Recent Progress at the Keys House… by Architectural Observer | Jul 4, 2021 | Blog, Projects | 6 comments Following is a quick update on some of the latest progress and discoveries. Jim has been keeping his nose to the grindstone; let’s take a look at his latest efforts: After liberating the house from its ghastly white vinyl shroud, Jim made repairs to the wood siding and replicated a new water table cap to replace the one hacked off by the vinyl vandals. He filled hundreds of nail holes and then primed and painted the wood. Here, the gable is in progress. I painted the fascia and soffit of the bay window; it had been stark white all winter. I still have to remove the white storm windows and paint them — along with the wood window sash — black. The detail of the porch supports really jumps now against a dark background, but it will look even better when original colors are added. The carport corner remains vinyl-clad for now and, by way of contrast, provides a great example of the importance of period-appropriate colors on historic structures. Jim made new brackets to replace some which were severely deteriorated on the cornice of the porch. Here Jim begins to paint the quatrefoil brackets with the pale seafoam color of the gable. He has also replicated the moldings found on the side of each window and door pediment; they, too, had been hacked off by the vinyl vandals. The cap sections have yet to be primed and painted. The porch ceiling will be painted the lighter brown (seen on the bay window). We are still trying to figure out what to do for a porch light, or if we even want one, but this innocuous fixture is fine for now. Sadly, the original ceiling paper in the parlor had been removed long ago. Happily, repairs to the ceiling made long ago (roof leak?), saved a few remnants of the paper (following photo) by virtue of being skimmed over. We love the colors and the general fussiness of the design! We will search for something very similar to this as there is not enough to work with for a true reproduction. New old hardware! A foundry was able to faithfully replicate our surviving roller shade hardware for the windows; the box recently arrived. We found this scrap of ancient linoleum in the attic! The jute backing matches the pattern we found ghosted into areas of the kitchen floor. This type of pattern was popular and available well into the early twentieth century, so we really don’t know how old this is yet. A better look at the wallpaper found in the bathroom (above a dado of a lincrusta-like material). We also found tiny scraps of a similar pattern which had been used in the kitchen. A washable coating helped to preserve the paper beneath subsequent layers of paint and paper. The foundation has numerous issues, and Jim has been systematically tackling them. After getting the basement dried out (misguided “improvements” and lack of maintenance had taken their toll) repairs were feasible. First Jim removed all of the debris related to the wall’s partial collapse. What’s holding up the brick? Just habit as far as I can tell! Jim built up to the surviving brick using both original and replacement bricks. There is much tuck-pointing to still be done (as well as other repairs similar to this throughout the curious basement). The new trees are thriving and happy in their new home! Happy Independence Day, everyone! Never forget that those who fail to remember history and learn from it are destined to repeat it. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related 6 Comments Bill Whitman on 07/04/2021 at 6:16 pm The place looks great!!! You guys are miracle workers. Love the bath paper. My grandmother was a big fan of wallpaper with big bucolic scenes on it. BTW, great name for a rock band- the Vinyl Vandals Reply Architectural Observer on 07/04/2021 at 6:22 pm LOL! The wallpaper is a bit questionable, but it’s going to be reinstated. I might like it better if the patterns were bigger. It’s going to look awful with the dado below, I think, but that’s what was there and that’s what we will replicate. I probably would have liked your grandmother’s wallpaper better! Reply Bethany on 07/06/2021 at 3:17 pm Thanks for the update and the house looks wonderful! I love the wallpapers and linoleum. What a labor of love you have embarked upon. Reply Architectural Observer on 07/07/2021 at 10:36 am Definitely a labor of love — as are probably all old house restorations — and we wouldn’t have it any other way. This will likely be the last such project we tackle, so it is even more special than some of the others. Thanks for being on the journey! Reply Seth Hoffman on 07/06/2021 at 5:16 pm You guys are making great progress. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us! The creeping original exterior colors (and details) are really transforming the place. I am familiar with the frustration recreating and repairing hacked original trim and details from the vinyl vandals from our last home (although it was 50s or 60s-era cement fiber siding, which was generally installed with much less destruction than vinyl is). Who did you find to duplicate the hardware? I am very interested to know, and how your experience (and prices) were. So far, I’ve been able to find salvage parts to match missing hardware in our last two houses (I don’t know how I would have done it before the days of ebay!), but have always been afraid I’ll strike out someday and need something to be duplicated. Reply Architectural Observer on 07/07/2021 at 10:37 am Glad you asked about the hardware! Here’s who did the casting: Tomahwawk Foundry 2337 29th Street Rice Lake, WI 54868 Phone: 715-234-4498 http://www.tomahawkfoundry.com/home We’ve used them in the past to cast replacement parts for wood stoves and they always do a great job. I can’t find the receipt right now, but I think that the window hardware (seven left/right pairs) ended up being somewhere around $225. Ebay is great for a lot of replacement hardware, but it is not likely we could have found all of our window hardware there without searching for years. Glad you like the house progress! Reply Leave a Reply to Bill Whitman Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Don't subscribe All Replies to my comments Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.