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State of shock

As we progress through the demolition phase, I knew we would have that moment where you feel you've done more damage than good. I think we hit that point yesterday. We have been away for a few days so when we returned almost all of the upstairs had been gutted (as the plans had stated and as we requested!!!). However the reality of this was a little shocking, and exhilarating.

Opening the upstairs landing is a great move (pic above). It feels like the right thing to do and I think we can squeeze a door into the master bedroom at the far end. There are signs that the closets that we have just taken out of the guest bedroom were not original as we can see the wood blocking for the wall in what would have been it's original location.

On one side of the upstairs we have taken out all finishes, back to the stone wall and it looks clean, wonderful and elegant. You can clearly see the original base boards (just planks of wood) and the top of the stone wall which has old plaster on it, leading to a single long beam that seems to run the entire length of the house.

The bottom of the eaves reveal wonderful thick, hand hewn beams that we had seen in the attic.
And yes, you can see from one end of the house, right through to the other end. (That's Ken of Eight Point, not Daniel or I!!!)

The biggest question we have right now is what to do with the fireplaces and chimneys. That pillar behind Ken in the above picture is the chimney going down to the dining room (we think this would originally have been flared out because of the angle that has been built into it (see below).

Our guess is that all the original jambless flues have been replaced (grrrr!). You can see traces of what would have been the original flared flu on the outside wall but the existing chimney is narrow and clearly used for a jambed fireplace.

The other slightly disconcerting thing, when you walk around upstairs, is a huge gap in the floor where the wall once was. It's all pretty solid because the wide plank flooring runs from beam to beam. One side of the kitchen ceiling/master bedroom floor has had the floor slightly raised to reduce the sag while the other side is it's wonderful, original, saggy self....hence the gap. Now, we knew, one side of the upstairs needed to have a new floor.

However, to fix this hole we need to put the sag back in the other side of the house to align the floors. This means we need to find 2 inch thick, 8 ft long and 10-22 inch wide floor planks, ideally in a similar, worn wood. You just know this is not going to be cheap!!!


  1. It looks better already! There's a place up near where you are there, that specializes in the type of reclaimed antique wood that you are referring to, Daniel may know of it already! I can't remember the name, drove bit all the time when we had that Woodstock summer.
    Much FUN!

  2. "wonderful thick, hand hewn beams"

    I luv me some house porn

  3. Wow - looking fantastic now you've opened it all up!

  4. It is going to be spectacular. The more we strip it back to the basic, simple structures the more fantastic it is. We are uncovering its true architectural form and this is what we must maintain. Not as a museum, but as an 'intrinsic' framework of what this building is - honest and true to how it was and how it should be. I am also gravitating to simple basic materials. Lime wash on walls, beams and wood. Old Plaster walls that are not perfectly flat. Tung oil on wood floors, showing imperfections. Practical yet simple. Almost zen like in purity. Clean, modern simplicity to amplify 270 year old authenticity.

  5. Yea - what a wonderful adventure!


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