1889 Victorian purchase...any advice?
I'm looking at a victorian mansion in washington that is currently a B&B. It's in fairly good condition, almost great really for a victorian (I grew up in them). I will be doing a tour of the place next week and we're making a check list of what to look for in each room.
A couple of issues we've already thought of...and would love to hear comments on if you have any thoughts to share:
First, I have the plans which show a fireplace in the parlor as well as one backed up to it (corner to corner) in the dining room. The area in the dining room is blocked (the wall) with a large buffet. I do know the parlor fireplace works well and is used often. I don't know if they share a chimney or not. Above the buffet is an area where the plaster is cracked quite badly (there are a few areas like that on the main floor). They said this is due to a flood from a window left open during a storm by an absent guest, which is logical...does that ring any bells for you? What does one look for in regards to fireplaces?
The master bedroom has a little wood stove in it (it sits above the rooms with fireplaces below). That would have been highly unlikely I think (a little fireplace in a formal house's main bedroom). Do you think it's likely that behind the cheap 1980's tile wall we'd find a firebox? How difficult is it to restore a fireplace?
There appears to be no fireplace location on the 3rd floor, which was most likely servants quarters. Is that normal or should I be looking for something???
Then the kitchen flue is closed off with the standard plate. We'd like to put in a beautiful tile wood stove...what do we need to look for to see if this is possible? (Is this all covered in a normal inspection or do I have to ask for more)?
I'm very fire oriented aren't I? heh heh
Ok so then we have the floors...carpet wall too wall in all of the bedrooms on the 2nd and third floor...What should I look for in flooring? Most likely wood? The halls are painted wood....
We like this house because the bathrooms (each room has one) are done somewhat tastefully (I hate the normal B&B tub in the corner of the room thing). All nine rooms have a small bathroom about the size of a closet...but would a home built in the late 1800's have closets???? Every one of them will be updated or reback dated? heh heh to something more appropriate to the late 1800's. They currently have 80's tile or formica with fiberglass shower stalls...all of those will go, but I'm just curious...what do you think those little rooms were????
The foundation is great, the roof as well. They appear to have removed the hot water radiators and replaced with baseboards...those will go...is that an easy switch back or a major money issue? I'll want to factor that into the offer.
Wallpaper..gad everywhere in horrible flowers on flowers on flowers with lace...any major issues in removing??? It has to go LOL
This is an important home, and I want to respect it, but still we also want to live in it...so some upgrades need to happen...ie we want to turn one bedroom into a master closet. Does that make you shiver?
It's a national and state historic landmark and on the national register. Is this going to cause me any issues when remodeling anything? Again we'll respect the house I just want to know how much they're involved in our life in this home.
We would like to build a car port, not attached to the house (the carriage house has been sold and is part of the neighbor's house now). Given the above paragraph, will we have any difficult hoops to go through for permits if we make sure it's designed appropriate to the house???
Any insight you can share before my tour would be really helpful!!