Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Front porch issues

Our front porch is really getting bad. I dont think I'll be able to hold off on fixing it for much longer. The other day we went out for a while and came home to a large section of the ceiling laying on the porch. I didnt get a picture of the mess but here is the hole.

Once I cleaned up the mess I decided to go ahead and patch the floor in front of the door since I was already out there.

This hole has been there a while, I've just had plywood over it. I had brought some old tongue & groove boards over from the house in Griffin last week for this purpose.

It's just a band-aid until I can get out here and rebuild the entire porch. I may throw a coat of paint down in the meantime so as least it will look better.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunroom Interior

I had family over this past weekend for a big cook-out so I had some things I needed to finish up before then. One of them was the sunroom. The doorway between the sunroom and living room was still not framed out, none of the french doors were hung, and I still had nothing on the walls.

First thing I did was frame out the doorway. First, I made the sill.

Then I framed the doorway and installed the french door.

 I used some original plinth blocks on the inside. I dont have any spare fluted casing though so I had to go with plain for now. I will be having some milled to match the original down the road, once I do that I will replace these and install rosettes in the upper corners as well.

I also installed  the french doors that go to the hallway and to the deck.

All of these french doors are salvaged. The doors that lead to the hallway and living room were a pair that came from an old 1906 farmhouse that was being torn down. The smaller door that leads out to the deck was one I found online for free.

As with the screen doors, they all fit the width but not the height of the door frames. These were all too long though and had to be cut down.

I found a really great mortise lock while at a flea market, I got it for $3. It has a dead bolt built into it. I installed it into the door that leads to the deck since this is an outside door. I used an antique set of rosettes and door knob to give it more of an original look.

I still need to find an escutcheon for the dead bolt part of it and finish sanding around the knob. I had to use wood putty to cover the old holes in the door.

The other major undertaking was the sunroom walls.

Some mold had appeared on the inside walls of the sunroom. This was because of a drainage issue that I am working to take care of. I scrubbed the mold off with bleach then primered the inside of the walls.

As you can see in the above picture I also had to run all the electrical  in the walls first. I also sealed all the cracks with expanding foam.

Then I insulated the walls.

I was going to use grooved plywood on the walls but instead went with a press-board material that looks like cedar planks.

There is still a lot left to do in this room. I need to insulate the ceiling and put up beadboard, install all the window trim, then paint the room.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Old letter find

I found an old letter from J. A, Aycock whom I believe to be the original owner of the house. I found it, of all places, online on e-bay. The letter is to a John W. Park. He was an attorney and was also president of the Georgia Bar Association.

The letter was about Mr. Aycock not being able to repay a debt right away. Not sure what he would have needed an attorney for but I sure would like to know. It's dated June 14, 1902.

The really interesting thing about the letter is that it is written on Mr. Aycock's letterhead. As it turns out he was a contractor and woodworker. If he was the original owner of the house and was the builder then that would explain all the nice wood moldings in the house. I've been told by locals that there used to be a lot more elaborate moldings in the house "the likes of which they've never seen before". Unfortunately they were all stolen when the house was being rented out by the previous owner.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Screen Doors

With fall coming I realized that I better get to work on the window screens and screen doors. There's nothing like opening up the entire house on a nice fall day.

But there's a problem...The only original screen door on our house is the upstairs balcony door:

It's going to need some sprucing up but it's in good shape otherwise.

Unfortunately, all the other screen doors are long gone. I had some other old screen doors in storage at our other house so I went and checked them out. As it turns out they were the perfect size width-wise for the house but two were too short and one was too long height-wise.

I found the front screen door in a trash pile at the curb in front of an old house in Hampton, Ga. It's 36" wide and 79" high, it needs to be almost 87" high so I ended up adding 4 1/4" to the bottom and 3" to the top.



Then I installed it after sanding and painting it:

I will be replicating the decorative corner brackets that the upstairs screen door has and install them later.

The next screen door was the kitchen door. This was a left over door from our other house. It was 34" wide and 82" tall. This is the correct height but the bottom was cut crooked so I had to trim it off and then add a 1" piece.

Then after sanding and painting I installed it:

I will replicate decorative brackets for this one also.

I'm holding off on the third screen door for now, it will go on the sunroom door. It's 30" wide and 7" too tall. Cutting it down to the proper height will only leave an inch or two on both ends. I dont think this will look good so I'm just going to set it aside for now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kitchen projects

We've had some rain so I've turned my attention indoors for a while. There are lots of little projects in the kitchen that need finishing up.

The window weights in the big kitchen window were broken so that was the first thing I did. The window casings were already off from when we gutted the kitchen so it was fairly easy to remove the window and re-rope the weights.

The sill was damaged so I removed it so I could repair it. I didn't get a picture of it when it was broken but it had split on the left side about 6 inches to a knot and broken off into a couple of pieces. I glued and clamped it back together and put about six 2" nailgun nails into it.

Here is a picture after I filled the knot hole in with putty:

Then I filled in all the cracks and holes with wood putty:

All that's left to do is give it a final sanding and reinstall it.

The next thing I did was finish sheetrocking the kitchen. Here is one of the areas that wasn't finished:

And here it is finished:

I also finished the area above the kitchen door:

Now all that's left to do on the walls is mud, sand and paint.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The paint scraping and primering is moving right along...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Toilet Seat

Yesterday I Refinished the antique toilet seat for the main bathroom. I got the seat with an antique toilet a few years ago for $10. The toilet will eventually go in the upstairs bathroom but I need the seat for the main bathroom.

It had sat outside for years so it was in very rough shape. It had literally come apart at the seams. The lid had only come apart in two places but the seat was in like 20 pieces. I sanded the seams down and glued and clamped it back together, I did that part last year but I didn't get any pictures of it though, sorry.

Here is what it looked like yesterday before I refinished it:

I removed the hardware and let it soak in some TSP. Then I sanded the lid and seat down and then gave it about 5 coats of amber tinted shellac.

Once that was done I scrubbed the hardware down and put it all back together.

Here's a picture of it on the toilet:

It's going to need a few more coats of shellac to match up with the tank better but for now it's ok.

Of course I was also working on the scraping and painting of the house yesterday. This was how far I got:

Finally! That horrible peach color is almost gone!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Scraping paint sucks!

Here's what I accomplished yesterday:

It doesn't look like a lot but the area I'm working on now has a lot more loose paint than the area I did the day before. The lower half of the second floor appears to have had primer put on over the old paint sometime in the past. You can see it in the above picture to the left of the window. Because of this the old paint is sticking in large chunks and is very hard to scrape off.

Once I get above this line it should go a lot quicker, the old paint is barely hanging on there and should come right off.

The other thing I accomplished yesterday was to install one of our porch lights, we have two of them. The other one will go on the other side of the window.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Well I've finally decided to start primering the house. I cant paint the house until I've rebuilt the front porch but at least I can primer it so it doesn't look so bad.

So far I've gotten most of the first floor front done:

In the first picture you can just see another project I recently finished, the mailbox:

I used a cedar post and then put on a coat of amber shellac. The numbers are oil-rubbed bronze.

I've also been working on the electrical in the house. I've gotten the upstairs hallway light wired up and also our bedroom ceiling fan:

Today I'll be back at work one the primering...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Finishing up the fence... for now

I finally finished the fence this weekend. I still have more fence to put up but I have the back yard completely closed in so our dogs can go outside and run when they want to now.

Here is a picture of the Plat with the fence drawn in:

The green lines are the sections of fence that are complete, the blue lines near the back of the house is a smaller 4' fence I built to section off the side yard from the rest of the yard. The red lines are the sections of fence that I haven't done yet.

The final section that needed to be completed since the last post was the smaller 4' fence. This fence surrounds an old brick patio that I discovered.

First I put in the posts:

To do this I had to cut the boxwood bushes way back, as I cut the bushes back I discovered a brick walkway between them that leads out to the side yard. I had planned on putting a small gate in the middle of the fence but I moved the location to the edge to line up with the walkway.

By the way, the brick patio is under all the weeds. leaves, and dirt in the pictures, I haven't finished uncovering them yet. The patio appears to be about 15'x20'.

Here is a picture of the newly discovered walkway and the new fence behind it:

And here are two pictures of the 4' fence and patio area. In the second picture you can make out a small portion of the patio under the dirt, it's a basket-weave pattern.

The boards over the opening next to the house are temporary, I will be putting in a set of double gates here. Also, I left the fence posts long for now because I haven't decided what to do with them yet. I may cut them off at 6' and mount lights on each one or I may cut them lower and put some kind of topper on them.

Once the fence was finished I turned my attention to some indoor projects. The side hall was closed off with a wall to make a small bathroom in the early 20's, they also added-on a larger second room at the end of the side hall from what used to be a porch. there was no need for a 2 room bathroom so I tore down the wall back in March to return it to a side hall.

This is how the side hall has looked since then:

I finally got tired of looking at the bare lathe and hung the sheetrock. I still have more of it to hang though, hopefully I can finish that off today so I can mud it.

I also wired up the ceiling fixtures here and in the main bathroom. For now I just have some art-deco looking fixtures that I found in the upstairs bedrooms. We'll be looking for antique chandeliers to replace them soon.

The finish looks brass in the picture but it's actually nickel.

I'll be doing more electrical today.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fence Gates

I haven't had time to post in the last week but I've gotten a lot done on the fence.

Last weekend I worked on the double driveway gates. I had someone weld up 2 frames out of angle iron for the gates. They are 10' by 5' each.

I painted them and the hinges with Rustoleum gloss black paint.

Then I attached one dog-ear picket to the edge of the frame so I could attach the hinges.

Then I was able to prop the gate up against the post, I used a piece of 2x6 clamped to the edge of the gate to hold up the other side.

I used 6" hex head bolts to attach the hinges to the post.

With the gate hung I attached the dog-ears to the frame. to do this I had to first pre-drill each hole in the angle iron then screw the dog-ear in with deck screws.

Once I install the automatic gate openers I will finish off the little things that need to be done.

I've also completed most of the fence line.

I found this rat snake the other day while working on the fence, it looks like a rat or a squirrel bit him in a few places. We cleaned him up a bit then took him a few miles down the road to a creek with a lot of woods around it.