Sunday, December 23, 2018

What’s Under the Carpet?

Well after a Facebook post over a week ago that talked about ripping carpet out of our historic house, I suppose it is time to tell people what was actually under the carpet.

Now we knew, sort of, what was under the carpet. We were told there were hardwood floors under the carpet by the previous owners. We were also told, however, that these hardwood floors were in rough shape with bad repair work and a large burned spot from a coal stove. Well one day… 3 days after getting the keys to the place, we decided we couldn’t take wondering what the floors looked like any more. So, we grabbed a crowbar and utility knife and got to work on a small room since “we were only going to pull out one room” just to see what the floors looked like.

 Our first view of the wood floor.
For some reason this room had no staples or tack strip holding down the carpet it was just tucked under the baseboard. It took about 5 minutes to rip out this tiny room of carpet and what we found was beautiful.
Before and after

We were hooked. It also helped that we were waiting for Dish Network people to come (which they never did) and so had to keep working, instead of going home and finishing packing. We also had just had all the carpets cleaned that we weren’t going to rip out, so these were the only rooms we could actually work in while the other carpets dried.

So on to the next room we went… This room was most likely a parlor historically and for us is our temporary bedroom until we remodel a room upstairs. At which point, it will become a parlor again.
The carpet in the Parlor.  
This carpet was far harder to remove. It was held in with tack strip on the edges and staples at the seams. We went to work. This carpet was probably 30 years old and had 30 years of dust in it. It was after this carpet that we decided to make a visit to the local hardware store and get some dust masks. Our lungs and sinuses thanked us for that. The carpet was heavy, thick, Made in the USA and I am pretty sure rather expensive when it was put in the house. we almost felt bad taking a utility knife to it, but it had to be done.

Below the parlor carpet we found this: 
 The floor had no major problems besides a few small water damage areas. We were excited!

So of course on to the next room we went.

This room was the most terrifying for us to rip out. It was the room with the previously mentioned damage and shoddy repair work. Every foot we tore the carpet out the more and more anxious we would get just expecting the worst to appear…

Much to our surprise, elation, and confusion we found no major issues with the floor.
The process
The floor! 
The dining room floor is immaculate. There is one repair, but it matches fairly well. And there was not a giant burned space. We were ecstatic about this.

The Repair

Well we were on such a role that we just had to keep going. We then ripped out the carpet in what historically, perhaps was the kitchen.

The floor in this room

Inside the closet of this room we found a bit of a surprise. There is a second wood floor that runs underneath this beautiful oak floor. With a board cut out to have a hiding space (though there wasn’t anything too exciting in it).

Bottom of board
Top of board

More research needs to be done into the double wood floors which are in 3 out of 4 of the rooms. The other room has 2 layers of the thin boards.
Two layers of small board wood floors 

Previously, we had decided to "eventually" tear out one room of carpet in to expose a grate to allow heat to rise in what will become our bedroom. We found a grate in the attic and wondered where its home was. We went hunting for it and realized that there was a grate in the parlor, but not one in the room above it and went to investigate. We aren’t really sure why it was sealed off or why they carpeted over it, but we figured 30 minutes would take care of that and it did.
The grate from the room below
The spot for a grate

The grate returned to its home

We had been informed that the upstairs did not have a wood floor anymore….What I think the case was, is that the previous owner did not think of the original 19th century flooring as a wood floor, but as more of a subfloor because it was painted and less finished than your more modern wood floors. Boy were we surprised. So, now we have decided to repaint that floor its original color, which was a very popular color in the 19th century a reddish brown. I’d love to have just left the original paint, but it looks like someone previously had laid the molding on the wood floor and painted it there leaving white paint all over the original floor and paint. Sadly, it must be repainted.

The floor as it is now.

And thus ended our saga of carpet ripping out, which has now turned in to a few more projects and a need to research more.

Friday, December 21, 2018

History Acres

Recently, my husband and I decided to pack up all of our stuff and move ourselves from the city out into the county to live our dream of having a historic farmhouse and 10 acres of land. We ended up with a nice historic farm house and 12 acres of land. 

Our plan, return the house to having more of its historic character back and start producing our own food.

We were joking that we are making quite a change: moving from a condo in the city where we don’t have to maintain the yard or outside part of the building, to a big old house on 12 acres with 2 barns and a garage…. Also, we have a well and septic now…. What have we done!!! But we sure are looking forward to it.

We decided to start a blog for all of this to share our crazy adventures with our friends and families and anyone else who stumbles upon it looking for a story of a historical house and farm.

And so, the story of History Acres has started.

Carpenter Bee Bee Gone!

This was a quick little project that wasn’t planned! This year we have noticed quite a few carpenter bees around the two barns and at least ...