Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Discoveries about the house

Just a few notes on some things we've found out in the last couple weeks about the house:

1. There used to be a servant's stair case where the powder room is beside the kitchen. They converted the space into the powder room (probably during the 1940's) and closed up the top of it where it came out onto the main mid-floor landing (where it joined the main stair case). The powder room wasn't properly vented (unfortunately), so the plumbers have added a air-admittance valve (AAV).

2. There used to be a sink in each of the front bedrooms on the second level. These were added after the house was built (we think), again, probably in the 1940's. They were removed at a later date. The plumbing is still intact under the floor and in the walls, and the sinks were properly vented up to the attic.

3. We have hardwood flooring under the kitchen and foyer vinyl floors. We peeled back the vinyl in a couple places, and under some additional linoleum (probably from the 40's or 50's, the hardwood floors from the dining/living areas continue throughout. This bodes well, since we plan on tearing up the vinyl. We've added refinishing the flooring on the main level to the list of things to do before we move in.

4. We found a some old photographs and the original deed for the house. This is pretty exciting, as it gives us some insight into the original owners and the chain of ownership through the years (it appears that there were only 3, possibly 4, owners prior to us. We also know what the original windows looked like on the front of the house before they were replaced with PVC windows. More on these in a future post.

5. The coach house (attached to the school buildings) has a full second level, with floor boards, insulation, and a TON of scrap wood and discarded furniture. We removed some nails holding the second level exterior entrance door closed, used a ladder and went inside to take a look. There is an old tricycle, some doors original to the house (yey!), and just a ton of other junk that was clearly placed there rather than thrown out. We'll get around to clearing it out (someday). There appears to be some raccoon activity in there as well, but I'm not sure if it's recent.

6. The sunroom (was used as an office by PO) has a false ceiling. We planned to re-attach the old radiators in the second level of the sunroom, and the plumbers needed access to the area where the radiator pipes come out in the ceiling of the lower sunroom. We removed a portion of the drop ceiling and discovered another 2 ft of ceiling height and a nice bead-board ceiling above. There are even some transom windows in there that are closed up with insulation that can be cleared out when we get the whole drop ceiling down.

More to come...

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