Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Home designs by George F. Barber

Check out my new website featuring the wonderful designs of George F. Barber houses in the links to the right. I will be adding more as time permits.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hall Bath Facelift

Christie here.

Well, since the porch seems like it's going to take the rest of our lives, I decided to get in a side project while waiting for Donnie to finish his outside repairs.
Here's where that project started:
Take one dark bathroom that was originally a closet and add wallpaper that isn't pattern matched and flooring that is badly laid over an existing floor and you have one nice nerve-jarring experience for a brown recluse-fearing perfectionist.
I couldn't stand it anymore, especially when I could see there was wallpaper just calling me to give it a pull and I obliged.
Of course what was under the paper was a problem which I already knew, but ya gotta start somewhere.
I started by getting the adhesive and the broken chnks of mirror off the wall behind the toilet with a heat gun. It did pretty good and I was done with that in no time.
Please note that adhesive is flammable. Be careful if you use the heat gun on it. Also, there's no telling what kind of toxins were released when the heat was applied.
The next step was to primer the beadboard. I used Zinsser shellac-based primer. More brain-toasting toxic fumes were inhaled in this enclosed space no doubt.
Next on the list was to line the beadboard wall with liner paper. There was only one wall in the room that was beadboard and not in nice enough condition to paint. Behind that wall is a mountain of blown-in insulation. The wall could have been replaced, but the problems outweighed the benefits, so it seemed ridiculous to consider replacing it.
Liner paper hangs horizontally across the grooves in the beadboard. I used the heavy fiberous type that comes prepasted
Once the liner paper is dry, I primed the paper and the other two walls.
Shellac-based primer dries quickly. Once it was dry, I started working on floating the plaster walls and ceiling.
When the floating was completed, sanded, refloated, etc. I put another coat of primer on it before painting the whole room in a color of the background shade of the wallpaper I would be using. This is not necessary, but helps mask any paper shrinkage at the seams.
After painting the trim, then came the installation of the wallpaper.
Thought I'd try something different with fabrics. Actually, I had something else in mind, but the sheer will do for now and helps make the weird angle of the stairs above the toilet go away.
Well, that was better, but the floor under the floor wasn't is finishing shape, so to keep out the spiders, drafts, and dirt catchers, I culked the cracks between the boards, primed, and painted it in 2 coats of oil base.
It'll do for now. I doubt that this is the finished product, but I can finally stand to go in there.
. . . .Now if the toilet only flushed on the first try!
I suspect that's on one of our lists for tomorrow.
More to come later when I get a break from the porch again.

Attic Window

Here's one of the attic windows that started out like this:

And believe it or not, this is the same window!

A pain, but worth it.

Post Restoration

The turned porch posts on the north side of our home had seen a lot of bad weather in the last century and had the scars to prove it. A lot of fairly shallow rot had taken away their beauty but thankfully not the integrity. The center post was the worst with missing sections of the turned part, plus the lower notches were all eat away and I had to make a 4in section for the bottom which had completly rotted away. I first dug out all the rot using a screwdriver and other small tools including a fine tooth blade from a reciprocating saw that worked very well for scraping the soft wood away and leaving a rough surface for the fillers to adhere to. Then we coated it with a thinned varnish to penetrate and seal the dry wood. I then drilled small shallow holes in the rotted section where the filler is to be applied so as to pack the filler into the holes and really give it a grip on the post. On a larger section of rot on the square part, I used an epoxy filler first as it cures slowly to give greater adhesion. Later I started using a two part filler similar to auto body filler. It dries fast and you can get to work on it quicker. I found that by using a square and making reference lines around the post it is easier to get the details mor exact. I filled and sanded the turned section first. It tood all day sanding and adding more filler then sanding again until I got the profiles just right. Sometimes I had to spray on some primer to see how it looked, the primer shows up any waviness, then sand some more until finished the lower notches on the outside of the post were completly gone so I filled the void completly and used my refrence marks and a hand saw to create the straight upper and lower lines. Then I used an abrasive wheel on a drill do grind out the center. Oh how I would love a Dremel! @With that done I went over everything looking for missed nail holes and pits and primed it all. Then christis puts a coat of paint on and I can`t believe it turned out so good. She will put on three coats of oil base paint and it should last a good long time.

Elegant Stairway

After living a year and a half I still cant get over the wonderful architecture of the house. The staircase is the first thing you see as you enter the foyer. It captures your attention and draws you into the hallway so it can show off its beautfuly turned baulisters and golden oak woodwork as it acends hevenly and out of sight. I never tire of looking at it and only when I have to go upstairs which is seldom do enjoy the openness of the stairwell and the view into the second parlor. It is functional yet it is designed to impress all who enter. It also said much of the original family who chose such a centerpiece for the home. I can only imagine what the rest of their furnishings would have been like in order to compete. Ok now the daydreaming`s over and time to get to work before Christie catches me slacking! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

She is really amazing!

My wife`s work is absolutely gorgeous! Her painting is outstanding. She has lots of paitience with these things. Now shes refinishing and reglazing the attic windows. The outside of them was in really poor shape with very little glazing intact. Part of the styles had rotted away and she made repairs that look great. The frames were treated with varnish to help with the dry wood then stained and finished on the inside and painted gloss black on the outside like the rest of the sashes will be. the windows were cleaned with paint stripper to get all the old paint and glazing off then put back and glazed with regular putty the old fasioned way. I also made screens for these windows while they are out.

More finish work

We have gotten more painted. It takes a long time because you have to let the different colors dry before you can paint the next one. I have been repairing the posts on the north side which had the worst rot. I will be so glad when these are done. North side of foyer has been repaired and I`m replacing the siding on the lower section, the verticle beadboard. It was rotted very badly , and I was lucky to have the old pantry/laundry covered in the same board so I started removing it this morning. Surprizingly it came off very well with very little splitting. Now the wall will look much better and last a lot longer as well. The pantry also has some of the OG lap siding on the outside That I can get for other aeras. The pantry is on the back of the house and I may use the Hardieplank to replace the siding on it. Well, Back to work!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rot Repaired

Now I`m ready to put the trim and posts back. Everything is in solid shape and should be OK for he long run as long as somebody keeps a good roof on it.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Here`s a look at Christie`s cut in work. She is also reglazing the windows and the sashes will be painted black.


This is where I learn to use my self control! I had to replace part of the front porch floor that was so shakey when we were married on it that I was really worried that the Pastor, Christie and all surrounding would fall thru it! While doing this I had to remove some of the lower sections of vynil siding. When Christie saw what was behind it the decision was made to start the paint job on the porch and move around the house from there. Using a heat gun we started stripping the trim which took off all paint down to a red stain. The wood was in beautiful condition, with very little damage and really crisp edges. The siding is a narrow poplar with an O G milled on the lower edge, really beautiful, with the only damage being from the vynil siding nails driven into it. It had something different under the paint before you get to the red stain (which is on every peice of the house) that might be a paint or a primer. Sort of kacki color and very gummy when you hit it with a heat gun. It was holding on well so we decided to leave it and just prime. We had picked our colors and tried them out on a back wall and were very happy with the look. A golden tan for the body, Burgundy for the trim and a green for the doors and verticle siding. Then we decided on a blue for the porch ceiling, starting with a light blue but ending up with a medium blue with the same value as the other colors. While paint the ceiling we found a bit of rot next to the front door. After a closer look I decided there might be some framing trouble so I started with the roof and found a large section of missing flashing hidden under the vynil siding on the balcony above. I also found rotted wooden shingles , so off with the roof surrounding the balcony and the siding around the balcony itself. Found a rotted joist in the porch roof next to the front door. The porch had droppe about 2" at this point. I ripped off the old roof and wooden shingles which were loaded with termites. added new 1"by 8" decking and new shingles and flashing. Also redoing the crown moulding on the edge of the roof. Part of the soffitt on the porch was rotten too so I also replaced thad and shimmed everything to plumb.