To do...and do...and do

It's great working in a crew, even if said crew is only two people strong. Our particular crew took the week off before Christmas to plow through our To Do list. After my recent discovery of antique wallpaper in the stair well, I was continuing to chair the Save the Plaster Initiative. I finally worked out a system to remove the hardboard involving scoring, peeling, spritzing, and scraping. Everything about it was labor intensive, filthy, and tedious.

Read More

Deck the Halls

Rule #1 of owning a not-new house: you have no idea what you’re going to find.

Four months after moving in and I’m dying to gut something. We bought this house to renovate after all and I have not RENOVATED. The thrill of ripping out the world’s ugliest carpet has long since died away. It’s time to act!

Read More

Defender of Plaster

Three things about this house:

  1. Almost every room is 106 year old plaster.
  2. The corners of the foundation sank approximately 5” in the last sixty years.
  3. Every single surface that is plaster has ⅛” hardboard glued to it. Yes. GLUED.

Now. Three things about this renovation:

  1. Completely replace and upgrade all electrical work.
  2. Insulate both exterior and interior walls for warmth, sound, and fireproofing.
  3. Save plaster, if reasonable.

The third bullet point was entirely of my own making and is admittedly probably some version of DIY harakari when coupled with House Fact #2. Back before we really started renovating, I was bored and went after the downstairs stair wall with water and a 5-in-1 scraper.

Read More