Pennsylvania Limestone Farmhouse Renovations to an 1863 farmhouse built of limestone

July 1, 2013

Beginning of the End? I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel…

Filed under: Stone house restoration,Upstairs — Duane Diefenbach @ 9:21 pm

So Saturday we spent the day moving out of the stone part of the house. On Sunday we began de-constructing the stone house.  We started in our old bedroom by removing the linoleum “rug” and saving the 1948-1951 newspapers underneath.  I then ripped off the “blue” paneling.  This is what the room looked like before and afterwards…

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Apparently, the room was a bold yellow walls with dark brown baseboard and window trim.  We assume the ceiling was wallpapered but was since painted white.

We then started on Ethan’s old bedroom by removing the acoustic tile ceiling and the particle-board overlayment on the floor.  Unfortunately, once we started on the ceiling we realized we had a problem.  Over the years, rook leaks had damaged the plaster ceiling and the tiles simply hid the problem. Most of the ceiling plaster had to come down.  As well as the plaster in the interior walls.  What a mess. Here are some before/after photos.

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Of course, on Sunday Ethan got up early to finish cutting some firewood to length that he is going to sell to make some money. He started at 7am cutting wood with the chainsaw. We started about the same time throwing de-construction material out the window.  At 10am we were visited by the local inspector.

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The inspector (our neighbor, Bill) informed us that because we violated the Zion village noise ordinance he was going to have to serve us with a $100 fine.  And then because there was no permit in the window that we had another $100 violation.  I told him I didn’t see or hear any chainsaw running and that the “construction” work was because of water damage and we didn’t need a permit!

We spent the rest of the day removing acoustic tile ceiling in the upstairs hallway, exposing the stairway area, and removing more plaster from walls.  We still have a lot of plaster to remove – and is it ever messy work!  Here is a photo looking towards Ethan old room with the original doorway exposed on the left and the current doorway on the right. What we learned from all the demolition is that the reason all the light switches were in the middle of the room is because the doorways were moved!

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We then exposed the framing around the stairway that was installed in 1950.  What we discovered is that there was a lot of hidden space underneath the attic stairs.  Below are before/after photos of the stair area.

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All this makes it seem like a pretty simple day, but by this time Lisa and I were pretty worn out. To finish out the day we decided to accomplish 2 things (beside vacuuming up much of the mess). First, recover the cut nails from the lathe we removed from the walls – these little nails are very expensive to buy today so it is worth the effort saving them!

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Second, we decided to open up the original door to our old bedroom.  I started from the bedroom side…

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And then from the other side it looked like this…

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And finally the original opening was exposed.  Directly behind the photographer (Lisa) are the stairs that were original to the house.  You walked up the stairs directly toward the bedroom.

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What I need to do is make a map of the current and original floor plan of the upstairs. Not sure if I will have time, but if I somehow get inspired I will try to add that to the blog.  The 4th-of-July weekend is coming up so we plan to make a lot of progress on this part of the project.

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