Considering an old stone farmhouse
I'm considering buying an 1850's stone farm house. It's a beautiful building on a really nice plot of land, but I'm afraid I may let my entheusiasm over ride my better judgement.
My first concern is that some of the floors seem to sag in the middle. I didn't do the bounce test - I've only been on an initial walk-through. The one room in particular that troubles me is a second floor bedroom (there are three floors and a basement) Going by eye it looks to have about an inch and a half of sag in the middle, dishing upwards at each wall. There is no plumbing in this area of the house. Is this a big DANGER sign, or a bit of character showing through?
I don't know what the second floor joists are, but from looking in the basement I can see that the first floor joists are rough hewn 2x8's (some rougher than others). I don't know the species. There was also a steel I beam running front to back in the basement, parallel to the center hall. It looked like the floor joists fit into the I beam. Could this be original to the house? I didn't think there were too many I beams in the 1850's.
The exterior walls are about a foot and a half thick and are plaster and lath. I tappped on many of the walls as I went throught the house and some sounded hollow, but most sounded solid. This makes me wonder about insulation. Could there be any, and what would be involved in getting some in there? I expect that stone is a lousy insulator (though the realtor insisted that it is very good!) Is keeping a house like this in central pennsylvania going to drive me to the poorhouse?
Thanks for your replys!