My new old house.

mbaldwinJuly 7, 2009

here are some pics of our new house. It was built in 1914, and they added an addition to it. Looks a little rough, but hopefully we can change that.

if anyone has tips or suggestions on this old house, please feel free to let me know. The main service electrical has been updated, so i do not need to worry about that.

Well enjoy the pics, I am sure I will be visiting other forums with questions on making some changes.


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What a cute house!! I don't know if this is your first old house or not, but you'll get some great advice here. I've gotten tons, but the first one is always, don't make any changes right away. Everyone, even me, says the things they were sure they wanted to do evolved as they saw how the house was and how they lived in the house that first year. Many say they wished they'd waited on some of the things they did.

Me, personally, I research EVERYTHING to death. Maybe even a little too much. But by doing that I've made my opinion more firm on some things and changed it on others. I learned how to pick the water heater that would be the best for us, why I shouldn't rip out my old windows, and why I don't want to rip out the ugly paneling in the living room just yet ;) So my advice is to research everything before coming to a decision; search for opinions OTHER then the one you hold or everyone is telling you is "what's done".


    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 11:32PM
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yes it is my first old house, well the one we live in now was built in 1950, but there really isn't anything special about it.

I have some plans for the addition, because that was not very well constructed. They put up paneling over the studs with no drywall, didn't run duct work to one of the bedrooms, and I want to add a shower to the bathroom, instead of having just a tub.

My wife wants to put siding on, we won't even talk about what kind of siding, instead of fixing some of the rotten wood and painting it. I would rather wait and see what the cost will be before deciding. I know I risk getting skinned a live in this forum if I were to side over the brick, but we need to do what is best for us.

For the main part, I just want to add more outlets, insulate the walls, repair the windows, replace if have to, modernize the kitchen, and I might have to rip out the front porche and build another do to termites.

Oh, and we do have very dark paneling in the main part of the house as well, my wife wants it gone. I am not sure i want to know what is behind it, but it is that cheap crappy stuff, nothing from the period in which the house was built.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 10:44AM
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I can see why you were attracted to your house. It's original proportions were lovely. Yes, do take your time. Probe behind siding. Crawl under the floors. See if the local historical folk have pictures. Talk to the neighbors. Try not to take too many strong positions right away. Be prepared to be flexible. Then don't make a big redo investment without having an allover plan. You'll modify that plan as time goes on but you won't have spent big time and money just to have to do it over. Structural issues do come first. You'll love it, and hate it, and love it.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 11:10AM
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This could be a doll house. I completely agree with not liking paneling over the studs. Drywalling a house that size is not all that bad. The lack of light in the addition bothers me. I would seriously consider adding some windows. It surely helps give smaller rooms an airier, open feeling.

I had a little 1890's farmhouse with a very similar design. Cleaning up and doing a little wood repair on the outside improved it immediately. I painted the exterior MYSELF at a modest cost. We were more concerned with fixing up the interior and I thought it would be a quick way to at least clean it up and figured we'd address it later. It ended up looking so good, we never did change it, and as far as I know, when I sold it the new owners didn't change it either. LOL.

It really appears to me that the room across the front of the house used to be a front porch, and made into a room, otherwise the door upstairs would open up to nothing.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 10:16PM
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now that I think about it, I think there is only 3 windows in the addition. I might add some more in, we will see what happens when I get the paneling down to start adding the drywall. I will be adding outlets,a nd phone and cable jacks as well, and maybe moving a few doors to make the flow inside a little better.

I think the front porche was closed in, not sure why people do that, close in a front porche, then add a deck on back or something. What happened to sitting on your front porche after dinner and chatting with neighbors as they walked by. I am confused about the door on the front porche's roof. Not sure if it use to be a second level porche. I am sure I will get some clues as I check out the termite damage to it. Maybe someone witha simular house style knows.

Thanks for the comments so far, i do appreciate them all.

We didn't find any structural issues with the house, so that is good news to me.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 10:38PM
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Great house, Michael! What everyone else here has said is so true, especially about taking your time. That said, I think you are exactly on track with removing dark paneling over framing, insulating and installing drywall in the addition. I'm guessing the same thing you are that the front porch was closed in. Maybe, after due consideration, you'll open it up again. Our little bungalow still has it's open front porch on a block where all but one other house has closed the porch in. I love, love, love rocking on the front porch! I'd be very curious if the stone or brick lower level exterior go all the way around the old part of the house. Could be very cool.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 4:38PM
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I can certainly understand wanting to get rid of dark paneling but you might buy some time by painting it for now. Painted paneling gives a room a country cottage look if it is painted a light color. A primer coat and then a color you can live with just might buy you a couple of years and some peace and happiness with your wife until the two of you decide what you really want to do and you should be able to complete at least one room in a weekend, maybe more if they are small.

Regardless of what you decide I think your going to work hard but have a lot of fun making your old house "your" house. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 10:32PM
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" They put up paneling over the studs with no drywall, didn't run duct work to one of the bedrooms" LOL oh the things people do! Although we've already had to caution ourselves to NOT make too many 'get by' choices. Our bedroom with the missing duct work we are able to not use as a bedroom and have decided to ignore it for now.

If you've seen any of my other posts you might know that just about every room in my house has horrible cheap paneling (except the LR paneling is real yippee lol). I'm painting it one room at a time, but ours isn't right over studs. I highly recommend painting it if you don't have to rip it out right away. It's a quick inexpensive fix that allows you to focus elsewhere. The painting forum will tell you everything you need to know to do it successfully. A shower is definitely a must in my book!

We discovered that siding is hideously expensive. Ours has to wait, as ugly and ancient as it is. If you are up to it, search out companies that do demolition sales for salvage. We have 3 vinyl windows on the front of the house (front porch that was enclosed grr). We got 3 original wood double hungs in decent shape from a house that was being torn down. Eventually I'll swap those in. If you want to do wood window work do a search here for posts on it. There are some good links and recommendations.

Our front porch is closed in too, on a block of friendly neighbors :( The north half is the extended living room and the south half is ... kind of a mud room? We hope to open it back up one day.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 12:12PM
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