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Circa 1790 (1811) Cape. (Lots of pictures)

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

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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby jharkin on Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:12 am

Im jealous of how much original detail has been preserved. (un?)Fortunately :( for us the house had been renovated many times keeping it in remarkably good repair, but as we all know the downside is that not much effort was made to preserve original detail materials.


I am especially jealous you still have the original cooking fireplace. the one in our keeping room is long gone, I figure they used that flue when the steam boiler was first put in and walled it over, and then when the last owners fully rebuilt the chimney they didn't retain the hearth. Where our keeping room opens into our ell there is a small cooking fireplace and ovens but from the size I guess it was a later 1800's attempt to replicate a coking hearth... its way to small.

And I hear you guys on the beams. When people come to our place they expect that all over and are surprised to see nothing but plaster. I always have to explain that anytime after the revolution the beams would have been covered unless the builder simply couldn't afford it, its only a modern "restoration" trend to expose them,


Once again simply phenomenal work.......


-Jeremy
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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby gregV on Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:49 am

Cris, It's a dirty job, but I highly recommend it as long as you have a good strong marriage. ;) The "exploration" of these old homes can be exhilarating, but can also come up short of exciting. It was the finding of old doors, old window slipstock, old wall boards and such that had been ripped out and used as nailers here and there in the 30s. One hundred years earlier, in the 1830s, my original clapboards from the back of the house were removed when the ell was added and used as battens in the attic flooring. So it was cool to find them there with their original hand beveled tops, mitered laps and original red paint. I found my original basement two board door now being used as the middle landing on my basement stairway. I found another two board planked door filling the original window opening that was no longer needed when the ell went up in the 1830s.
Anyway, it can be really fun stuff, but you do have to live there also. ;) My poor kids never knew what it was like to live in a finished house. Uggg.

Jeremy, I know what you are saying. It took me a two long years to find a house that still had the center chimney intact and still suited me as a place that I would want to live. To me it's one of the most important features in these early homes (pre 1840). But, there is a lot to be said about a "tight" house these days!! ;)
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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby jharkin on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:46 pm

Greg-

Some more curiosities....

The roof - is hat real cedar shake?

How is your foundation constructed? Ours is mortared rubblestone topped with granite slabs, and from the look I'm guessing you might have similar.


I really like what you did with the reproduction 12 over 12s. We have 6 over 6 aluminum track on the first floow similar to what you started with, maybe someday Ill have to think about replacements...

I also like the clean look after you removed all the shrubs. Making me think about thinning out our vegetation now...

I'm definitely ordering those books.

-Jeremy
Last edited by jharkin on Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby James on Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:58 am

Don't check in as often as I used to here, but do still try and keep an eye on here. Just saw this thread and had to say great job on that house. Huge amount of work.
Absolutely great old house. Love the old lath and plaster. Definitely a notch above my place with those plaster walls and ceilings.
Locust Quarter, circa 1770 Georgian Gambrel roofed cottage.
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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby gregV on Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:16 am

jharkin wrote:Jeff-
Some more curiosities....
The roof - is hat real cedar shake?
How is your foundation constructed? Ours is mortared rubblestone topped with granite slabs, and from the look I'm guessing you might have similar.
I really like what you did with the reproduction 12 over 12s. We have 6 over 6 aluminum track on the first floow similar to what you started with, maybe someday Ill have to think about replacements...
I also like the clean look after you removed all the shrubs. Making me think about thinning out our vegetation now...
I'm definitely ordering those books.
-Jeremy

Jeremy,

Yes, real red cedar shakes. Unfortunately the life span of these is incredible short now. Not old slow growth the way it used to be. They are already scary bad and at only about 12 years old. I will seek to see if I can have some made in white oak next time. Not likely, but would be more correct in this period home as the originals were chestnut.

Yes, my foundation is a full foundation with about 6'6" high rubble stone walls with large rectangular 'Cap Stones". Very common practice in many homes of our period. But in just the next town down from me the large cap stones were not the norm. Just depends on what and who was around when the house was built.
My exterior basement entrance was a tunnel under ground that ran about 20-30 feel out to a wall along the main road. Again, not uncommon.

The windows are sweet. Not a heck of a lot of money for what they are. I have installed all interior storms and that helps like 100% in keeping out the cold. Windows are such the first thing you may notice when driving past an old house. To me it's such an important architectural element to get right.

Enjoy those book Jeremy!

And on a funny note, ...don't know why, but people always seem to call me "Jeff"at one point or another. All my life! ;-)
Greg.
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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby gregV on Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:24 am

James wrote:Don't check in as often as I used to here, but do still try and keep an eye on here. Just saw this thread and had to say great job on that house. Huge amount of work.
Absolutely great old house. Love the old lath and plaster. Definitely a notch above my place with those plaster walls and ceilings.

James, Thank you.

You mentioned the plaster. This is something that I have been struggling A LOT with lately. I do consider myself a 'purist' when it comes to restoring these houses, but I am truly considering removing what is left of the plaster and lath and just putting up blueboard and plastering. I don't know, maybe because of funds and the fact that I just need to get this DONE! So much lath and plaster is already missing so this also makes me think about this. If all the lath was still there then it would stay, but I'd say that only about 50% is left, maybe less.
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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby jharkin on Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:57 pm

you know what Greg... I knew it was Greg.... I think I had one of those moments because on a different thread that got dug up recently I was being asked questions by a Jeff...

Anyway thanks for the insights. Ive always wondered what kind of roof shingle we had originally though I doubt I will every try putting back the real wood... I didn't think about the longevity, but that and the expense likely puts it out of reach for us. The POs put on rustic looking brown asphalt shingle that looks pretty good from a distance, and 15 years on its still nearly new. I live with it ;)

You really are a purist - I am impressed, your place looks more authentic than some of the museum houses at Sturbridge and Strawberry bank. I settle for historic inspired...

thanks,
Jeremy
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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby Old Colonial on Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:07 pm

Jeremy,

I'm curious what prompted your statement about Sturbridge and Strawbery Banke.

your place looks more authentic than some of the museum houses at Sturbridge and Strawberry bank. I settle for historic inspired...


Can you be more specific about what you believe is not authentic and why? I realize they made some provisions for environmental controls, handicap access and public safety but what other things did you see?

jeff
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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby jharkin on Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:56 pm

You caught me Jeff.... I was just generalizing in a form of a compliment of Greg's work. I didn't have anything specific in mind....
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Re: Circa 1790 Cape. (Lots of pictures)

Postby gregV on Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:01 pm

:oops:
Last edited by gregV on Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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