Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Busy, busy! Bought a house - a 1930's brick beauty with actual wood lath and plaster walls (and the plaster has horse hair in it - I was totally floored when I looked up plaster building techniques from that era). This house has HISTORY. And of course, being us, we're going to have a lot of fun updating it and obliterating three quarters of a century. We're scrubbing walls, patching walls, and cursing at broken plaster keys and rough casement windows. Fixing leaks in the basement, tearing up carpet. Imagine this - we paid less than assessed value for this house, and were told that the bathroom had hardwood floors. The rest of the house, other than the wonderful wood stairs, was carpeted (except for the ugly linoleum in the kitchen). We tore up the carpet - it started because I wanted to get rid of the carpet in one small bedroom where it smelled awful and was too stained to bother with. There is solid, beautiful old hardwood underneath, albeit a bit water-damaged. It's recoverable, mostly. So this weekend Mom came down and we tore up two more rooms. The wood floor is in great shape downstairs and I'm both cursing and praising the idiots who installed carpeting over it... it's a mixed blessing, as it wouldn't be in such great shape without decades of protection from the ugly carpeting, but there were at least two carpet installs (we found a few brown shag carpet fibers stuck to rusted staples under the current beige carpet) and I have to pull out a LOT of staples from the padding. Ugh! We think that there's wood flooring in every room of the house... even the kitchen - hidden under not one, but two disgusting layers of linoleum!

We also discovered that behind a giant mirror (it literally covered the entire chimney from mantle to ceiling in the living room), there were remnants of some really cool old wallpaper which we've got to remove before we can paint. The 50's come back to haunt us...

So that's that. We're trying to get things in move-in shape (a big task, considering the copper plumbing was stolen from the basement before we bought the house, and all the rooms need serious cleaning), and it's a huge task... but we're EXCITED.

That's all for now - more updates soon - hopefully with pictures!

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