Old houses have lots of surprises

When working on old houses, you find lots of things you don’t expect.  Sometimes, it’s a good thing, other times not so much.  In the first house we restored, we discovered that the ceilings had been lowered.  One day, after a few beers, hubby discovered that there was an additional 1 foot of wall between the existing ceiling and the original ceiling.  Good surprise!

In this house, I thought we were going to have to re-skim the walls in one of the rooms in order to get rid of the texture, but I discovered that the texture was actually over wall paper and the wall paper was very easy to remove.  Behind the wall paper??  The original beautiful plaster walls!

This wallpaper had texture and paint over it. It removed easily with a scraper revealing the original plaster underneath.

Lower section of the wallpaper removed.

We’ve had some bad surprises in this house, too.  Most recently it was what we found in the attic.

We had an inspection done early on in this house process.  The inspector thought that the electric had been mostly updated and was safe.  This was not so.  We discovered when we restored the kitchen and laundry room that the back part of the house was all knob and tube electric.  This was an early form of electric where electric wires were connected to joists and studs with ceramic knobs and would travel through studs fitted with ceramic tubes.  These systems were extremely safe at the time, but with changes in how houses use electric, deterioration of the system over time, and changes that previous homeowners may have made, they pose quite a hazard now.  Once we discovered that, we cut off the electric to the house except for the areas we had rewired and knew were safe.  We lived in the dark (both figuratively and literally) for two weeks until we had time to dig into the electric in the front of the house.  We hoped that we would have a good surprise in store.  Nope!  This is what we found under the floorboards in the attic:

Knob and tube wires in the attic

Scary, huh?

And just in time for Halloween!

After hours of working on it, running wires up and down walls, crawling around in the attic and basement, cussing, and a couple cross words with each other (only a couple!), we have lights in the upstairs.  Only lights, no outlets yet, and only upstairs.  We are still in the dark in most of the down stairs.

Hey, progress is progress!

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Wife, mom, small business owner, and hobby farm hopeful.
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2 Responses to Old houses have lots of surprises

  1. Mom says:

    Yea for progress and safe electricity!

  2. Pingback: A mini before and after | Our House Journey

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