Moving into the 1795 cape (maybe 1830?)

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby jharkin on Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:59 pm

Thanks for all the comments everybody!

Next week is the big week. My Dad the carpenter (does antique restoration work in CT) is coming for the week and we are going to do the repair work on the partial sill damage I found. Luckily it appears to be only about 2 ft of sill that's rotten and its away from the corner post but here's hoping that we don't find worse when we open the wall.

We are also restring or replacing the rotten front door and taking down some 80's paneling in the kitchen to expose more of the chimney brickwork.

I'll try and start a new thread and post pics as we go.

I must be crazy because I scheduled the heating contractor and am trying to arrange for the electrician and chimney cleaning as well. Its going to be a crazy week but I cant wait to get this all done.



-Jeremy
jharkin
 
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Holliston, MA

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby jharkin on Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:10 am

Hi All-

Its been a while. I keep meaning to put up some more pics of all the work we have done but I never find time. My wife is starting to tell me I need to slow down on the house projects and take some time to relax so.....

Anyway an update on what we have done:

Structural, etc:
- My dad and I replaced the bad section of sill under the bathroom outside wall
http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20321
- We investigated the front door but decided its beyond repair. I'll be buying a new door next year... expect to see me on here asking for suggestions :)
- I added insulation to part of our attic crawl space that was uninsulated
- Started working on cleaning out the crawl space under the kitchen (falling insulation and loose wires need clean up)
- Lots of the typical new house stuff - weather sealing, paint touch up, etc.

Interior:
- We took down more wallpaper and repainted the kitchen and mud room.
- we took down the 80s paneling in the kitchen to expose the chimney. Still working on the trim.
- My wife has been working on the decorating. New rugs in a few rooms, wall hangings, a fwe furniture pieces, etc

Plumbing:
- We had the plumber in to install the water regulator (95psi water main causing lots of hammer) and fix a missing control on the hot water heater the original installer left off. Also got the boiler cleaned/tuned.
- I've done a lot of work myself on the steam heat. New main vents, pipe insulation, proper thermostat and fixing the pitch of the radiators. Heats nice and fast now and only one radiator still makes noise (working on it). The POs must have had all kinds of problems and a sauna hot basement, probably drove them nuts.

Electrical:
- We fixed the overloaded main breaker box by getting an electrician in for a 200amp upgrade. Also had an extra circuit run to the second floor (half the house was a single 15amp circuit), power tool outlets installed in the basement and had the garage re-wired with better lighting. Some of the existing work was a mess - open/hanging boxes, cut grounds, loose connections and in one case two circuits tied together in a fixture! The electrician was amazed we weren't tripping breakers or starting fires.
- I replaced and rewired about 1/4 of the outlets in the house (loose grounds, backwards wired, etc etc) also updated kitchen and basement to GFI circuits.

Misc:
-Lots of yard work (back lawn was bare in spots after the septic work done before we bought it - so we have been seeding, fertilizing,, etc)
- I had all the chimneys inspected/cleaned and i had to clean out the woodstove (its one of those catalytic types and needed a new combustor).

I'm tired :(

But there is always more to do. A few more things I want to get done before it gets cold
- We have the tree service coming next month to take down the rotten crabapple tree before it falls on the house
- I mixed up some lime putty to make a mortar and patch some cracks inside the basement. The outside needs patching too but that will have to wait for spring.
- Next summer we will get back to more interior painting, replacing the door, and maybe tackle some floor leveling


Photos to come when I get time.. promise!

-Jeremy
jharkin
 
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Holliston, MA

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby jharkin on Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:16 am

Since the last time I posted we didn't do to much - we had the rotten tree down and I split it up for firewood, but that's about all. But now spring is here and time to plan for this years projects :) How the list is shaping up in relative order of priority...

1 The flooding here in MA has shown I need to do some rethinking of the drainage situation. Might replace the tired old sump pump and need to work on grading and directing runoff in the back yard. Will also need to do some serious mulching and re-seeding in washed out areas.

2 Definitely need to get estimates for gutters

3 Exterior door replacement. We knew the front door has to be replaced but now Ive found the back door is nearly as bad under the paint. Planning to replace both - not decided if I will do it myself or hire out yet

4. Repointing exterior foundation. I pointed some bad spots on the inside last fall using HB's lime mix - easier than I expected. Have a whole pail of aged putty ready to go for the exterior...

5. Continue to clean out the basement crawl space and look at getting a better suport under one ofthe posts in the crawl

6. There is one beam next to my basement stairs that has old beetle damage, and one of the posts supporting itis starting to rot at the base. Going to start thinking about how to reinforce/replace.

IF we get all that done and still have time before next winter...

7. My wife wants to put up chair rail in the living room to match the front parlor

8. I'd like to repaint all the doors on the first floor and possibly put in reproduction thumb latches to match the upstairs (some of the original first floor doors had them previously, and I can see where they filled the door when installing a doorknob at some point).

9. Try to start leveling the floor in the office.


-Jeremy
jharkin
 
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Holliston, MA

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby kat on Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:15 pm

I love your 1795 cape..Mine is 1750...my floors are alot like yours but completely unfinsished....what did you do to yours...I dont know what to do with mine, some say leave unfinished as they never would have had a finish, just cleaned with sand or lye soap..and you could just sweep the sand through the cracks in the floor boards to under the house, can feed chickens that way as well!

But yours are beautiful....lucky you have not too many problems and expert help..I'm out here alone, cant hardly get a contractor to respond
kat
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:35 pm

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby James on Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:20 am

Yea it is a great looking house. I wish mine was in such good condition. As for the comment someone made on the floors not being heart pine but being white pine. Heart pine just means it comes from the heart of the tree, not the sap wood. It can be white pine, and still be heart pine.
As for Kathys comment on the history of houses from the 18th century, I do think about that, a lot. This place predates the Revolution, and it has changed very little. Even the landscape around the house is much the same. Not another house in sight from this place. Well one abandoned tenant house across the field in the edge of the woods that you can just barely see in the winter. Aside from the paved road there are few changes to the landscape here after two centuries and more. Knowing how rare that was, and how I would never likely again be able to find anything like that, had a lot to do with why I decided to bite the bullet and buy this place, when a lot folks thought I was crazy(my own mother included).
Locust Quarter, circa 1770 Georgian Gambrel roofed cottage.
James
 
Posts: 1640
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:36 pm
Location: Rural Eastern North Carolina

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby Don M on Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:44 am

Yes, even though my house is much newer than yours (1830-40s) I believe my farm land & setting has changed very little since the house was built. I can stand on the hill overlooking our pasture, look down toward the run & see very little difference from what its always been. I imagine more cows were present than today but the 1880s photograph of our house & barn looks pretty much as they do today---the barn didn't have a silo or milk house then but other than that it's the same! Don
1840 Limestone Farmhouse
Image
Don M
 
Posts: 6965
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:35 am
Location: Boiling Springs, PA

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby jharkin on Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:24 am

Thanks for all the kind words folks..

Yes we love the place.. Dont be too jealous though. 2 new exterior doors are gonna cost me $$$$ to do them historically proper. And at some point I do need to so some significant work replacing posts in the basement, most are wood sitting straight on the floor and a few are starting to rot at the base from moisture. When I do that I need to decide if I want to try and jack up the settling and level the floors or leave it as is. We hear popping sounds from time to time in the house which I hope is not the frame settling more :(

I know those issues are minor compared to many but they are a big deal for our budget ;)


-Jeremy
jharkin
 
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Holliston, MA

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby jharkin on Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:29 am

kat wrote:I love your 1795 cape..Mine is 1750...my floors are alot like yours but completely unfinsished....what did you do to yours...I dont know what to do with mine, some say leave unfinished as they never would have had a finish, just cleaned with sand or lye soap..and you could just sweep the sand through the cracks in the floor boards to under the house, can feed chickens that way as well!

But yours are beautiful....lucky you have not too many problems and expert help..I'm out here alone, cant hardly get a contractor to respond


We haven't done anything to our floors. In the pile of docs from the PO there is a receipt from a contractor that sanded any poly'd some floors. But I don't know which rooms and it doesn't specify what exact poly they used...
jharkin
 
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Holliston, MA

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby jharkin on Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:38 am

(Don/James)

Interesting about your neighborhoods. In our case, the street has probably changed a lot since our place was built. We are the oldest house on the block, our direct neighbors are 1805, 1850, 1870, and I think 1930... the rest of the street is a mix of mid-late 1800s towards the town center and then it transitions to split levels and McMansion developments as you head out of town.

I wonder if my house was all by itself when it was built or if there were neighbors that got torn down. The oldest street map we found so far is 1878 and it doesn't look like anything was torn down since then...

-Jeremy


http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22240&p=187756&hilit=maps#p187756
jharkin
 
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:37 pm
Location: Holliston, MA

Re: Moving into the 1795 cape

Postby Don M on Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:28 am

It would be interesting to know if your house included substantial land with it originally. I just looked at your map again & would guess that the building behind your house was a barn for a horse & probably a cow at least. In my case I know that my 28 acre farm was once several 100 acres from historical research. Your house likely was also a farm of some size. Often as time passed & family members married, pieces of the original land holding had homes built for extended family members. The Amish farms here in Pennsylvania still do this although it is often an addition to the original house to conserve farm land. No McMansions for them! Don
1840 Limestone Farmhouse
Image
Don M
 
Posts: 6965
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:35 am
Location: Boiling Springs, PA

PreviousNext

Return to Pre-1900 Houses Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron