Dewy

1860 Virginia Farmhouse Reno

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Been a while since there as a long-running home project on the DIY forum so I thought I'd take the opportunity to post about the home my wife and I purchased this month. We had been looking for land near us, just outside of Roanoke, Va but had come up short on finding anything with any extras besides a flat piece of earth such as creeks etc.. for our three kids to play in and around. Inadvertently, we came across this 1860 brick farmhouse that was only ten minutes from our current home and in the same school district for our kids! It has 3,004 sq ft with 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths.

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The home has been added on to a few times like most older farmhouses. The front portion is original with the back wing being an addition at a later time.frontosm.jpg.215ce42304933045c28bea8935fc0a0a.jpg

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While the home has been updated with new electrical, plumbing, windows, roof, kitchen, etc... its still need some love. Drop ceilings have been installed covering up the higher plaster and lathe ceilings, wood paneling placed of plaster covered brick walls, along with door and window casings that don't match the period of the home. Additionally, lintels are needing to be installed over the windows in the original portion of the home.

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Below is the 1st floor front right room that will be the "adult" living room.

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From the doorway on the left side of this pic was a custom built walnut cabinet. While the cabinet was nice, it cramped the hallway and darkened the area tremendously. The fake beams were also aesthetically pleasing for someone in the past, however, their time was about up, along with the disco light. 

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This hallway has a full bath and pantry off of it and leads to where I'm at, with dad, that will be a reading room. The entryway that my dad is leaning on, leads to the kitchen.

Next is the front left room that will be for the kids to hang out and play games in when they are not doing chores and playing outside.kidsosm.jpg.dabb5f211e1f551de6a06f41dc252dea.jpg

Heading out to work on the house now. I'll update the renovations thus far this evening. 

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Man, the potential is awesome!!   Going to track this as you build.  Good on ya!! Beautiful place and location.  

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Nice I love old houses and I love the little river in the background.  Get the rods out.

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Yeah, what Jim said^^^!!!!

Great little slice of Va. there.

Looking forward to this thread :)

Best of luck.

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Wow, gorgeous house you have there. The potential is astronomical! Congratulations, good luck, and enjoy. I'll definitely be following this one along.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

 

Love old farm houses. 

My parents bought an old one after my brothers and I moved out to school. Original house built in 1680 and added onto through the years. Big fireplace in the kitchen with beehive, wide pine floors, hand hewn beams, etc. There was a barn attached in the mid 1800’s that my parents converted to a family room using a carpenter that specializes in antique renovation. 

They wound up selling after retirement to move to the Cape. 

From the google image below looks like the new owners are converting the detached barn into a living space. Was a 4 horse stable with an office upstairs. 

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Edited by PlumFishing
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The past few days have involved meeting with the electrician and the drywall guy. Many of the rooms are swirled plaster which is out of place so some of the walls are being ripped out know to recover for both the ease of running electrical lines and having smooth wall and ceiling throughout. We won't redo all of the walls just yet, but over the next few years, they will be replaced. 

The first room torn out was the kid's room with the drop ceiling covering a plaster and lath ceiling. This room had paneling on the walls above the chair rail and drywall below it. It's all gone now. IMG_2187.JPG.e280dd676fd59e6de7e26660895c3e31.JPG

 

Was interesting to see how far the beams were apart. Also, you can see it in the pics below that each individual floorboard on the 2nd floor is hand hewn for level. They appear as the gray areas on the floor boards in these photos.IMG_2186.JPG.2ffc2b6987d8d300aab5cf38e34f315e.JPG

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The wooden pegs providing tension on the fireplace timbers was a nice surprise to find. I wish there was a way to leave them exposed while still providing a finished look to the room. Does anyone have any ideas on that? I hate to cover them back up after they've been in the dark for 160 years! There are two other exposed fireplaces in the home.

The interior side of the brick walls are currently covered as seen above to seal out air and prevent the plaster covering the bricks from crumbling any further I'm guessing.

The other living room had a 3/4" tongue and groove ceiling that was covered by another drop ceiling. We would have liked tohave kept the t-n-g however it was dripping dirt and dust with each step it seemed and thus we choose to remove it. On a whim I asked my wife to post it on the book of faces for free, however, they would have to remove it themselves. Got a bite in a few hours and over the course of the next two days a husband and wife team removed it and are going to use it in their home. Free labor! IMG_2195.JPG.f4e0f8b52c0acc612b71c06e1d363e54.JPG

While that was taking place my dad and son worked on taking apart the walnut cabinet. This was great to see as while my dad is full of love he doesn't exactly do great around kids. This provided an awesome opportunity for them to bond as my son was eager to go back the next day to work with Grampie. IMG_2199.JPG.3af0c38a23b63cd7a16c0468014c6a31.JPG

When they pulled the paneling off the wall they found clapboard siding hiding behind it along with an old doorway. We are going to keep the clapboard siding exposed, clean it up, repaint it, and place a window of some sort with a light behind it were the door used to be as a focal point. We may use that area for "treasures" that we find on the property.IMG_2217.JPG.1260c3f2f60e9d70c5fcc4b86bfde02e.JPG

While the guys were downstairs doing demo work my wife had the girls upstairs repainting their bathroom.

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Next post we will talk about water. How beautiful it can be as a liquid and how much of a pain in the ass it can be when it turns into a solid.

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45 mins ago, Dewy said:

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Love it! :clap:  Love the house and the project :th:

 

How hard would it be to make a nice little wheel/spillway on your waterfall to power all your low voltage outdoor lighting...how cool would that be? :idea:  Or a grist mill ;)

 

TimS

 

 

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1 hour ago, bennie said:

Very nice,,,love it,,,I live in salem:)

Ha small world Bennie, we are in Botetourt.

47 mins ago, TimS said:

Love it! :clap:  Love the house and the project :th:

 

How hard would it be to make a nice little wheel/spillway on your waterfall to power all your low voltage outdoor lighting...how cool would that be? :idea:  Or a grist mill ;)

 

TimS

 

 

Tim it probably wouldn’t be that hard as the dam used to be part of a mill. I’ll get better picks, but the old wheel has fallen out and is laying at the bottom of the creek.

We are not sure what the old mill was used for but the beams do not have circular saw marks but rather vertical ones as used precircular saw days. The lumber may have came off of the property and the mill was possibly used to cut them. Pure speculation on our part mind you.

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Wow, that's some house and property! Congrats. The problem with leaving exposed joists in a 2 story house is noise, going both ways. Some people might tough it out till the kids are gone, then enjoy it. You weren't tempted to pull clean and replace that TnG ceiling? That's a nice artifact.  These old places are tough, you want to conserve what you can, but not die on that hill! Reconstructing the old window casings in one of my small 19th century rowhouses to original is like building furniture on the wall, one window takes 25 separate pieces of wood, not counting the blocking. I can't imagine what a carpenter would charge.

 

As for the waterwheel, hell, done right I'd think it could easily equal a solar setup, but you'd have to keep a closer eye on it as branches and such come floating down and jam it.

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Congrats that is an amazing property. There's not much worse  than plaster and lathe demo.  A few thoughts- you might want to check in with an architect to make sure those timbers are structurally sound and your ceiling is level.  Once you remove lathe there can be some movement in the floor above and the walls up and down if the house is most likely balloon framed.  You'll want to ensure the frame is sound before you start drilling holes for mechanical stuff.  In the old days they didn't care too much if the timbers were installed level and plumb as the plaster guy would make it look like what it wasn't.  Another thing to consider is  that over time the iron fasteners in your home have likely shrunken and might not be holding as well as they once did. Again, that is something to look into.  Old houses are really cool but they can be a nightmare..  You don't want to install nice finishes until the frame is solid since you've just removed a key component in the frame- the lathe.  

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Amazing stuff!!! Please keep the updates coming, and best of luck with this project and the amazing homestead you are creating for your family! 

Alan

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7 hours ago, Fly By Nite said:

There's not much worse  than plaster and lathe demo. 

Until you demo the portland cement based stuff with sand aggregate on metal lath. OMG, makes horsehair plaster on wood seem like child's play. Major reno in my building done around 1950 in that stuff. Good point about level timbers, I've had to do a lot of sistering and shimming after demoing plaster for drywall, and a lot of those plaster walls were never very straight or plumb to begin with!

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Beautiful place,  I am envious.   

 

Mary and I lived out at Painted Rock  back in the 90s for a couple of years and had a great time.   

 

Of all the places we've lived, Reno was our favorite.  20 minutes to the mountains or 20 minutes to the desert.    

 

Spent a lot of time chasing cuthroat on Pyramid Lake.   

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