Thursday, July 21, 2016

Oops! Victorian Farmhouse - Part 12.5?

Actually, we're not all caught up on the Victorian Farmhouse project. I just found another batch of photos I forgot. All of these should have been posted between parts 12 and 13.

Alright, here's the roof on the kitchen addition being redone. I'm really not sure why the roof was redone right away. It wasn't my decision, and all the tin was bought (Angie's parents?) so everything got done now. I would have waited until the back structure was raised and leveled. I don't really think anyone realizes just how much the barn addition has sunk. I estimate (by what I've seen of the structure) that it's sank in places between 2-3" in the better spots and as much as 12" in the worst spots.

The entire roof wasn't done, either. Just the part with the kitchen.

On top of that, the decision to redo the whole section of roof over the really terrible old cobbled together roof of the side additions (basement stairs and old laundry room) was good, but a huuuuuuge pain in the ass at the same time. Now we're going to have the trouble of removing the old roof while the new one is sitting on top of it. Most of this was done while I wasn't there, but I was under the impression that the old (small) roofs of the side additions would be taken off first.

Pierre had also said he wanted to completely knock down the last little corner section that is just sitting in the ground (and falling apart). I don't know why they put a new roof on that part. I think there was also something about just making a small little corner porch, which could look cute.

It's not my house, so for a bunch of stuff I just have to nod and smile, and worry about it later.

While I had this photo out, Angie and Pierre had mentioned several times (at least half a dozen) that they'd like to see if they could put a door in the bathroom leading into the room over the kitchen. Not going to work. The buildings are too far off-centre for this to work. A standard door would be about the height of the window, and the back (short) wall of the bathroom lines up with the plumbing pipe that passes through the roof. That gives you this:

The property seems to have an abundance of really pretty wild flowers. I think these might be a type of phlox that's run rampant around the edge of the grass. You can also see buttercups, and there were lots and lots of daisies as well.

The peony bushes at the front were also gorgeous, and you could smell their perfume on the breeze all the way to the barn (a good 75 feet away).

The electrical upstairs is all done. Nothing too exciting. There are now plugs and switches were previously there were none.

On the closet wall, there was only one tiny section of wall where a plug could be installed, because the rest of the wall (staircase wall) is only an inch thick.

The main part I forgot about was the kitchen demo! It's fairly clear what's going on in the photos. Everything in the room was shimmed to appear square again (because of severe warping and settling - because this addition was fitted into the frame of a sinking barn). Thin plywood, wallpaper, and other junk was added over the years. The original room is all tongue and groove.

The ceiling has a good amount of curve to it, but with all the braces removed, it's much less noticeable.

This wasn't a big surprise. This stovepipe hole fed into the chimney above. See one of the last photos in this post:

Pierre was having a great time tearing off all this junk! Notice the original narrow window outline.

This was the only section of Mactac with a brick pattern. No idea why.

The layers of Mactac came off pretty easily.

This other short door leads into the barn to that side staircase.

Evidence of old built-in shelves over the sink.

Outline of a small wall shelf next to the door. Note the shadow of the long door casing next to the side-light.

Across the other side of the door, it had a window. The shadow of the window casing is still there. It would have been a door with a window stuck right on the edge of it (something I tend to see most often on old Dutch log houses from the mid 1800s). See next photo.

I picture something like this. This is an 1851 log home restored in 2009 by Paul Cutting. You should definitely check out his stuff if you haven't: Trout River Log House. Paul has restored about a half dozen or more log homes in the Iowa region, but let's not get too side tracked. Just go have a look.

In this photo, you can see 90% of the original baseboard under the door jamb.

In the opposite corner, however, the entire baseboard is about 3" below the floor.

The drop is at least 6-7" in height. It goes from nearly no drop against the old part of the house and near the basement stairs, to about 6-7" down near the side of the driveway. With all this framing removed, the ceiling is actually about 8 feet high. With all the additions and layers it was barely 7 feet, and not the same height across the whole room.

The foundation along that side needs repairs, so the plan is to jack-up this side of the barn addition. I'm not too sure how that's going to go.

The addition has a nice grey painted solid wood floor under all the braces and plywood. The issue is that we would need to get under this to insulate and to run plumbing. We might also like to check for any rot, rodents, or any other surprises. It might be possible to save 90% of the floor and re-lay it. We'll see.

The original heating ducts (and no, I have no idea how they got those installed because it's practically a rubble crawl space under the addition) are still in place, and they just added extensions on them to reach the new floor height.

Okay, NOW we're caught-up.

Victorian Farmhouse - Part 13

Continuing on, with our farmhouse restoration adventure, we spent some time redoing the HVAC drywall corners. The one in the living room was completely redone (since we moved the pipe over), and the one in the office was just terrible. Badly cut 2x4s and painted plywood, hardly elegant or durable.

Unfortunately I was in a hurry to get sh*t done, so I have no photos of the actual wood framing, but it was similar to how I did mine (basically a ladder layout all screwed together and very solid). For the living room side, the bottom 3 feet had to have a relief notch cut to accept the space taken up by the tongue and groove paneling.



Oh yeah, I also started installing the mouldings, too. The bottom part is still open, because I didn't patch the floor yet, and I'll need to screw it to the bottom brace of the framing, since I have nowhere else to anchor the floor.

The first few mouldings to go in were the tops of the arches, and the living room side of the arch. I had wanted to wait until the floors were sanded, but there are no baseboards to remove on this side, so the floor refinishers will need to sand up to the wood paneling anyways.

So these were NOT 45 degrees. I knew they wouldn't be 45 degrees. I installed them perfectly without any screw-ups, by using an old woodworking trick. Any time you need to install tricky angles, all you need to do is trace a line, and then mark the angle. To do this, you place your moulding where it needs to go, passing the intersecting point, and draw a pencil line. Do the same with the opposite moulding, then you will end up with 2 "x"s. If you need to, you can draw a line between these, but all you need to do is mark both ends, and cut whatever that angle is. This trick works really well for tight interior triangle corners, but also for any other tricky angles. The best part is that there's no math or angles involved. Just lay the pieces where they need to go, trace, and mark. I believe these were off by half a degree. That doesn't SOUND like much, but it would equal to a good sized gap.

AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, leave a reveal. DO NOT install mouldings flush with the edge of the door jamb. In old houses, the reveal can be almost 1/4", 3 /16", or more rarely 1/8", I would never use anything less than 1/8". The wider the better (and it makes your trim look larger).

Here's a quick graphic I made to explain the moulding trick.

One of the next things I worked on was to fix the bottom edges of the walls in the office and hallway (the only place in the house that uses the large 9 inch baseboards. Originally, they only plastered right up to the edge of the baseboards. The baseboards themselves were only held in place over a few small spacer blocks. These were not very accurate, and in many places the baseboards were now crooked, or partially buried behind the bottom edge of plaster. I really didn't like this, so for the "filler" blocks, I installed a pait of strips. The gap between the top strip and plaster can then be filled in for a nicer, stronger, and more durable job. Here's one section of it.

On this one wall, I was able to just install a piece of half inch drywall, but in the other spots, this wasn't going to work (much deeper gap).

I wanted to install more of the casings, so Pierre and I sanded the edges of the floor where the casings would land.

First layer of compound in the gap.

I started caulking the gaps, but there's LOTS AND LOTS left to do. This shows a before and after of one of the really awful gaps along a door casing in the hallway.

We bought a CASE of Dap. We're puttying and caulking everything. This is one of my favourite parts.



More filler strips.

More caulking. Doesn't that already look so much better?

More mud to fill the gaps.

Back at my home workshop (which is still a mess, but getting better), I had offered to make the missing rosettes. There were only 6 missing, so it wasn't a big deal. I salvaged some nice thick old pine from the old door jamb of my front door. The original rosettes are 1 1/4" thick, with 7/8" thick casings. The new reproduction casings, however, are only 3/4" thick, so I made the rosettes 1/8" thinner to match.

This was the first one, and the other 5 blanks.

Unfortunately this one is blurry, but it shows one of the blanks mounted in the lathe, with 2 reference lines on it, the first rosette off to the side as a visual reference, and a cardboard template (pizza menu). The pattern was simply made from the line drawings I made a while back (image below).

They're #5.

The completed rosettes. There are slight variances since they were all eyeballed, but they're pretty near identical to the originals.

I also made new bullnose mouldings for the missing pieces of the tongue and groove paneling in the living room. Nothing fancy for these, I used an old 2x4 ripped in half, roundover bits, and the notch was cut on the table saw.

They'll look even better painted. I love this pattern, and how they catch the light. They weren't difficult to make, either. Less than 10 minutes a piece. I'm sure I had all 6 done within an hour.

The initial inspection for the electrical went fairly well, but there were a few things to change. With that out of the way, we put up the drywall in the hallway. We had to add a few shims to level the drywall near the staircase opening, but nothing too complicated.

All my pics of this are blurry, but it's just drywall. Nothing too interesting.

I started to reinstall the bullnose caps.

This is one of the pieces that were missing for some odd reason. Looks good though!

Fixing the floor, and getting this messy corner done will be next on my list.

With that, we're now all caught-up. I'm heading back to the farmhouse this Saturday.