Skip to main content

Up and Down

Sorry for the lack of posts. We have not been up to the house for three weeks. I spent a week over in Long Beach, CA at the TED conference. I met a couple of people there who were interested in stone houses. I got a lot of good advice about potential power sources from ClearEdge Power and some great advice from Catherine Mohn on how geeks build green.

The asbestos is gone, as are practically all the walls. We removed the modern hearth that looked like 'crazy paving'. We want to make a simpler, more traditional hearth. This hearth was tragically cut into the wide plank floors in the living room which will require some patching. From the basement you can now look up into the living room (pic above).




We have had the structural engineer round to tell us where to put the structural supports in the basement. At the moment there are only temporary "lolly columns" holding the beams up.














The plan for the basement is as follows:
  • Probe to find how low the wall foundations are (to establish how far down to undisturbed earth).
  • Excavate floor of basement to this level, leaving a 2ft perimeter 'step' that will ensure that the foundation walls are not disturbed...hopefully giving us 6.6-7ft height.
  • Put concrete footings and wooden columns on every beam on the west side of the house. (18 inches from the wall)
  • Second row of similar columns under the library wall
  • Tench a perforated pipe surrounded by crushed stones around the perimeter to ensure all water is drained out to 'daylight'. No more need for sump pump.
  • Concrete slab for the entire basement
In addition to the expected news for the basement, we had some unexpected news regarding the chimneys. Chris Hoppe, the structural engineer, suggested we replace all three chimneys. The newer one in the living room only has a 7 inch flue so needs to be larger if we want to use it as a fireplace (not a wood burning stove) - which we do. The one in the middle, over the jamb-less fireplace in the dining room, is not the original and has fallen from the wall and has a hole in the base of it where the boiler flue was inserted from the basement.













The chimney in the kitchen, that sits on the old jamb-less hearth, should also be removed as it is also unstable. This means we have the opportunity to put the AGA cooker in this space and use the chimney for ventilation and exhaust.

In the basement (behind the foundation for the living room fireplace) the major support beam (that runs along the south wall) has clear evidence of charring. We wonder if this was in fact the remnant of a corner fireplace hearth.









The rest of the day we spent measuring and re-imagining the master bed/bathroom. The beauty of the 'knee-wall' the full length of the house has caused us to consider keeping this exposed. I think it would be wonderful to remove the studs (pic below) and simply re-plaster this wall, keeping the sense of the original structures and construction method. Daniel meditated on the how we do this without looking like a ye-olde wo'ldy English pub.

Comments

  1. You buried the lead - 'Hello Aga Cooker!!" . . . now we're talkin'.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank goodness you're back. Had to watch reruns on the learning
    channel to get my home renovation fix. Pub, Aga now that's a proper home.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Maria Deyo - a chilling tale

We arrived at the house this weekend to meet with the contractors who had poured concrete in the basement on Friday. When we arrived we found a family standing in front of the house taking pictures. Being the friendly types we are, we went over to chat.

They told us they were on a haunted house tour and were looking at the house because their daughter had been talking about the ghost at our house for the last couple of days. She had bought a book called "Spooky Hudson Valley" and in it was the story of Maria Deyo and a tragic tale of a mother killing all three children and then killing herself.

The family were wonderful and excited to be shown the house. They showed us the book and at the beginning of the story was a picture of our house. The book went on to say that Maria sent the men to the fields and then she slit her daughter's throat and the throat of her other two children...then killed herself. All this happened on September 13th 1801. There was ref…

Paradox farm

If you wander along Springtown Road, past DeJoux House, you will see our mailbox opposite the front door.  It's not especially distinguishable except it is rather large and sits on an old tree stump.  It's a rusty old thing but it seems to have survived the snow plows and drunk drivers of Springtown Road.

It has always bothered me that on the side of the mail box you can see the vague outline of the words "Paradox Farm" which was clearly a name that DeJoux House was more recently referred to.  Occasionally when wondering the fields I would stumble across some incongruity and wonder if that was indeed the "paradox" that the farm was named after.

Yesterday morning, for some unknown reason, I decided it was time to resolve the paradox.  I sent a quick email to the previous owner June Finer to see if she knew anything of the Paradox Farm ghost on the side of the mailbox.

This was her reply:

once upon a time we, (myself and russell gilmore---my ex), met a rather …

Home is where the hearth is

Yesterday, Daniel and I went to the house and measured the kitchen to make more accurate drawings. Where the wall divided the kitchen we could see the remains of the old jamless hearth. We pulled away some of the flooring to reveal a brick and bluestone hearth under the vinyl. It still looked as if someone had recently made a fire on it.

By the time we got back today the wall between the two kitchen rooms, all of the ceilings and the surround of the new window in the kitchen had all been completely removed. It was a dramatic difference. One large span across with two amazing beams. (Revealing some challenges and some wonders).














On the left side of the kitchen, as you walk in the back door, is a wonderful wide panelled wainscot that the wall (between the kitchens) was built over. A little damaged in the wall construction but still a fine specimen. Judging by the integration with the doors on the same wall it is likely that this was built in 1765 when the kitchen was added. …