Sunday, January 29, 2012

Old House Society - Architectural Salvage Warehouse

This week, I had the opportunity to visit a nearby architectural salvage store.  The Old House Society based in Bloomington, IL is a group of like-minded people that work together to preserve old buildings and when needed, salvage the good bits from them.  They run the "Architectural Salvage Warehouse" which is about 16,000 sqft of old house parts that they have recovered.  I went in looking for door knobs, backplates, and hardwood floor.  I was tickled pink when I found an exact match to the door knobs/backplates in the upstairs of my house!  Their selection is great and everything is fairly organized so it was easy to see exactly what they had available.  Ken was my salesperson.  Very friendly. I was impressed that he was a volunteer that was working at the store for a couple hours before his "day job".
Celia, unfortunately was not able to visit with me, so she is really excited and cant wait for our next trip!

Contact Information:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Illinois Winters

I am NOT an Illinois native.  I am originally from Texas.  For the past 6 years, I have lived here and dreaded winter snowfalls.  I never could find the extra funds to buy a snowblower so I always did a lot of shoveling.  While our other house has a fairly big driveway, it was always manageable.   With this new house, the driveway is just too big.  I have traced out the driveway(s) from this Google Maps satellite photo:

This year, I finally talked Celia into letting me buy a snowblower.  Here is my new toy!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lowered Ceiling Discovery

The ceiling in our kitchen has been lowered.  We have known this since we bought the house.  The first floor of our house features 11 foot ceilings and it is obvious that the kitchen had a ceiling the sloped from about 8ft-9ft.  As demolition has progressed, I busted a couple of holes in the ceiling to see what was above.  We haven't been certain as to WHY the ceiling was lowered.  Leading theories had been:

a. To hide pipes from the master bathroom above.
b. To incorporate the addition better into the space.  It was thought the addition was built with a lower ceiling than the main house and they may have lowered/sloped everything to give it better flow.

Here is a rough diagram of how the ceiling looks today (as seen with the lowered ceiling still in place:

I was able to verify that the visible ceiling does indeed hide the original ceiling.  Here is the same diagram showing the hidden ceiling.

If you paid attention to the above diagrams, on one side of my kitchen, the dropped ceiling is hiding a full 36" of height!!!  Even the other side is rather deep at 18".
So.... Now I am obsessed with finding a way to get my ceilings height back.  I have been able to find  out that the original kitchen side is lowered to accommodate the supply/drain pipes to the master bath that is above it. I have not been able to get my head above the ceiling in the addition, but if my calculations are correct, there shouldn't be any plumbing over there.
Celia and I are not planning to redo the master bath anytime soon, so tomorrow, I am going to do some careful measuring to see about hiding the pipes in soffits .  In my opinion, it would be better to have full height ceilings with a few odd soffits rather than having the entire ceiling so low.  What do you all think???

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chandelier Update

We had our first snow storm of the season. About 5 inches which wasn't too bad, but we were only forecast for 3.  My first time shoveling at this house. Lots of sidewalk and driveway.Hopefully I can convince Celia to let me buy a snow blower soon! I have finally made some time to work on my chandelier. As you may recall, I am rewiring an original gas/electric combination fixture from our side foyer. It has turned out great. All that is left to do is find a replacement globe and then hang it back up. Pictures soon, I promise.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kitchen Whirlwind

This past weekend Celia and I began demo in the kitchen.  We made really good progress.  To start, Celia took a pry bar to the tongue and groove horizontal boards that covered the walls.  It varied in width from 4" to 10". It was all 1/2 inch pine that was added in 1986.  How do we know? Well, we found old Illinois Lottery tickets dated Apr 1986 that  had been used as shims.

Next we removed the upper and lower kitchen cabinets.  They were very simply to remove.

Finally it came time to remove the built-in display cabinet.  This thing was built in place and built to last.  Celia and I attacked it with the screw gun, pry bar, and sledge hammer and had a heck of a time.

The best part though is that we have found homes for nearly all of the waste!  Several different Craigslist buyers came to the rescue for 2 loads of scrap wood, the kitchen cabinets, and the glass cabinet doors.  I really hate the idea of paying (alot of $$$) for a dumpster  just to throw stuff away.