Skip to main content

View Diary: Bricks, or the Damnedest Clues in the Damnedest Places (152 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I have a 1935 (29+ / 0-)

    cottage bungalow with a later (50s) addition. I think it was probably a kit house, or at least was built by hand from bought plans like the Sears houses. I deliberately bought a vintage home--I really hate newer houses, finding them ugly and characterless. Just a personal thing.

    1935 isn't as old as your 1780s house, but for Missouri it's pretty old. As I slowly renovate (a lot of it I'm doing myself) I find those "eccentricities." As my house inspector said, this house has been something of a handyman special. That being said, it's built like the proverbial brick shit house. The newer addition is in worse shape that the 1935 original structure. I'm working on refurbishing the windows this summer--can't stand vinyl replacement and can't afford custom wood replacements, but my energy audit guys said a good refurbished window was at least as good as replacement vinyl energy-wise (you lose most heat out the ceiling and I had insulation put in last February) and you don't have to replace the windows every 10-15 years like you do with vinyl. It's been a learning experience.

    I don't know what your profession is DrLori but you'd be a great archaeologist.

    "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

    by zaynabou on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 09:57:03 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Why, thank you! I love archaeology, (25+ / 0-)

      but in real life, I'm a medievalist, a dusty old bookworm.  My username is a nickname that came from a stint I pulled in instructional technology.  My officemate wanted to remind the staff to respect my "authoritah" but let the student assistants know that I didn't bite.  Hence, Dr. Lori.

      Your 1935 house will be a century old soon.  And with care, 200 years from now your descendants might still be taking care of it.  Craftsmanship still mattered, and it gives all old houses their solidity and permanence.  Before 1950, even the wood that was used was more solid and substantial than the best on the market today.  

      Good luck with the windows.  Your energy audit guys are right.  Our ancestors weren't dumb, and they liked freezing or wasting heat about as much as we do.  I think you'll be more satisfied over the long run with the original technology.

      This spring, since the mortar work is becoming less critical, I'll be picking up mortise-and-tenon woodworking to restore the windows.  When we first moved here, my husband Andy wanted replacement windows and I just let it ride.  It didn't take but month or two for him to recall all the eyes that looked through these windows (and most of them were still original and intact, although in rough shape), and he talked himself out of it in record time.  We're going back with original panes, and eventually we'll fit storm windows to the insides.  With 8" of sill space, they'll be easier to handle that way.

      "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

      by DrLori on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 10:13:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been looking at (15+ / 0-)

        those internal storms--the new ones are really nice, low profile, and fit into less-than-square openings. They are really clever. I'm thinking of going back to old fashioned "take 'em down in the winter" screens as well, as I can build those myself. On the windows themselves, one of the main features of the house is the three vertical lights in the top half of the windows, and I don't want to lose those. Luckily the glass isn't historic, so with luck I can find some eglass that will fit.

        "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

        by zaynabou on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 10:30:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've thought of the "take em down" (10+ / 0-)

          windows, too.  But I do enough crawling around on the outside walls as it is. :-)

          I've collected a whole lot of old windows in preparation for the restoration, and not all of them are the right size (I never felt like I was in a position to refuse, and I have a whole corncrib for windows and an old trailer for wood).  If you send me the dimensions, maybe I can help you out with some old glass, if you're so inclined.

          "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

          by DrLori on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 10:54:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks DrLori (5+ / 0-)

            But my windows were never anything much than regular old modern glass. 1935 isn't that old. I saw a wonderful greenhouse made out of old windows online, if you are so inclined to use up your leftovers that way.

            And yeah, luckily my house being a bungalow means most of the windows are on the 1st floor and easy to get to. the screens on there now don't really fit correctly--there are big gaps of 1" or more at the bottom edge where they don't meet the sill, I think they were measured wrong. And since new aluminum screen/storms are going to be expensive anyway I figured I'd get something more esthetically pleasing.

            "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

            by zaynabou on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 01:59:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site