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Becoming Part of an Old House

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Construction, Old House Musings, In The News, Old House History

I’m starting to get excited; a couple of tools I’ve been waiting on arrived today, and I’m anticipating a very productive weekend spent working on my exterior paint prep. Hopefully, I’ll soon be ready to start painting one side of my old house in earnest. I tried the tools for a few minutes today to make sure they were operable, and I imagine they’ll get quite a workout over the next few days. Porter Cable has a compact belt sander that I’ve read good things about; supposedly it’s light enough to easily use on a ladder; I’ll let you know if that’s true. I also wanted to try a Milwaukee orbital sander to give my Porter Cable sander a break, and I now have that to play with, too.  I feel like a kid on Christmas morning!

Almost Like Christmas Morning

Almost Like Christmas Morning

I’m also excited because I’m already planning this winter’s old house project; an open floor plan of my first level. The area currently consists of an enclosed uninsulated and unfinished front porch, living and dining rooms, and a kitchen. I’m going to remove the walls separating the porch, living, and dining rooms, although I may leave knee walls for some book shelf space. I can already picture how the project is going to completely transform my first floor. At least two of the walls being removed are bearing walls, and I suspect the third is as well, so there will need to be some headers installed. There’s also going to be a lot of work involved to make the porch fit in, but when finished, the changes will fit my personality and lifestyle.

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

Character, Personality, and Old Houses

There are a lot of reasons I enjoy living in an old house, but if I had to name the number one reason it would probably be that my sweat and hard work become a part of the character, personality, and history of the home–and in a way, the old house becomes a part of who I am. It’s not just my address or an investment, and when I read that home values continue to fall, it doesn’t really bother me: I don’t plan to go anywhere.

An old house allows you paint your cabinets green with white trim if that’s what you want. Evidently the family that lives in a 1902 Victorian did, and now the room reflects their personality. If you happen to like a dark green leather look, then express yourself by using that color on your kitchen walls.   As you become a part of your old house, you can even paint your living room red if you feel the color suits you, the room, and your home. I kind of like the red and may have to try it myself.

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