closed, but in there I had to make an access hatch to get to the porch overhands in front when I rewired it. There was no way in, but it was the easiest way to do this.

My office:

Never had to do anything in here, but off to the left are two more bookshelves and on the right, you can just see my roll-top desk.

Master bedroom:

Behind those four folding panels is a 4x8 window. This thing is so nice.

The other bathroom:

This is across from my office, and funny thing, there are no lights in the shower, and the fan is a repurposed ceiling mount fan put in the wall. Real pain, real clever use of former materials.

One other thing:

The house was originally a five-bedroom, one and a half bath house, with one and a half stories. The upstairs was just a toilet, and it was expanded later to have a shower and sink. But the half story is interesting, as you can see in the above pic, where the original ceiling line was upstairs. The brown molding running just above the doorway covers up were drywall was added to cover the studs when the ceiling was vaulted. Ceiling fans were added to give more airflow. It took me forever to figure this out. but you can see a faint line of paster above the third bedrooms door, as that is an original door. All the other doorways upstairs were given spacers to put normal sized doors in.

Online jabberwoki

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Re: The project house
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 09:23:36 PM »
Watch that wisteria on the house, that stuff will bend iron.

Nice ol digs tho.
Is the need enough? or does the want suffice?

Offline Lookin4_67GalaxieConv

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Re: The project house
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 10:00:27 PM »
This was the only part of the house still carpeted, which told me this was going to be one of the problem areas. And I was right. Four of the treads were MDF and some odd glue residue covered the rest. And some are also cracked.

Top of the stairs:

You can see my office straight ahead, master off to the left, and the third bedroom is behind and to the right. Behind you are some windows, and a laundry chute.

I have a barrister bookcase just like that.  How old is yours?

Offline bmwrd0

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Re: The project house
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 10:02:21 PM »
This was the only part of the house still carpeted, which told me this was going to be one of the problem areas. And I was right. Four of the treads were MDF and some odd glue residue covered the rest. And some are also cracked.

Top of the stairs:

You can see my office straight ahead, master off to the left, and the third bedroom is behind and to the right. Behind you are some windows, and a laundry chute.

I have two of them, the other is in the third bedroom. I have no idea of the age off the top of my head.

I have a barrister bookcase just like that.  How old is yours?

Offline pep

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Re: The project house
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 10:13:52 PM »
"You can just see the ceiling light, which was originally on the knob and tube system."

What is that, never heard the expression before?

Nice looking home.

Pep

KAG

Offline bmwrd0

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Re: The project house
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2019, 10:26:07 PM »

Offline DeadNutz

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Re: The project house
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2019, 10:39:15 PM »
You just beat me to it as I was getting ready to post that. My house in SoCal built in 1930 had knob and tube. I took one look in the attic at the mix of K&T and romex and never went up there as it was very tight with the flat roof. It was easy to blow breakers by running two good draws at once.

Offline muddy

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Re: The project house
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 08:59:21 PM »
Nice house I love that window feature in the master bedroom. Kinda nice buying and older house that hasn't ever or in awhile you basically get to start on your own and make it your way.


Looking forward to seeing the progress.

Sent from the twisted mind of the Mudman


Offline bmwrd0

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Re: The project house
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2019, 10:14:14 PM »
I spent the summer and early fall trying to get the paint under control. Whoever painted this place last just splashed it on will-nilly. So I scraped glass panes where the green overran the frames, cleaning up the trim paint and so on. Also scraping a lot of bubbling paint, priming and then cleaning up the lines. But, now that it is the rainy season, it is time for inside work. So, I am working on the stairs. When we bought, the stairs were the only part that was still carpeted, which told me that there was a problem underneath. And I was right. Four treads were replaced with MDF and everything had new heavy-duty screws to hold them in place. Also, there was some kind of glue that had been smeared to hold the filthy carpet down. So, more scraping and filling in the screw holes and putting the right size finishing nails in place:

You can see the screw tips from the next tread. So, scraping on the stairs is not fun at my age, I will tell you that! But, it might take a while, but we will get there.