Old Rock House Challenge

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

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Old Rock House Challenge

Postby squashee on Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:11 am

So, we bought this piece of land back in August planning to build on it with some type of green construction - earthbags, strawbale, etc ... But the land already had an old rock house and we came up with a design to incorporate it into a new house. I'm an architect so I'm not shy of a challenge and I've always wanted to use part of an old house in a new design so I'm a little giddy about this (at least as giddy as architects ever get).

The land was settled in a Land Run in 1896 and the rock house was built within the first year. It is still standing straight. The doors still work fine. The windows still work. The roof has been redone but isn't leaking. The foundation looks sound without bulges, etc ...

We plan to remove all new additions that have been made to the house and remove the roof and completely encapsulate the structure within the new house - so we have no concerns about it being weather tight - and it will not be used structurally - so no worries about weight bearing.

Today we removed the horrid paneling and drywall that had been applied to the walls in a couple of rooms and were surprised to find that the house is basically a layer of large sand stone with smaller stones and aggregate mortared to the inside with huge wide boards running floor to ceiling on the inside of that. There is a header plate at the ceiling line but we haven't dug to the floor structure yet to know what's down there. There are no other studs of any kind. No insulation (we didn't expect there to be any).

It's almost like they built a shack of boards and then rocked the outside.

BUT - it's still structurally sound. And I don't want to mess with it ... but we do want to preserve it and have no clue where to start.

Any ideas? websites? historical sources?

Thanks! :D
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