Friday, December 26, 2008

RIP Sailor

Well, Sailor died in recovery after surgery today. She went into cardiac arrest and did not respond to any of the emergency procedures they tried on her.

She will be greatly missed.

Please help save Sailor!

I haven't gotten any work done on the house lately because we've had a bit of an emergency here. We foster dogs for our local humane society. Last week we got in a very weak and emaciated American Bulldog from the animal shelter. she had been left tied to a pole outside the shelter.

We took her in and began her rehabilitation. Things were going great at first but soon she began throwing her food back up and started getting lethargic. Christmas morning she didn't even raise her head to greet us and we knew then that something was seriously wrong.

We spent the day at the emergency animal hospital. it turns out that she has an intestinal blockage that requires emergency surgery. The vet has agreed to perform the surgery but the Humane Society does not have the amount of money required to pay for it.

We have decided to setup an online fundraiser for Sailor to try to raise the money ourselves. Here is the link to the site:

If anyone can help out it would be greatly appreciated! It only takes a few seconds to donate and even $10 will help out greatly. If you know anyone else that can help please forward the link to them.

Thanks in advance for everyone that can help, Sailor thanks you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

We have power!!

The power is finally on! We went out to Woodbury House yesterday to try to get some things accomplished and found this!

I spent the afternoon running more circuits under the house, installing new outlet boxes, and installing outlets. I ran 4 circuits to different junction boxes with an outlet to each. We now have power to the Kitchen, Dining room, Parlor, and Study.

Now that we have power we can work later and use power tools. Hopefully things will start moving faster from here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A wasted day...

Yesterday was a total waste of time. The power was supposed to be turned on at the Woodbury house yesterday so we went out there hoping to get some work done, but when I called Georgia Power they said that they never received the inspection paperwork from the county. I called the county but the inspector that we met was out in the field. The man I talked to said he would e-mail the information to Ga. Power shortly but it still wasn't there after 2 hours.

In the mean time I was double checking all my wiring to make sure everything was ok. I was checking the torque on the lugs in the meter socket when this happened:

Crap! The plastic bracket holding the bottom right lug snapped! I ended up having to once again make a 40 mile round trip to pick up a new bracket from the closest Ga. Power office.

In the end we just left with nothing at all accomplished. I don't know if the power was ever connected after we left but I seriously doubt it. I'll be calling Ga. Power later to find out.

I got a picture of the wall between the Living Room and the Sun room from the Living room side. you can see the outline of the old doorway that I mentioned in the previous post. This is the doorway that we will be opening back up.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Electrical Inspection

We passed our electrical inspection today!

I went out to the house a few hours before I was supposed to meet the inspector so I could finish up on a few last minute things. When I got there I realized that I forgot to get a grounding rod and copper ground wire so it was off on a 40 mile round trip to Home Depot to get it.

I had enough time when I got back to clean up all the old, moldy drywall up off the floor in the sun room, run the copper wire from the panel to outside just under the meter socket, and hammer the grounding rod about halfway in before he got there.

He was actually a very nice guy, we talked about the house for a long time (he's an old house owner also) and he gave me a lot of helpful tips.

Here's the picture of our meter socket with the county's inspection sticker on it:

By the way, it's no fun hammering an 8' ground rod in with nothing but a hammer. It took close to an hour:

We're hoping to get the power on by the end of the week, then the real work begins!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sun room demo

First I just wanted to say thanks to Mike over at the L. Norris Hall house for all the electrical help!

The room that I put the main electrical panel in is an addition that appears to have been built in the 50's. It's a shed roof design that runs along the kitchen/dining room addition. Here is a picture of it:

Can you see the rot on the sill? This was taken last year, it is in worse shape now.

The addition is at the top left in the above floor plan. It is divided into 2 rooms but it is actually one structure. It was built very poorly and is literally falling apart. Water pours into the room when it rains and there is rot and mold everywhere.

Our original plans were to tear the back half down and replace it with a deck and keep the front part as a sun room. Unfortunately the rot extends through both rooms so it will all have to be torn down. Today the plan was to just get a tarp up on the roof so that the electrical panel wouldn't get wet.

Here is the roof:

As you can see the PO had already nailed a tarp down years ago. The furring strips they used blocked the water from draining and made the problem worse. The roof is very soft all over but there is a big hole right above the furring strips in the corner:

I removed all the leaves and nailed plastic sheeting down with roofing nails:

I only put plastic sheeting down over the sun room side because that's all I care about for now since that's the room the panel is in. Once we have the electric on we are going to tear the entire thing down and rebuild just the sun room. Luckily the panel is on what was originally the outside wall of the dining room so it wont be disturbed but we'll have to work quickly to tear the room down and rebuild it during a period of no rain.

Once that was done I started gutting the sun room. There was a water heater, a shower, a closet and some shelves. I didn't get to finish the last 2, but got the rest out of there as well as most of the old, moldy drywall that was on all the walls.

That is thick mold growing on the walls. The wood walls are rotted out in a few places also. I should be able to salvage some of it though.

The above picture shows the entryway to the room and the main hall beyond. Just to the right of the door is a plumbing chase that is falling apart. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to keep the plumbing there or move it to another location.

When I removed the drywall on the opposite wall I found an old doorway into the back of the original house that goes into the study. I knew this would be there as I had seen the outline of the doorway on the wall of the study. From the size of it, it looks like it used to hold 2 small french doors, probably about 2 feet each. this would have been a doorway out on to the back porch originally. we plan on opening this doorway back up.

You can see the doorway in the above picture. The wall covering it on the right is the small closet that was for a washer and dryer. They will be coming down the next time we go out there.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New meter socket

We've been out at the Woodbury house for the past two days trying to get the electrical to a point where we can turn it on.

The meter socket needed to be replaced since the old one was a dual socket. It looks like the upstairs was an apartment at one time and had separate electrical service.

I picked up a new meter socket from Georgia Power and had them come out to disconnect the service drop from the house. Then I removed the old socket:

Then I installed the new socket. I used PVC conduit for the exposed electrical line and capped it off with a new service head.

I have a question for all you electricians out there. The service drop is 3-wire, 2 lines and a ground, (black & red). The line I ran from the meter socket to the panel is 4-wire, 3 wires and a ground (black, red & white). Where is the neutral (white) wire supposed to connect in the meter socket? I attached it to the ground in the socket (see pic below), is this the proper way? Georgia Power will be inspecting it before they turn it on but I'd like to have it done right the first time.

Also, the electrical panel had a bridge connecting the neutral to the ground. I removed it but which way do I need to have it when the neutral is connected to ground at the socket?

We also brought over a stove for the kitchen. We got it free off Freecycle. This will be temporary until we can sell the other house and begin the full remodel.

Not bad for free :) It was disgusting when we got it. This pic is after hours with bleach, a scrub pad, bristle brush, and a scraper. One of the elements was burned out so I'll be replacing all of them as well as the drip trays.

Monday, November 17, 2008

New electrical panel

Not much to talk about today, I spent the day under the house again. I installed junction boxes under the Parlor, living room, Foyer, Study, and Dining room. The dining room will also feed the kitchen and the foyer will also feed the hallway. I then ran circuits to each of the junction boxes.

Then I installed the panel and began installing the circuits.

That was as far as I got today. I have a pretty busy week ahead for work so it's doubtful that I'll make it back out to Woodbury until the weekend.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More electrical work

I spent most of the day today under the house tearing out old wiring. It's very cramped under there, towards the back there is about 4' of room but near the front that drops to about 2' or less. I'm having to crawl around on my stomach in the dirt, which has the consistency of baby powder so it sticks like crazy to everything.

I also took every outlet apart to see if it had old wiring or newer wiring so I would know how many new circuits I'll have to run. At least one outlet in each room was Knob & Tube, most of the others were very old metal conduit type wiring. All these were ripped out so new romex could be run. The two shots below are typical of most outlets in the house:

I'll be installing new boxes, new romex, and new outlets to replace all the old outlets. There are also a lot of outlets we want to add but that can wait until we have the power on.

There are a number of outlets I cant get to from underneath the house because of the old steam pipes, so tomorrow I'll be bringing my sawzall and extension cords. The neighbor is letting me use his power for this. I'll be cutting the steam pipes out of the way.

These dont look too safe. Luckily they are under the portion of the house that used to be a porch. This area will be torn down and a deck built in it's place.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Electrical work

We've finally gotten back to work on the house. We spent the day today in Woodbury, I've been working on the electrical wiring in the house in the hopes of getting the power turned on soon.

I'm installing a new 200 amp electrical panel. The old panel is a 100 amp fuse panel, there is also a second panel upstairs that I will be replacing. I will be relocating it to the attic and replacing it with a 100 amp sub-panel.

The room that this is in was going to be a sun room but we've decided to go ahead and make it a laundry room instead. Here is the wall with the electrical panel:

It was surface mounted to the wall and all the wiring was just run along the wall. The panel below the main panel it a 200 amp breaker panel and the one to the left is an alarm panel. All of this had to be removed:

This room was originally a porch so the wall is drywall over external siding. I should also mention that there is a bad leak in the roof in this room. There is a lot of mold and rot. I tore the drywall down since it was moldy and looked horrible:

I think it looks a lot better with the siding anyways. Next I found the studs and traced out the outline of the panel in between two of them, then cut the opening out:

I'm replacing the line from the meter to the panel as the old one was a 100 amp line. I went under the house to drill the holes for the wiring into the wall and found my first mistake. The spot directly under where the panel is has a brick pier. There's no way I can run the wires up into the wall from underneath and I've already cut the hole for the panel. Crap!!

What I've decided to do is run the lines up through the floor at the edge of the wall like it originally was but to then run the lines into the wall down at the floor level. I'll build a small cabinet or built-in bench to cover it up:

Wrestling four 2 gauge wires bundled together into 90 degree turns is hell by the way. This was as far as I got today. Tomorrow morning we'll be out there bright and early. There are about 6 circuits that I'll need to replace as they are cracked and brittle.

Once the downstairs wiring is in place I'll get the power turned on then the real work can begin!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


We haven't done anything at Woodbury house besides trying to keep the grounds maintained in the past few months. We finished the Airstream and then sold it. We've also gotten back to work at our main house, the Oxford-Boynton House.

We're hoping to complete the majority of that work in the next month or so then turn our attention back to Woodbury house.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yes, we're still alive

Sorry for the complete lack of posts lately. We've been real busy on other things. We've painted our main house in Griffin, and we bought an old Airstream that we've been renovating.

We're hoping to be able to get back out to Woodbury soon and get some more work done.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wedding invitation 104 years late

We went out to Woodbury today to try to get some work accomplished. We wanted to concentrate on the upstairs bedrooms. We picked out neutral paint colors because we dont want anything too drastic.

Today we worked on the front bedroom, you may remember this room as the hideous pink room, come tho think of it I dont think I ever posted a picture of this room because the color was so terrible:

Here are a few after pics:

Much better.

Tomorrow we will tackle the Master bedroom and the upstairs hallway if we have time.

After we finished the bedroom I was exploring around the house. The top of the mantle in the living room is missing and the PO stuck a 1x12 on some shelf brackets to rig up a top mantle piece. I removed it because it was so ugly and started thinking of what might be behind the mantle. It was loose and hanging from the wall so I got a flashlight and started looking behind it. At first I found nothing, I was about to give up when a small envelope wedged way down caught my eye.

It turned out to be a wedding invitation to the second owners of the house dated 1904! and it was still sealed! Here are some pictures of it:

The first pic is of the outer envelope, notice the Ben Franklin 1 cent stamp, the second pic is of the inner envelope, and the third pic is the invitation. It had a very fine piece of tissue paper inside it.

I also found this:

I wonder what store this was from and how old it is...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Antique Toilet for sale

I've decided to sell my antique toilet I bought a few years ago. It's a really nice embossed Victorian style toilet made in 1902 by T. R. & Co. The tank is oak and finished in amber shellac. All the internals are original except for the flush valve.

I hate to sell it but with the medical issues I've been having lately I could use the cash.

I've put it up on E-bay for those of you that may be interested.