Pennsylvania Limestone Farmhouse Renovations to an 1863 farmhouse built of limestone

June 23, 2013

Good-bye to Wall-E

Filed under: Basement,Deconstruction,Stone house restoration — Duane Diefenbach @ 4:46 pm

Since we renovated the roof of the stone building, the heat for that part of the house has been the pellet stove in the basement. That means the bedroom upstairs got pretty cold in the winter.  And because most of the chimney was torn down, we  had a stainless steel vent that emerged out of the chimney about 3 feet aboveground.  The vent looked like Wall-E from the movie and looked ridiculous… but it’s now gone.

We have decided to install a geothermal heat pump in the old part of the house (when we did the renovation we drilled 2 sets of wells with the intention of later installing a heat pump for the old part of the house).  That means a lot will happen this summer.


1. Remove the pellet stove and all the 1950s ducting from the basement.

2. Move the basement shelving that stores paints and another shelving that stores Lisa’s canned goods so they are not in the way when the heat pump is installed.

3. Clean ALL the furniture out of the old part of the house. Which means where do we put it? And so…

4. Clean up the old classroom in the barn (when Lisa homeschooled the kids).

5. Remove the last vestiges of the chimney (and Wall-E) from the outside of the house.

6. Gut the rest of the interior of the old house. Such as tile ceilings, sheetrock over plaster, and the staircase added in the 1950s.


So to start the whole process, today we began with cleaning the old classroom in the barn and cleaning out the basement.

We then started in the basement by removing the woodstove.  We put it on a pallet, then slid it over to the bulkhead and attached a towing strap to the pallet and used the tractor to pull it up out of the basement.  The following photos show the sequence.






And now the basement looks like this…


I can’t seem to find a photo of Wall-E, probably because it was pretty ugly and I didn’t think of it until I had ripped it out of the ground. But you can see the old chimney in this photo (just to the left of the door – cast concrete sections with no liner – great 1950s technology!). All that is left now is a hole in the basement (the goes nowhere) and this outside.



There is still cleaning to do in the basement, but it’s pretty much ready for the contractors.  Expect more posts in the next few weeks, especially when the old house gets completely gutted!  Exciting but dusty times ahead!

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