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Thread: Show us your vintage home!

  1. #3021
    My Mail is Forwarded Here Stearmen's Avatar
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    Speaking of modernizing old houses! Here is what 127 years worth of electrical renovations look like, in a house that was built before electricity in my town. The history of home lighting. Yes, the Knob & Tube is HOT! I have stabilized it, until I can figure where to tap into for a safer source. If I turn this bedroom into a bath, I can come down from the attic. Speaking of Knob & Tube, my next project, the attic. Always fun, living, knowing that the Great Spaghetti Monster in the attic is just waiting to get you!
    Four wheels move your Body, Two wheels move your Soul.

  2. #3022
    My Mail is Forwarded Here Stearmen's Avatar
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    I just noticed, it looks so bright in there with the flash! I was working with two flashlights, and had trouble seeing. Probably a good thing, now that I see the details in the photo!
    Four wheels move your Body, Two wheels move your Soul.

  3. #3023
    Call Me a Cab vitanola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Man View Post
    The windows in my house do not have sash weights. You simply raise the window and put a stick under it to hold it up. For this house, double-hung windows with sash weights would be something "modern."
    The old part of our big house ( built in 1852) has no sash weights, either. Little spring-loaded pins are intended to hold the windows open, bit offer the years the holes in the window jambs have become so elongated that sash are prone to drop drum time to time. The sash never were sealed tightly, for when this house was built it was heated by stoves- radiant heat, and drafts were not as probl matin as they are with gravity or forced air heat. The jamb liners, which took very little time to install and are virtually invisible, have made a great difference in both the serviceability and weather tightness of our windows, and have contributed greatly to our comfort,
    My grandfather was a Navy man. In fact he was on the bridge in Manilla Bay when Admiral Dewey gave the immortal order: "You may fire, Gridley, when ready."




    So of course he fired Gridley.

  4. #3024
    Bartender sheeplady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Man View Post
    You make some excellent points. If I were going to restore/remodel an old house, I'd do everything possible to retain the original look and feel while "modernizing" the infrastructure/utilities. However ...

    My old house is drafty. It still has the same old windows that are held open with a window stick. When the wind blows, the curtains flutter. In the winter, we heat only three rooms: the kitchen, the living room, and the bathroom. The bedrooms get a bit cold. Several times this winter it has been in the teens in the bedroom. We just pile on more old quilts, and that seems to work. To get to the bathroom you have to go outside across the back porch.

    I can still see my Grandmother sitting by the fire, wool stockings on her feet and wearing a flannel dress and a wool housecoat, trying to stay warm. She lived like this through her 99th year. I remember as a child taking a bath in the old cast iron tub with the room heated by a little, black kerosene heater (we still have it, but don't dare use it anymore). I remember liking to splash water on that little heater and hearing it sizzle. I remember taking a hot water bottle to bed so my feet would stay warm. I remember at night the sound of the windows rattling when the wind blew hard (and also when a freight train passed by).

    There are so many good memories associated with this old, drafty, cold in the winter, hot in the summer, house that I just can't bring myself to "modernize" it in any way. I know it would be more comfortable if I did a lot of remodeling, but it's home to me the way it is.
    That's the sort of example I mean in my first point. I don't blame you. Unfortunately the only thing original in our new house is a few doors and the staircase. Fortunately, that gives us license to do what we like. I like to call this optimism rather than foolishness.
    Progress: Going from being able to "hear a pin drop" to "can you hear me now?"

  5. #3025
    One Too Many Fading Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Man View Post
    There are so many good memories associated with this old, drafty, cold in the winter, hot in the summer, house that I just can't bring myself to "modernize" it in any way. I know it would be more comfortable if I did a lot of remodeling, but it's home to me the way it is.
    I could not agree more. The draftiness, creaky floors, door that never closes right, water that needs to be turned on several minutes before the shower to get it hot are part of the character, the personality of a house and, to me, makes it a home.

    I don't care that it might be more "comfortable" if everything worked perfectly, it would loose more in inherent warm, uniqueness and verve.

    As some might remember, I recently bought a apartment in a 1927 apartment building, and we are keeping the old creaky floors and the old radiators (that are left) despite the architect saying he could "fix" both. I told him we would have bought new construction if I wanted everything shiny, new and perfect. I didn't live in the apartment all those years, but I feel a connect to its history by having the same floor from 1927 (and the creaks are just a reflection of all who have lived there).

  6. #3026
    I'll Lock Up 1mach1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stearmen View Post
    Speaking of modernizing old houses! Here is what 127 years worth of electrical renovations look like, in a house that was built before electricity in my town. The history of home lighting. Yes, the Knob & Tube is HOT! I have stabilized it, until I can figure where to tap into for a safer source. If I turn this bedroom into a bath, I can come down from the attic. Speaking of Knob & Tube, my next project, the attic. Always fun, living, knowing that the Great Spaghetti Monster in the attic is just waiting to get you!
    Watch out! Your house is Doc Ock!

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    Harv Smith

  7. #3027
    Familiar Face Panadora's Avatar
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  8. #3028
    One of the Regulars DecoDame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Man View Post

    Love this photo, and the story, of your Maw, Big Man. Reminds me of my own "Mam-ma" in Ky. Canning her beans was serious business, too. And always in a print house dress, with an apron. She didn't make it as long as your Maw, but I hope to have half as much grit as her as I get older...
    "If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased." - Katharine Hepburn
    "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron?

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