Tribulations of owning an old house

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Eugene
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Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby Eugene » Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:55 pm

Just now finishing up a project wife and I have been working on for about 3 weeks.

The alcove to the front entrance had a linoleum flooring with ripples in the linoleum. Turned out to be the location of a large furnace grate with the furnace grate opening covered with plywood and then a layer of linoleum.

The linoleum was stuck down with some thing that looked like asphalt. After numerous attempts to lift the linoleum, wound up taking a heat gun and wood chisel to remove a small strip at a time. After a week of lifting one trip at a time we got down to the 36" square piece of plywood in the center of the alcove, still covered linoleum. Pulled up the plywood, purchased plywood, cut, and installed it.

Purchased laminated flooring. Took an oscillating saw and cut the mop boards so that the laminated flooring would slide under. Installed the flooring. Patched plaster where the mop board came loose. Waiting for the plaster to dry for a week, then install the mop boards.

Had to remove the metal threshold under the front door to install the flooring. Turned out that below the metal threshold is a large stone. The stone is not level nor smooth on top. Bit of adjustment to the metal threshold, some contact adhesive, and a bunch of shims to hold the threshold in place and get the correct space between it and the door.

Turns out that the original threshold for the front door and the original basement back door are large stones.

Wife had been on my case for a number of years to solve the problem. Now wife has some more problems with the 118 year old house to solve. Use to be able to put off the problem solving when I was working. No longer. Next wife problem is to remove a portion of a brick wall in the basement that is supporting a floor joist.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby dgrapes59 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:45 pm

I understand what you are saying.... The original part of our house in Nebraska is about that old and the "new" part is only about 50 years old. :P We take on small projects whenever we are back and you never know what you will find. Lucky so far, nothing too bad yet. I finally finished replacing all the windows this year, made a huge difference in the bug problem! Gutted one room, took out lath and plaster, insulated it, did some wiring and hung drywall. Wife was after me to pull up the carpet in the family room, a lovely green carpet that has been there as long as I can remember, the family room is what was the original kitchen ("new" addition added in door plumbing; kitchen, bathroom and utility room). I was reluctant because I figured it had patched hard pine flooring under it as the rest of the original house had hard pine flooring. She started pulling it up when I was hunting one day. Carpet was the kind with pad attached and it was taped down with double sided tape (no staples) and under it was a beautiful oak floor! :{_}: What a surprise!!!! A good cleaning with Murpheys Oil Soap and it looked fantastic! No one in the family ever remembered grandpa doing it. So now when SHE wants to do something she throws that at me... "look how good that turned out"! :D

Good luck with future projects, hope they go better,
David

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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:49 pm

Glad it is you doing that and not me. I have had to give up doing that kind of thing. That 36 x 36 opening sounds more like a floor furnace than a register for duct work.
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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby Eugene » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:38 pm

Correct, probably one of the large cast iron furnaces that sat on the basement floor. I had enough original flooring to fill the opening, but directly below the opening was several furnace ducts and the opening had been framed to support the plywood and not flooring.

It's all my wife's fault. Years ago wife talked me into replacing a window for her elderly aunt. I measured the rough opening and ordered the window. When window came in I loaded up the van and trailer with all the tools and supplies I needed to remove the old window and to replace it. Drove the 5 hours one way from home to aunt's house.

Removed the old window to find out that the old window was held in place only by the exterior trim. Called the wife who was visiting her mother in the same town and gave here a list of materials I needed to place in some jack studs and frame up the rough opening. Son and I cleaned up the job site while we waited for the lumber. And waited, and waited, and waited, as we watched a rain storm approaching. About 3 hours after I ordered the lumber, wife and mother in-law showed up. Being less than happy, I asked where they had been for the past 3 hours. Turned out that they picked up the lumber then decided to make us lunch.

Son and I passed on the lunch, busted chops to get the window framed up and installed. Installed as the rain began.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:07 am

Everytine you are unhappy with what she does or criticize her judgement just remember who she married. :D
If you are not part of the solution,
you are part of the problem!!!

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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby Jim Becker » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:10 am

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:Everytine you are unhappy with what she does or criticize her judgement just remember who she married. :D

Is that evidence for the defense or evidence for the prosecution?

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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby Eugene » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:51 am

Jim Becker wrote:Is that evidence for the defense or evidence for the prosecution?
I have learned over the years to just keep my mouth shut. Ticked her off years back. She didn't talk to me for two weeks. It took me the quiet two weeks to figure out that she wasn't talking to me.

Example. We have a wet and dry shop vacuum with a built in water pump. Yesterday the wife tried to take the suction hose off the vac. Messed it up some how. Took me close to an hour to get the hose off. I didn't say a word.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby Stanton » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:37 pm

My grandparents' house had a floor furnace; grate approximately 36"x36", unit was in the basement hung from the floor above.

Do you think that was what was in there prior?

Sounds like quiet perseverance is the order of the day... :)
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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby Donegal Cub » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:06 pm

It sounds like you did a good job Eugene. The secret to laying laminated flooring is to leave enough room. For expansion around all the edges. Next Wife ??lol.
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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby Eugene » Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:44 pm

I'm pretty sure that the furnace below the grate was of the large cast iron type sitting on the basement floor either coal or wood fired. There is part of an angled basement wall directly below the old grate opening that would indicate such a furnace.

Now ex-husband and niece owned a house with a huge cast iron furnace in the center of the basement. The furnace had been converted to be natural gas fired. Ex-husband said that his heating bill was $35- a month during the winter in Iowa.

I had a Mueller cast iron furnace in my house in Iowa. Furnace did a great job of keeping the first floor warm and heating the house in winter. Believing the advertising, I converted to a high efficiency natural gas fired furnace. Big mistake.

Today's wife pleasing project. Wife and I took down a brick stub wall in the basement. The top row of bricks were a problem removing. After the first row was removed, the balance of the wall was easy. Wife would remove the bricks and drop them one at a time into 5 gallon buckets. I hauled the buckets out of the basement and dumped into the farm pickup's bed.

I'm pretty much done for the day after hauling several hundred bricks and the mortar out of the basement.

Still need to dig a bit of hard pan out spot where the brick stub wall was was sitting, patch the concrete floor and cement plaster up part of the rock foundation wall.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby Rabbit Holler Flash » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:36 am

Always remember the 2 magic words "YES DEAR"

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Re: Tribulations of owning an old house

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:21 pm

Rabbit Holler Flash wrote:Always remember the 2 magic words "YES DEAR"
Those don't always help, do they.
If you are not part of the solution,
you are part of the problem!!!


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