Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Moulding, Door, and Woodwork Inventory

Demo Day 6

On Demo Day 6 I also went around the house taking pictures of the moulding still in place. This entry will be more of a picture diary than anything else. I wanted to capture what the mouldings looked like so I'd know about what to put back. They aren't extremely fancy mouldings but I just want it to be done right, you know?

This is specifically of the corner. See the piece of wood there? You'll be able to see it in more detail in other pictures.

Corner of a window, noting the side pieces, sill (I believe is what it's called) and apron (piece running along the bottom). I'm not 100% sure of the terminology...

The center, bottom of a set of double windows.

The center, top of the same set of double windows.

Corner of windows, also seen on some interior doors. A simple 'rosette'. This one is damaged, but you get the idea.

Another corner piece of moulding. I know these were in some houses, added after replacing the plaster with drywall... But behind all the moulding in the house, I still find plaster. Whoever changed out the wall material obviously took shortcuts.

Simple detail at the bottom of a door casing. A thicker piece, rounded at the top and taller (I think) than the baseboard beside it would have been. I'll have to check on that.

One of the smaller windows in the house, in the back kitchen of Apartment B. This is not an original window, I know by its size and because the outside house siding is patched in this area- this used to be a double window. But I think the moulding is original, simply cut down to size. It was probably reused more for reduced cost rather than aesthetics.

This is taken inside a closet in the kitchen of Apartment B. Original closet, you can see the plaster still in place. Note the baseboard moulding, especially the corner pieces. It has to be original, this detail.

A picture of the crown moulding in the kitchen of Apartment B. Had the people before me not been looking for such a quick fix, these pieces wouldn't have been left for me to find. Even though their workmanship isn't salvageable, at least they didn't completely destroy what was originally there.

This is a picture of the picture moulding, discussed in the previous blog. It was found above a dropped ceiling. I hope I can put this detail back in all the rooms in the house.

This is an intact door moulding, from one of the less formal rooms in the back of the house. Nothing in the little house is extravagant, but I like the clean lines and simplicity of the mouldings used.

Door Inventory

I want to be able to salvage these heavy wooden doors, if possible. But I needed to take note of what doors I actually have, which ones can be reused, and which ones match. Because some of them don't.

Front door, Apartment A. This is the only door with a transom above it. I think I may try to save the transom and reuse it above my new front door. This is a full size door with horizontal panels. Only one like it in the house (meaning its size), besides the smaller coal closet doors you'll see in a bit.

Weird hallway door, Apartment A. This door might be okay, but not a first pick. Has been extensively drilled for doorknobs and locks, not to mention been exposed to direct weather outside for many, many years.

Another sad door. Somebody decided they wanted a dutch type door, so they made one themselves by sawing this one in half. Only they didn't hinge it correctly and chunks of the door were damaged when they sawed it in half. Probably not usable. Door to bedroom in Apartment A.

Small coal closet door in Apartment A. This door is narrow and comes up to my nose. I have a few of these and am trying to think of a creative way to use them. A headboard, maybe? Wall paneling? A screen? We'll see.

This door is off the hinge and was resting upside down. So I flipped the picture so it can be seen correctly. This is the way the doors were hung, and I will hang them the same way. This door should be usable.

Another usable door, I believe, in the bathroom of Apartment A.

This is the back of the front door of Apartment B. This door has seen heavy use and abuse, but hopefully I'll be able to reuse it somewhere else in the house.

Another coal closet door. I hope I can come up with a use for these doors. They're too short for practical use in the house.

Another usable door that was in Apartment B, behind the mantel. Anyone have creative uses for old mantels?

Another coal closet door. This and the one before it were in those two closets on either side of the fireplace that once was.

This door is not original to the house. It is of a later design style, but it is still a wooden door. I might be able to use it somewhere inconspicuously in the house, such as for a closet door. But I wouldn't want to use it, say, in a hallway, where several doors would be open to one room.

Another upside down picture, same reasons as before. I think this door will be usable, too.

And we find the last coal closet type door in the house.

Running count, hopefully 5 matching usable doors. Maybe another usable one. And at least one more to be used in a separate area of the house.

Discoveries on Demo Day 6

Demo Day 6

I worked by myself on this Demo Day. I didn't really mind it, either. It was truly the first one where it was just me and the house. It's just the way things happened, and I made a few discoveries.

In the bathroom of Apartment B, I set to tear out the dropped ceiling, which I figured was covering the original plaster ceiling. I could only tear out one side of the bathroom ceiling, though. The other side seems to have plywood or paneling underneath the drywalled, dropped ceiling.

This is the side I managed to tear out:

Isn't it beautiful? Every time I find an original ceiling like this, I feel like I've stumbled upon a time capsule of sorts. I know it's damaged but that's part of what makes it so appealing to me. And the color! I wish you could see it in person, as the picture doesn't do justice to its vibrancy in person. And to think it's been covered up for decades...

Here's another shot of the same ceiling, from the other side of the short area I was able to uncover. Eventually all of this will be torn out, too, to make way for the new layout, but hopefully you'll see this color again in the new house. It has inspired me.

This is the kitchen on Apartment B's side. You might remember that I had already begun tearing out its dropped ceiling a few demo days back. But that day I was mainly exploring to see what was there. This was the first original ceiling that I'd found in the house. Actually, now that I think about it, there's only the two: this one and the one in the bathroom, you've just seen. All the others had been replaced with drywall along the way by someone else. The wood framing you see is how the dropped ceiling was hung.

More discoveries! You can barely tell in the picture, but do you see the strip of molding that seems to run along the top of the framing for the dropped ceiling? The painted, yellowish-beige color? That's original picture molding. Since the walls were originally plaster and did not take kindly to nails for hanging pictures, they used to install this molding about a foot below the crown molding around the top of the room. The upper edge of picture molding is rounded and comes away from the wall slightly so that a hook can fit snugly on it. Pictures were hung from these hooks, attached to ribbons or chains that attached to the back of the picture frame.

Still in the kitchen of Apartment B. Here you can see the original crown molding on the left hand wall, up top, and the original picture molding a foot below on the right hand wall, just above the wood framing. I don't have a piece of wall with both the moldings still in place, but from this corner, and careful measuring, I'll be able to replace similar moldings throughout the house. Isn't it exciting to find something like this?

And the final room where I made a discovery on this day:

You're in Apartment A's bedroom, leaning down and looking up at the back of the wall to the kitchen. This small room on the back of the house is an original room, meaning it was constructed with the rest of the house and not added on, but I wasn't sure how high its ceilings were. Do you see what I saw? That white strip of crown molding?

It proved to be evidence to me that the ceiling in this room was dropped, too. So I also tore out this ceiling. Someone else had already torn out the original plaster ceiling and replaced it with these ceiling tiles (seen above the framing). I'll tear those out another day.

Here's another, clearer shot of the original ceiling height after I've removed the dropped ceiling. The ceilings all came down fairly easily, with coaxing from a sledgehammer. I was able to get these ceilings down by standing on the floor, since I'm so tall. I decided to wait until help was there before I tried to tear out the taller ceilings, like the plaster ones and the tiled ones. I don't really fancy swinging a sledgehammer while on a ladder and no one around to fall on. Ha.

It was very cool to find out I'll be able to restore all the ceilings in the house to their original height of 10 feet. It will make the small house seem that much more open and airy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Demo Day 5

Demo Day 5

We find ourselves at Demo Day 5. It doesn't seem like there's only been 5 Demo Days, but at the same time for what we've been able to accomplish... we've done a lot! It seems like more should have passed. Last time I left with a picture of this loverly dumpster:

And on Demo Day 5, we begin to fill it up. It'll be a slower process this time around. The house hasn't been cleaned since the last time I rented a dumpster. And by cleaned, I mean, one can see the floor. There's all sorts of deconstruction debris lying everywhere... woodwork, mantels, doors, bricks, mortar, drywall, plaster, tools, etc. You name it, it's there. So on this day my good friend and I set out to 'clean'.

Random shot. Looking into bathroom area in Apartment B. You'll see what's in store for this area next.

It was a Demo Day, after all... I couldn't resist tearing down something. Now you can see into this bathroom from the bedroom on Apartment B's side. Not pleasant, I know, but I'm glad the wall's down. I haven't ventured much into the demo of the bathrooms because I don't know much about plumbing... yet. And the last thing I need is Old Faithful springing up in the middle of my house.

We cleaned up this back room, the bedroom, in Apartment A. Notice the shovels? We used 2 5-gallon buckets and a small blue bucket that we found on the property randomly. I had THREE 5-gallon buckets, but I believe the roofers accidentally took one. Or it's buried somewhere in the rubble of the house.

This is the kitchen in Apartment A. See the floor? You couldn't before. It doesn't look like we accomplished much, but we did. We had to tote all the debris out in the buckets to the dumpster. It took us about 3 hours to get it this clean. It was hot, really hot, that day, too.

We managed to clear out the weird hallway on Apartment A's side, as well. Apartment A is almost completely cleaned out, now. All we lack is the front room, which you can see at the end of the hallway. It's mostly clear, anyway, just has woodwork stacked in it. We purposefully started on this side of the house because it was a longer walk to the dumpster. The more progress we made, the less further we had to walk...

Special notes from this day:
*buying another box fan was a wonderful idea.
*as well as the extension cords to power it.
*but what made the most difference was the purchase, and use, of a cheap radio. It made the work day go by so much better!


I have a finalized floor plan for the house, now. Before it was divided into two apartments, split down the middle of the house, each with a front room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. The new plan is a two bedroom, one bath house. Maybe next time I'll be able to post a sketch of the floor plan.

I'm glad to finally be caught up with retro-posting the Demo Days in this blog. From here on out, I will try to post the week following the Demo Day.


06/29/07 - 07/02/07

I work full time so I only have the weekends to renovate. I'm tackling most of the demo work myself, with the aid of my family and friends, to save as much money as I can. That way, when I hire the professionals to put it all back together, I'll have extra money for upgrades. Plus, it's fun. Demo is hard, but it sure is fun.

At the end of June my roofers were available to come work on my house so I ushered them over. All the work they did took place while I was out of town, but they had already put a new roof on my sister's and parents' tornado damaged homes (and since mine, have also put a new roof on my other sister's house!). Plus I had my dad and relatives drive by the check the progress. I would rather have been here for the whole thing, but I had established plans that I couldn't break.

Here's a reminder of what the old roof looked like:

And on to the NEW...

Narrow house, narrow lot. So, a side angle, looking west towards the house.

Same angle. Don't you love my overgrown yard? They had to replace a lot of the roof decking on the back of the house, due to rot. But all's well; I expected it.

Now get excited with me about this shot... That's a nice looking roof, right? C'mon compliment it!

They used 30-year, architectural shingles. Well worth the money, I think. By the way, this was my first big house-renovation purchase. Didn't hurt too much--- Look at the results!

And a farther-away shot, from across the street. Even my neighbors have been complimenting my new roof. It makes the house look so much better! And now it looks like I'm actually doing something with it, since all the other renovations have been inside the house. Just think how good it's going to look once it's painted...

But not anytime soon. I have more work to do inside. Look what showed up on 07/08/07:

Yep, time to get serious about demo, again. Oh, and I did not use the same company to rent this one as the first. I like it because I didn't have to deal with the customer representative from hell again, it has higher sides, and the end swings open so one can walk inside. And I got a better deal. Can't beat that!

Demo Days 3 & 4

Demo Days 3 & 4

On Demo Day 3, My good friend came down and helped me at the house. My father helped out that day, too. I don't have any pictures on the work done that day, but I have pictures of the results. We mainly tackled the framing around the fireplace and closets in Apartment B's front room and bedroom. It was tough work. My house was built well and the lumber used was extremely bulky and heavy.

Here you see the pile of lumber taken down from fireplace wall and closets. It's piled on the floor in Apartment B's front room, since it may be re-usable for my renovation. Keep in mind this wasn't a load-bearing wall. That's a lot of lumber. (My contractor ok'd the demo of this wall, by the way. I'm not just tearing down walls all willy-nilly.)

Demo Day 4

Here you see the wall gone and scaffolding set up where the closets were. Amazing how open the room already looks, isn't it?

Head on view of the remaining fireplace, from Apartment B's front room looking towards the back of the house.

View of the other side of the fireplace from the bedroom looking to the front of the house.

Another angle, same shot. I liked how the way this view looks, with the scaffolding and ladder and bare fireplace. Like I'm a bona fide renovator or something...

Those closets took up a lot of space. Look how perfectly the scaffolding seems to fit in their place.

Looking up the chimney where it goes into the ceiling. I braved the scaffolding and climbed up to the attic to begin the demo. It was extremely hot up there, even though I took a box fan up with me. Remember that the chimney had been taken down below the roof line by a previous owner, so I just had to take it down from there.

And after a while, I even got it below ceiling height. I took this after coming down from the attic and sitting in front of the fan for a while. It came down easier that I thought it would, but it wasn't exactly child's play. It was hard work.

More shots of the other side of the chimney after I'd been working on it a while. I tagged my father to take over while I recouped. Friend had to go home, so it was just me and Daddy on Demo Day 4.

And it's gone. Well, knocked down. I let my dad wail on it a while, and then joined him. It was quick work with both of us tackling it. I had to take this picture, and the next few as well, with the flash off because it was so dusty and sooty in the house.

That's a big pile of bricks. Actually, we had to stop tearing it down because the bricks at this point were piled higher than what is left of the fireplace.

A big pile, close up and blurry. This picture makes me feel like I accomplished something.

And here we see the empty whole in the ceiling where the chimney was. I hadn't turned my flash back on yet, that's why it's blurry.

Daddy standing outside the house. Since we could no longer tear it down, we decided to move the brick. He went outside, and I piled them up just under the window. He reached in, grabbed a few, cleaned the ones I missed, and stacked them up.

The neat stack job that Daddy did. Looks like he's done this before, yes? Father knows best.

After the majority of the whole bricks were dug out, we were left with this messy pile. I have plans to stack the 3/4 and 1/2 brick pieces, too, but we were both too tired from the work and heat to do anymore this Demo Day.

Here you can see how much we lack before it's truly taken down to the floor (and below).

What a mess! Looks like the thing just exploded, doesn't it?

Outside, the side of my house where the brick are stacked. Looks like progress...

Thats a lot of brick. I plan to reuse it, probably to close in the front of the house's foundation. My house is built up on foundation piers, and I want to close in the area between them in the front. This had been attempted once by another owner, but it has fallen in, now.

A dirty, dirty man. And this is after I've cleaned up a bit. I didn't think I'd ever get clean in the shower that night.

One reason that we worked so hard this weekend, with dual Demo Days, is that you'll see a slight jump in the dates between these Demo Days and the next one. We went to the beach on vacation for a week (thanks, Uncle George!), and had a few birthdays in the family, too.