I know I'm a little strange but I love the look of exposed lath.
If this were my summer cottage by the sea, I would keep it like this.
Just hang a few paintings on the wall.
Anyway, the demo is done. Well, I think the demo is done.
Here's why I'm not sure.
I was toying around with leaving a few of the old beams exposed
like in this Darryl Carter kitchen (which is one my favorites)
but until everything was gutted, there was just no way to know whether or not
anything would be pretty enough to leave exposed.
So I was looking forward to getting home and walking around the space
to make an assessment. I unlocked the back door to step in and found...
No floor at all!
I guess the subfloor was just so crazy and at all different levels, it
just didn't make sense to save it.
There's nothing left but the floor joists. Rosemary left me a comment
on the last post that the house looks so vulnerable in this state. I think that's a great word.
We also discovered a second foundation, in about three feet from the outer one
just was I had suspected. Why? We'll get back to that.
The joists under the old bathroom don't seem too bad. New 2x6s have been
sistered alongside the old 4x5 joists and additional pairs of 2x6s were also
added in between.
In other places joists were spaced about two feet apart.
Sixteen inches is normal and probably code.
And between the two foundations, the spacing is over 30 inches! Many of the
joists are at different levels and the entire floor is just way out of level.
I could certainly beef up the structure with new joists and pad some of the
joists that are too low, but it just might make more sense to rip it out and
start from scratch. There's certainly no better time to fix it properly.
From a purist point of view, I would love to leave anything original intact because
it's an historical document; on the other hand, the perfectionist in me would like
it all to be new. I have a little bit of a stomach ache about it but I'm not going
to shed any tears or lose any sleep over it. Just gotta figure it out.
It is what it is, as they say.
But let's talk about the two foundations. As I said, there are two foundations
about three feet apart but notice the center floor beam goes all the way
across to the outer foundation. There appear to no bones, no treasure,
no stash of Paul Revere's silver although it would be fun to poke around with
a metal detector. The inner foundation seems a little better built and made
of gray fieldstone...
The outer foundation has a few wooden piers that have been filled in with brick.
It's much more makeshift than the inner foundation.
The ceiling joists (and the second floor) go all the way across but notice on the back wall,
the sheathing is different on those three feet between the two foundations.
1856 drawing 2013 diagram
If you look at a few key measurements between the 1856 drawing and its current dimension,
you'll see that the house has gone from 61 feet to 42 feet on the right side and from
37 feet to 18 feet where the porches are. Nineteen feet is missing!
I suspect there was a barn attached to the back of the house. A place where horses and
firewood might have been. But the double foundation?
|Photo: Our Little Big House|
My guess is there was an inverted porch on that side of the house. Perhaps just wide enough
to provide cover from the rain or snow to get firewood. I think that explains the more
solid inner foundation of the house and a porch foundation that was most likely entirely on piers.
If I didn't lose three feet of my kitchen, I would love to recreate that. I think it would be
really nice detail on that side of the house.
Up next is dealing with the plumbing and heating.
This plumbing stack serves the upstairs bathroom. It would probably
make sense to renovate this bathroom at the same time but I have my limits.
Cast iron is famous for splitting open. This is most like over 100 years old
so it's time to replace it with PVC.
The plumbing stack was boxed in just beside the old kitchen sink. In the new plan the kitchen
sink will be placed right in front of the window. The challenge will now be to move the plumbing stack back into the outside wall as far as possible so I can get a nice expanse of countertop.
Having plumbing in an outside wall can be a little troublesome in the wintertime
but I'm being told if the pipes are wrapped in foam and then foam insulation
is blown in around them, there shouldn't be any issue with freezing.
Can I get a witness?