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.


  1. Look at all of that beautiful wood! That's really going to look nice.

    1. I think so too. We are planning to repair and repaint the tongue and groove walls and ceiling, and just re-paint it. The ceiling will go white, we are adding crown mouldings (throughout the house), and the walls will likely go another colour to offset all the busy effect of the t-g. A bunch of it will also be hidden by cabinets, so it should look quite nice.