Bruce's Journal

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
3,679
Reaction score
11,974
Points
468
Location
virginia
Love those "old New England farmhouses and colonials" but they do have their frustrations as I am sure @Bruce can tell you. My house up there was over 100 yrs old, my grandparents house was over 100 yrs old when I was a kid 50 yrs ago. It has since been taken down. My family had a couple of places in VT, that were original salt-box type houses and I loved them but so many have undergone several "remodelings" and again as @Bruce was saying.... not everyone was qualified to make changes and it can affect the integrity of the structure.

The house here I am in is over 250 yrs old and I would LOVE if it was mine so that there could be some remodeling done, but I would want to fix some of the stupid stuff and bring back some of the original integrity. Of course it is stone, blocks that are 18 inches. It has several pluses, but the present owner is so tight that he won't do anything that is not life or death.. I mean it took nearly 6 months to get the porch roof fixed and replaced..... I would have the chimneys redone, lined and make them useful... and have the stone foundation redone so it is more airtight and many other things. The thing is, if it was mine and I was collecting rent, I would be putting all that back into the house to fix, upgrade, and improve the house. He doesn't need the rent, he uses the farm for his cattle.... he has a good retirement from his job, and rental money from another house that is also on this property up the road..... but he is letting this house just deteriorate slowly. It is sad for such a beautiful, truly original, house from the beginnings of our country from revolutionary times.
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
3,679
Reaction score
11,974
Points
468
Location
virginia
That's amazing to me that a house that old is still standing and habitable. I'm very impressed.
It is a shame that the current owner, a family member that bought the farm from his uncle, is not willing to restore this house the way it should be. The one thing in it's favor, it has never stood empty for any length of time. But the uncle took better care of this place from what I have been told. This nephew, is a tightwad, and there were some family disagreements and squabbles, and then he bought this place and I know part of it was to piss off some of the other family members, and he wanted the rent from the 2 houses on it. I wish I could win the lottery so I could offer him a " too good to turn down" offer, and do some things that need doing and utilize the land here the way it should be. He doesn't hardly fertilize it..... only what is the minimum, he doesn't make enough hay to feed his cattle through the winter but buys quite a bit, it is not cross fenced like it should be to rotational graze it like it should be..... you just hate to see only the minimum done to get by with. GRRRRRR
 

Bruce

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
13,670
Reaction score
33,448
Points
723
Location
NW Vermont
Nothing exciting going on but I'll post these 2 "projects".

Temporary handrail until I get around to finishing the stairs. Don't know why I didn't think of doing a temp thing 6 years ago.
DSCN1970.JPG

Of course the first attempt was a fail for 2 reasons.
  1. I thought it was supposed to be 38" off the stair at the riser. Nope, supposed to be that at the nose (34" minimum). Of course there is no nose yet but I made it 38" at the front of the steps the second time.
  2. I somehow REALLY screwed up measuring and math and it was only about 33" at the top, not the 38" I expected though it was 38" at the first riser off the floor. I enlisted DD2 to hold a few parts on the 2nd pass while I measured and got it right. Works well now.
And yes all that mess is "normal" :( None of it is mine other than the red raincoat (on top of the pile) which I had just brought from the other end of the house when I got the camera. Rain today and all day tomorrow. It is now hanging in the mudroom.

The mudroom. We had picked out tile for it 6 years ago when this entire part of the house was rebuilt. But of course it was a closeout and someone bought it while we brought some home to see if we liked it. Finally got around to deciding we ought to get on this and went back to the tile store in January. These things aren't easy when your DW works every day but Sunday and the tile store isn't open on Sundays.

As it has been for 6+ years (without the bench and all the mess on the floor or the 2 boot trays). For reference, the door in the right picture is the front door to the house.
DSCN1963.JPG DSCN1964.JPG


How do you like the new look?
DSCN1969.JPG

OK, that isn't the tile that is a tile separation membrane ... which I didn't know I needed when I got the tile water saw to cut the tiles before we went to So. Cal earlier this month. My plan was to finish the job before we left. Instead I ordered this stuff, it came while we were gone, I cut the pieces today.

Yesterday I started looking at the instructions on getting it onto the floor. I need some modified thinset mortar. I have a bucket of expensive premixed thinset. NOT supposed to use it on plywood, particle board, etc. Of course it doesn't say that anywhere on the bucket, that info is online :mad: Good thing I didn't lay the tile with it without the membrane. So tomorrow I'll see if it is even possible to buy any thinset or if the stores are closed. AND, I'm not sure I can use the expensive premixed stuff on top of this. I'm going to call the membrane company tomorrow and ask. If not, I also need to get some unmodified thinset to put the tile down. I hope I can find 25# bags of thinset, the room is only about 60 sq ft and I sure don't need 50# bags.

This is what it should look like when the tile is down before grouting
DSCN1966.JPG DSCN1967.JPG

And this is the water saw setup in the walk-in shower. Couldn't use it outside in the sub freezing weather of course.
DSCN1965.JPG

Does any of this sound like how your projects tend to go @Senile_Texas_Aggie ??

In outside news, the snow has melted, the hens are popping out about a dozen eggs a day and there are fish swimming in the pond.
 

thistlebloom

True BYH Addict
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
1,215
Reaction score
4,267
Points
283
Location
Idaho panhandle 48th parallel
That is exactly how projects seem to go at our house.

I used to think my husbands method of not going after projects was related to being in the business of construction and being reluctant to do it in his time off. But now I know he's just a common procrastinator. :rolleyes:

I forgot to say your tile looks good! You're going to love the good looks and low maintenance.
 

Bruce

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
13,670
Reaction score
33,448
Points
723
Location
NW Vermont
:lol:
Bay, I have that entire part of the house to finish! No door, window or baseboard trim anywhere! Part of it is no one wants to decide - paint or natural. And to me it makes a BIG difference. If natural it will be hardwood (likely cherry or red birch), if paint it will be the much cheaper pine. And what color paint? Decisions, decisions.

Finishing the staircase is a bit of a head scratcher. The carpenter built the landings 42"wide BUT this is a post and beam house and there is an 8" deep beam on the wall (seen in the picture) which makes it only 34" wide usable. In theory the 2 posts at the U would be on the landings making the landings and intermediate step only 31" usable which just doesn't cut it at all. So the posts have to be on the first step of the upper part and the last step of the lower part. I need to engineer a way to do that. I think I'm going to have to pad out the lower stairs several inches so I don't end up with really narrow stairs on the bottom. And then there is the "how the heck do you put a nearly vertical handrail in between those two posts at the right height? Especially an issue because DW wants the handrail to be continuous so she doesn't have to take her hand off it if she is unsteady. Fortunately that hasn't been a problem yet (as evidenced by the years long lack of a lower railing).

And the OTHER problem is - once it is warm enough out in the workshop to do anything, there are a ton of outdoor projects to do!
 

Latest posts

Top