Keys House Update

Keys House Update

Work continues to progress at the Keys House project, even if somewhat sporadically. Finishes are being peeled back in some rooms, shedding more light on their original appearances. On the exterior, the north and south walls have been relieved of vinyl and are being...

You Just Never Know…

You Just Never Know…

You just never know what horrors are lurking beneath seemingly innocuous surfaces in a house (old or new) until you begin to investigate. The last few weeks have revealed numerous issues which will need to be resolved, but have also revealed many happy discoveries!...

Work Resumes on the Keys House

Work Resumes on the Keys House

Little has happened at the Keys house in recent months, but that is beginning to change. We're finally able to devote some more time to the project and will continue pecking away it it in small increments. We've also found some things for the house which are of...

A 1970’s Shed Style House… Updated!

A 1970’s Shed Style House… Updated!

“Updated?!”  Those who frequent this blog will know that the word is typically only used here in a disparaging sense. Last summer, however, I was contacted by someone who had read my post about the Shed style. He and his wife happened to own a Shed style...

Clues in the Attic

Clues in the Attic

On a whim, I ventured into the unfinished part of the attic last week. A previous jaunt had revealed some antique drapery rods and curtain hardware. What else may be hiding between the dusty joists? A chimney, ever so slightly stepped to the left, marks the transition...

Window Sash Repaired and Painted

Window Sash Repaired and Painted

It's been over a month since I last posted! Partly because we've been really busy at our ever-expanding day job (the interior of the house may be finished, but now there are outbuildings and site work issues to tackle) and partly because not much has happened at the...

New Finds… and a Sordid Past!

New Finds… and a Sordid Past!

Tantalizing bits of information about the house continue to surface. In addition to a few recent finds (shown below) we've learned that the house was reputed to be the scene of numerous poker parties at some point during the years of prohibition (from 1881 to 1948 --...

Original Bay Window Paint Colors!

Original Bay Window Paint Colors!

Today I finished priming the bay window. It's all white and kind of boring, but it looks better than it did before and the wood will be protected during the winter months. I still have some (a lot of) caulking to do, so don't look too carefully! The scraping,...

A Quick Update…

A Quick Update…

It's been seemingly forever since I last posted; it has been a busy time. Recently I took time off to visit the Decatur County Last Indian Raid Museum, which serves as a repository for local history, in the hopes of finding more information about the house and its...

The Porch Supports Return!

The Porch Supports Return!

Today the house regained more of its dignity! Jim has been rehabilitating two of the beautiful -- but very decrepit -- porch supports off-site, and they have now recovered fully. It was time to bring them back! As you last remember, the house was looking quite sad...

Extensive Porch Decay Revealed and Tackled!

Extensive Porch Decay Revealed and Tackled!

We knew that the vinyl siding was hiding lots of problems, but didn't know just how bad the damage would be. Yesterday we found out. While not attractive, the damage is absolutely repairable. It's unfortunate, but not a death sentence for the porch. Jim has been hard...

More Clues, More Details

More Clues, More Details

I got an unexpected break yesterday when my chiropractor, after adjusting my back, forbade me from doing any ladder work right away. So, instead of working on the bay window, I explored the house a little bit more. The flash on my camera is working again (finally!)...

Porch and Bay Window Restoration Begin

Porch and Bay Window Restoration Begin

With the days getting shorter and the exterior trim on the house getting more weathered, we decided to tackle the most vulnerable features of the exterior before the weather changes. Jim is working primarily on the porch and I'm working primarily on the bay window. In...

Anomalous Details and a New Project…

Anomalous Details and a New Project…

The goal of finding a house to restore which was both architecturally and historically interesting has been simmering in the background for some time now. Life has a way of distracting us from our goals (most recently getting involved with the renovation of someone...

Rescuing a Leaning Barn From Future Collapse

Rescuing a Leaning Barn From Future Collapse

It had been at least seven years since Jim first told friends of ours that he would straighten up their leaning barn.  Unusual for its "T" shape, the antique barn was showing its age.  Every passing year made the already obvious lean all the more evident.  Every storm...

Revealing a Hidden Bay Window

Revealing a Hidden Bay Window

It's been over two weeks since I posted about a big old abandoned farmhouse that is destined to be demolished.  Jim and I have been salvaging interior woodwork, doors and windows for use in a future project.  The first floor has been salvaged, and we're working on the...

Anatomy of a Plastered Archway

Anatomy of a Plastered Archway

Archways in plaster walls - without a traditional wood casing surrounding them - became highly fashionable in the 1920's and remained popular with builders into the 1950's.  They are most likely to be found in Tudor Revivals and Spanish Eclectic houses of the period,...

A Door Inspired by Bruce Goff

A Door Inspired by Bruce Goff

One of my favorite movies, a close second to "Mars Attacks!", is the slightly surreal Goff in the Desert by German documentarian Heinz Emigholz.  The video has no narration; it is simply a series of video shots taken around 2002 of various structures designed by Bruce...

Backdating Wall Cabinets

Backdating Wall Cabinets

Why would anyone update when it's just as easy to backdate?  After all, there's not much appealing design out there these days; design from the early 20th century is almost always a sure bet to be more interesting than whatever has been marketed for the past 40 years....

Transparent Siding!

Transparent Siding!

In an interesting experiment, a decrepit barn is getting an unusual update.  It was desired to immediately utilize the building as a workshop and storage, but the numerous holes, cracks, and missing chunks of wood siding made it drafty and vulnerable to moisture....