Wednesday, July 28, 2010

D-Day 1

Jared arrived yesterday afternoon and started ripping off some of the vinyl siding. Sam hadn't dropped off the ladders yet so he did what he could reach.

I hung around this morning waiting for the dumpster. We weren't sure if it would maneuver into the driveway but it's a real pain getting a permit to put a dumpster on the street....and I've had my fill of bureaucracy. So I've been reserving a spot across from my driveway so I could move when it arrived to allow more room for the truck to back in. The joys of renovating in the city.
If you're joining us in progress, this is a photo of the house I took to accompany my variance application in late April. I spent the weekend digging out the shrubs and a bunch of hostas that were planted in front.

And this is what things looked like when I got home. (I skipped out of work early.)
The driveway side of the house is pretty much stripped of the vinyl and the shingles look pretty good. This side of the house is going to be scraped and painted...that's all for now. There's still a lot I need to figure out. I'd like to restore the window that *should* be under the window you see above the dumpster. It was covered up at some point along the line. The chimney on that side needs to be ripped out and new kitchen windows will go there.

The painting on that side, the back and onto the back porches may start any time.

If you look really closely in the above photo to the right of the front door, I'm testing my new paint colors. I'm famous for going through seven shades of browns before I decide the room should be blue. But I've had two Ben Moore fan decks, a Martha Stewart color palette and at least 40 different color cards sitting around my living room for the past several weeks whittling them down to just a few.

I had a few friends come over last night for a "color caucus" (and few glasses of sangria) and the colors were decided. I ran to Ben Moore when I got home and slapped a few coats on the front of the house where the door is already painted black.

You're getting to see them first. The wide light gray trim is where the sidelights will be so there won't be as much of it. The photo doesn't totally accurately show the colors but you get the idea. The gray has just the slightest bit of brown in it. I think the mahogany porch deck and oiled bronze hardware will look great with it.

And I don't know why I spent so much time looking at front porch lights because hidden up inside the little porch roof... the greatest vintage light.... could ever want... looks hand-forged to me...'s called the "Mrs. Smith's" light.

I just love the simplicity of it.

This is a closeup of the front of the house. It's my favorite color combination from the poop and pee color collection. Everything is in remarkably good condition. The frieze boards above the windows look perfect. Maybe we can keep these so I can upgrade to copper gutters on the front porch.

On the right above the old porch roof, you can see the original clapboards under the shingles. The original cornerboards have been ripped off and filled with scrap wood but at least we know exactly how big they were.
Going on to the the back porch, the vinyl has been stripped.
These are the kitchen windows that overlook the porch and garden. All of this will just get a paint job and will wait for Phase 2.
This wall just outside the kitchen door has been stripped to the original clapboards. The thing that's interesting to me is the porches were supposedly added in 1940. If that were true, these clapboards would have been exposed to the elements. They're so perfect, I can't believe it's possible.

That's it for today. I'll be sure to take lots of photos and post as often as I can.


  1. I'm following you step by step. Don't stop the photos. I have been, where you are now, it's scary and fun at the same time.

  2. First, I'm impressed that you now have such a relationship with Mr. Moore that he is now referred to as Ben!

    What an exciting day for you! With this pace, it will be done before you know it. You're so lucky that the original clapboard is in such good condition and I LOVE the gray. I don't suppose you are entertaining the pink doors? :)

    How lucky to find the original light fixture hidden - I remember when I took down some paneling and found original beadboard. I was thrilled beyond belief.

    I'm so excited for you...I love the step by step also. Three days from now, it will look like a totally different home. You're doing a great job.

  3. Well, I really think you should produce your own line of authentic vintage porch lighting. You could finance your whole refurbishing with it!! I really like the original clapboard on the porch. I hope you continue to find more original that light fixture. I also like the color of the porch clapboards.

  4. hi steve,

    God i love construction. i really do. i'm always so sad when it's all over.

    they are not messing around are they? ripping that crap off. and i adore the hidden pie tin light fixture. classy.


  5. Would love to know what benjamin moore color you're using for the field (body) color.

    (I too have benjamin moore fan decks. And when I'm contemplating a new paint color, the chips sit on a table in my living room for weeks. My husband calls it my shrine to color.)

  6. The colour caucus must have been fun. Ben Moore is my fav buddy too. The wood looks like it's in terrific condition. That's great. Thanks for the updates!

  7. This is a wonderful post! Thank you. I used to have a 120-year-old farm house. One fun thing was the plumbing. It was a combination of cast iron, copper, and PVC! I look forward to your continuing saga!

  8. LOL! I love the little vintage light! That looks like somthing from my neck of the woods (kentucky)
    p.s. I'm your newest follower! Great read!

  9. So exciting! Can't wait for your next installment on the progress.