Monday, April 6, 2009

We bought That House

So, the house is ours now, and people have been asking me for pictures. There are pics back in November but I thought I would add some that are more current.

This is the view from the dining room through to the front door. Please forgive my strangely slanted camera skills, lol.... the curtains are temporary, as all the curtains in the house will be for a while. I have this stash of sheets... *wry smile*

This is the north wall of the living room, with the (currently disconnected) gas fireplace. These glass-fronted shelves are the only built-ins left in the house, as the "window seat" is something the previous tenant built over a cold-air return register for the original furnace.

We discovered pretty quickly on that we wanted our own heat gun. Here is our preliminary effort with a borrowed heat gun; it's what convinced us that this is the way to go.

Progress on the dining room floor with the borrowed heat gun. We intend to borrow it again, and use two at once to speed the work. Mostly I am working on the house while Gryph is at work, and it's slow going because of my fibromyalgia. I lost a week, recovering from pushing too hard.

A friend passed on a tip about Imperial Cleaner, telling us that we could pour it onto the floor and it would loosen the glue. We tried it. It doesn't work. The glue comes up the same way with or without the cleaner, and neither way is as effective as the heat gun. The cleaner is highly flammable so we cannot do both; we're praying that we've let enough time go by for the petroleum distillates to evaporate so that we can use the heat gun again.

The good thing about Imperial Cleaner is that it seems to leave a lovely finish behind, one that is impervious to spilled water. We might use it after the glue is gone.

Old oak floors are so beautiful to me. I go for the country/vintage/shabby chic look when I decorate, so an old worn floor is going to fit beautifully. We're seriously considering waxing it rather than polyurethaning it... how could a brand shiny new polyurethaned floor look right under antiques/vintage furniture?

So far the nicest surprise in the yard has been flowering quince; it came from the neighbor's yard and is spreading slowly into ours. It took a LOT of searching to discover what it was and my friend upstairs is the one who finally found out for me. Evidently this particular plant doesn't fruit in the autumn, although they usually do--not the big quinces that come on fruiting quince shrubs, but small sour ones that make good marmalade--but I suspect this shrub is too early to bloom and that year after year, the late March/early April freezes kill any fruit that might have set.

So... here is the reason we could afford this house. Yikes!

We propped the next section of bricks up as best we could... if it came down, it would more than likely bring the windows with it. Luckily for us, the bricks are a veneer, just a facing, and the structural part of the wall is inside the house. Isn't that a weird way to handle concrete blocks, though? I finally figured it out... I think that the concrete is for added stability, and that it is slathered onto the interior brick wall.

Friends and I did our best to cover that interior wall with plastic, since the rains were due in. This of course was BEFORE I knew about any kind of BLIZZARD being due in, sheesh... the plastic held, thanks be!

Unfortunately, the wood bracing that loose chunk of bricks did not hold; Gryph and I fixed it a couple times before we realized the problem was the wind under the plastic. So on went my workgloves (Gryph hasn't needed them so far, but I sure do!) and we piled the bricks back in front of the plastic to keep the wind out. Gryph even restacked them in part of the wall. It's worked so far and my fingers are crossed that it will keep on working until we have the money to get plywood and do something sturdier.

When the bricks fell, the pressure shattered the basement window. We bought a piece of plexiglass to fix it but the darned sheet is two inches short *eyeroll* so we just propped it in front of the window to keep neighborhood cats out.

We must be crazy, eh? But the price of craziness is right *innocent blink* and we are so in love with this house and all her possibilities. I have two raspberry vines and a 5 lb bag of seed taters waiting in the mudroom, and all my seeds waiting here in the apartment. We have a stove on the front porch waiting for me to scrub it clean and also to get the kitchen floor clean, and a neighbor has offered us a fridge. Now we need a washer and dryer and a chance to get the place clean--I already cleaned a good part of the bathroom--and we have to replace the geysering kitchen faucet and we're good to go.

That House will be a good place to live.


  1. Wonderful old house - ready to be enjoyed by someone who loves it. Looks like a lot of work - but that is part of the fun. Can't wait to see progress photos.

  2. Thank you so much! *big grin*

  3. I think you are blessed and hope you get the help needed. My brother in law works in Habitat for Humanity in Asia, I am going to ask him if he has a reccomendation for you...please email me details.

  4. Thank you! {{{{{{{{{{{{{{Gris}}}}}}}}}}}}}}


So... what do you think?