You didn't think we were stopping with the addition did you? The whole house had been in such a state of disrepair, a complete gut was necessary just to get the smell of urine out of the air. Boxes of Borax were poured into the remaining timbers and vacuumed up to remove the smell of centuries of zero-compunction critters pottying all over the inside of the walls and ceilings. The house was wrapped in a layer of vinyl siding which disguised huge problems with the actual structure. Water infiltration had long ago done its damage and opened passages for some fairly large vermin to be hosted in the walls.
On a structure with 250 years of life in it, you find signs of generational infestation. This beam was lived in by squirrels who probably moved out some time before the vinyl siding went up.
Stare into the abyss
An easy fix. You might think that there was no coming back from damage like you've seen here. We added so much "conventional" framing to this place, that the beams like the one above were no longer holding as much load as they were originally intended to. We basically built walls inside the walls.
Patching in sheathing with historically relevant materials allows us to work with the existing out-of-square lines with ease.
This wall was pretty bad. It's amazing that it didn't fall down. Tim in the background, brooding over 250 years of decay, Charlie in the foreground looking all about to pounce on that extension cord.
Nothing a few well placed sticks won't fix
And it's starting to look safer, except for that scrap pile. That's not looking too safe.
Google street view is great for exterior before-shots from six years ago. The owner and a friend preceded our arrival by rebuilding this front porch.
We had the exterior framing just about all patched up. The roof was done, and we were ready to put some vapor barrier on and some windows in. Stashed on the front porch, you can see the original staircase. At least, it was the staircase which came with the house and which we scraped down and reused.
This is Charlie and his friend, Tux. Tux never said much, just ate tuna and watched us. Charlie never stopped talking, unless he was upset. Charlie is another man whose energy outpaced many of the men 1/3 his age who worked with me. If you recognize him, tell him he's internet famous. Underneath all that chatterin' we know he's a sensitive and caring fellow, an artist, just look at his work!