Thursday, July 23, 2009

We’ve been busy

I haven’t been writing to the blog much lately.  We’ve been trying to take advantage of the sunshine (when we get it), and the longer days to get things done around the house.

We’ve had one disposal bin (20 yards) filled with debris left from our original renovations prior to moving in (the guttings of one bathroom, and all the misc stuff associated to upgrading plumbing and electrical).  We have another one sitting in the driveway waiting to be filled with the remainder of our debris which is sitting in one of the rear school buildings.

We’ve had some architects visit to give us opinions and quotes on reworking the use of the rear buildings.  More on that in another post to come.

We’ve heard back from MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corp) about our request for reconsideration.  We had to file one as our property was classified as a split residential/commercial and our taxes were insane.  There hasn’t been a commercial use of those rear school buildings in almost 20 years, and it wasn’t difficult to convince the inspector from MPAC that that was the case.  They reassessed our property on that basis and also gave us an additional reduction due to depreciation of the structures.  It dropped our taxes by about a 1/3.

In conjunction with the debris clear-out, I’ve setup a workshop in one of the rear school buildings.  I’ve also bought all the necessary tools to build new storms and wooden replacement windows.  My work-shop now includes:

A router table with 2HP router, special rail and stile router bits for making sash windows, 10” table saw (my old one) with a special jig for making tenons (my saw won’t support a dado blade so the jig is the best way to go), a dedicated mortising machine (which resembles a drill-press), glue-clamps, and all the tools for glazing glass.

I still have to pick up the wood to make the storms, but I’ve made some mock-ups using some scrap spruce with good results.  I’ll put together a post with some step-by-step pictures for those who are interested.

I’ve also found some really good reference books on c.1912 construction and finishing techniques.  Actually, they are books published in 1912 meant for students of carpentry.  I’ll do a post about that shortly.  They contain a huge amount of information about how and why homes in that period were built the way they were.

Stay tuned for some more posts…


  1. Good to hear that you're actually getting your tax reduction. At the rate that they're processing cases around here, I doubt ours will be heard before 2011.

  2. OK. Really drooling over the shop possibilities - good tools and lots of space. Looking forward to the info you dig up on carpentry from that period.