Strippers Inside

Work continues apace on the east side of the house. Woody is now in the process os replicating missing corbels from each side of the windows. These corbels will also be used on the reconstructed side porch. I don't have photos of that right now, but will have more in coming weeks.

Last week we took delivery of the little metal rooflets that go over each of the four original windows on the east side. These are the places where we originally thought the leaking was happening, though it turned out the leaks were coming from the sill area. At any rate, the original lead ones have been removed, and are being replaced with these from painted steel.

Metal rooflets primed

The primer is a little intense. But it does make a good solid base on the metal, and I am hoping we never have to replace these again. Steel is a little less weathersafe than lead, but has other advantages.

Having replaced the sills on the upper two windows, which were nearly completely ruined, Woody moved on to the lower two windows. This is the library window, and you can see the Swiss-cheese nature of the wood. Those holes are caused by nails rusting and creating an acid that eats away the wood. On this window they'll be filled with epoxy and the sill will be repaired with some additional redwood to replace thickness in places where the original wood was cut or has been sanded away.

Holes caused by nails in the window trim

It's when you see things like that that the reason for the slowness of construction becomes obvious. This is no small amount of work, and Woody is doing this with only a few workers.

We could just pull everything off and manufacture new pieces, or remove details altogether, which would probably be a lot faster (and more expensive, of course) but that's not our goal here. Our goal is to have this house look as close to how it was built as possible. It's a slow process and we've accepted that.

Interior woodwork stripping has begun

When Woody's helpers finished up the expanse of the wall on the east side of the house, he moved them inside. They are working on the painful process of painting, and while paint dries on the woodwork (Woody follows a process of painting, then sanding, then painting again that results in a very smooth finish), they started stripping the original trim. They are using Jasco to strip the paint, because heat guns are kind of awful inside plus they need to be precise to avoid damage from the heat gun on the new flooring and so on.

And Woody and I came up with some things he can do to make my life better, including making it so that I can work on the landscape. He spent some time sorting wood on site into stacks: wood that cannot be salvaged, wood that he's definitely going to use on the house, and wood that he's not currently planning to use but that we should save just in case.

A dump run from the back yard

I lent him Mr Truck and he and his labourers got a bunch of stuff piled up to go away in the back. This is going to make attacking the back yard much easier, for certain.

Noel and I are already discussing how to set up cameras for filming the back yard landscaping, so I may have to delay work on that until a few other things are finished up inside and we can set up cameras more easily. You know, for art.

posted by ayse on 08/03/18


I remember a nasty comment from a troll who has clearly not been following this story about how you are destroying this home and stripping it of its character. You need a link in that comment to this post, as it is such a reminder of how much respect you have for this house.

I remain awed by your patience.

Thanks, Rae. Some people think nothing but living in a Victorian home as if you were a Victorian will be sufficient. I don't think the opinions of people like that are worth considering; they obviously don't know what we are doing with our house. We consider the restoration of this home to be a service to our community and the preservation of the history of this city.

Ok I have to admit I thought the same thing when I got to the post in 2014 when the big renovation started. The pictures made it look like you were ripping out all the fine detail (like the stair banisters and whatnot) and I had to stop reading (I was up till late last night poring through this blog, starting with the very first post). But this morning I just couldn't stay away and I had to know What Happens Next. I should have known that you would not trash the place. It looks outstanding.

I love your blog, thanks for keeping on sharing despite the enormous setbacks and trolls. So many nice restoration blogs seem to get abandoned and it is disheartening to not be able to find out What Happens Next. Best wishes for your continued efforts.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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