Sunday, May 30, 2010

Home Sweet Work in Progress

I know... I know... I am a terrible blogger. I have blogged on my COE blog and I have blogged (a tiny bit) for the Team Bacon! blog, but nary a word on my own personal blog. I have subjects lined up and everything, but they have just fell by the wayside. Part of the reason is that my hubby and I have been trying to buy a house... since January! After every hoop, crazy strange rules, changes in laws, monkey wrenches and general insanity... we finally became home owners two weeks ago. The house we bought is beautiful.... It is a 3 story, solid brick Victorian built in 1901. There are 5 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and 2 half baths.
 BUT.... it needs a lot of work. I am going to try to keep a journal of sorts as we fix up the place. So today I am going to start with the 'before' pictures. You can see a collection of all the house pictures here and they even have some notes in them if you want to look around.
These are pictures are off the biggest problem the house has.... major gutter damage. This house is 109 years old and has box gutters. Two things you need to know about box gutters is that 1. They need to be kept clean and clear of debris because 2. they are an integral part of the roof. Unlike gutters today, these are just built right into the wooden overhangs of the roof. If they arent cleared and water backs up, it just sits there and rots the wood. Well, given that our house has been vacant (a foreclosure) for ... we think... 3-5 years, the gutters are in horrible shape. That leads us to our second major issue:
These are pictures of the water damage on the first floor (yellow kitchen) and the second floor bedroom (blue room... but there are like 3 blue rooms, so dont get confused). Oh, and that last image? That is grass growing out of the mortar in between the brick of our house. This is because the mortar is so full of water, it can support life. Wonderful... There doesnt seem to be any water damage on the 3rd flood, which is good. Luckily, since the walls are solid plaster, once they get dried out we can just re-surface them and repaint them, and they will be as good as new. The basement has some water issues, but we think once we fix the roof the basement will dry out and we can paint some water blocking paint over the walls and call it a day. I dont have any images yet of the basement because when I took these photos we didnt have electricity yet and it is dark in there.
You may also be able to see another issue in the kitchen... the back door. Both the back door, and the two basement doors had been kicked in. The place had been broken into before we first looked at it, and then subsequently broken into at least 5 more times after we started trying to buy it. The idiots broke a window in the basement, broke out the window above the back door, busted the doors (again, they had to be replaced anyway), and the last time stole some copper pipes in the basement. Excuse my french, but fuck them! Luckily, the house was under contract so we got some money back for the pipes.
The totality of the kitchen cabinets and counter space is held within the above picture. I hope we can fix that problem (depends on the budget). We do have a butlers pantry and normal pantry, but I am aching for some counter space. Oh, there also isnt a single appliance, toilet or plumbing fixture left in the house. About 95% of the light fixtures were removed as well. Here are some we still have:

I hope you can start to see why we actually wanted this house though. It is full of character and presence you just cannot build into a house these days! We need to fix and repaint a lot of stuff, but I want to leave you with some of my favorite bits of the house that will make it all worth while.
Yes, that is a freaking claw foot tub in our marble lined master bathroom! Oh, and we have a mulberry bush in the back yard too!  If you want to see more and learn more, check out my flickr... because this isnt even a drop in the bucket of all the pictures. You havent even seen our four non-functinoal Rookwood fireplaces!


BaldyLocks said...

Wow, it looks like a lot of work but it also looks like it has amazing detail! That house will be beyond gorgeous when you fix it up!

Congratulations :)

Redd said...

Oh wow! That house is beautiful!
I love that you can see beyond what's there and see the beauty of it, awesome!
I can't wait to see what it looks like when you're done!

PonderandStitch said...

Omg- I am so so SO jealous of this amazing house. I just bought a 100 year old house, too (much smaller), and the work involved is crazy but it will be so worth it! Your house is gorgeous!

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