Monday, August 12, 2013

In which we strive not to have the trashiest house on the street

After weeks of inertia, the outside of our house is now a hive of activity.  The project of respectability has begun.  It is all go at the Crabstick household right now.    The carpenters came Thursday and ripped all the crown molding off the house.  Friday they ripped off the soffits and the unnamed strip of wood that the gutters are attached to.  (And, of course, the gutters.)  The attic is getting an airing such as it hasn't had in a century and the house looks like a gentleman whose hat is on the verge of blowing away.




I am regretting the ripped out soffits, although they need to be replaced in order to install modern attic ventilation and squirrel defense system.  Much of the wood is as sound as it was when it was milled over 100 years ago. Everybody on pinterest is making mantles and kitchen islands with reclaimed wood and it's a pity to throw old growth oak into the trash, but finding a place to store it, for some as-yet unplanned project is problematic. Then again, all the original bead board wainscoting is still piled in the basement, waiting to become something.  In order to feel productive, I made a board at Pinterest about it.

Soffit with original green paint
A few more like this and we'll have kitchen shelves


The house was originally white clapboard with dark green trim and green shutters.  The shutters are long gone, their existence proved by the imprint of the hinges on the window frames.  (Maybe they are under the bead board?  We have never fully investigated the pile.) If I were ever to become a multi-millionaire, I would have the stucco ripped off and the clapboards restored, but right now, that project is well beyond our means.  Anyway the stucco isn't so bad and is definitely preferable to aluminum, asbestos, or vinyl siding.

Saturday, the carpenters arrived at 07:00 and got several hours of work in before the most torrential of downpours happened--and the house with the attic exposed and no gutters.

This is as far as they got before the rain started


They also put up a some swatches for us.

We think we prefer the one on the left
Painting the porch ceiling will be another DIY, although it's possible that blue will look great against the yellow.
The same paints on the sunny side of the house.


7 comments:

  1. I have a basement full of reclaimed wood we're someday going to use. Sigh. I grew up with a garage of reclaimed wood that was going to get used too. You could always donate it to The Habitat store and get a tax write-off for it. (I happen to have a pick up truck if you want help too).

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    1. That's a great idea! We don't have enough to fill a pick up. I dug through the pile and pulled out about five or six planks. Many of the others were damaged in the demolition, and the whole pile got rained on.

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  2. I think the board's name is fascia. Our neighbor replaced his rotten ones but was too lazy to paint them so his new ones should be rotting soon.

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    1. Thanks! I always get confused between soffit and fascia.

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  3. Doesn't the stucco tend to crack and fall off the wallboards?

    Love to keep good old, well cured timber. It can come up a treat after oil and polishing.

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    1. It's rigid, so it does crack as the house settles, but it doesn't seem to fall off the house, except (in our case) during an earthquake. For some reason, stucco is a popular exterior house finish around here. You almost never see it in New York, where I'm from originally.

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  4. I cannot wait to see the finished projects--how exciting to finally fix up the things on your periphery!

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