Almost 200 year old house for sale - dirt cheap!

10:06 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
This is turning out to be an exciting week in our house. For the last couple of years, we have been muttering about how cold our living room feels and about the tiles that have been peeling off the floor. It has had white walls and a cobalt blue paint on the trim - very lovely, but very cold, which is not something you need more of here in Almost Canada. To top it off, we were in a hurry when we painted the blue trim and decided that it would only be temporary (6.5 years ago) so we did not properly prime the surface of the old paint. We just wanted to cover up the hideous dusty puke-rose color and thought for sure that we would have time and money to take the trim off and completely strip it before too long, as well as replace the cruddy homasote with real wall board and insulation and restore the room to something of its original beauty.

Yes, well. We were brand new homeowners back then; innocent, optimistic, clueless. Turns out we are going to add another layer of paint - but we will scrape and prime this time. The blue has steadily been peeling off since day 2.

So. Anyone who has done a paint job on an almost 200 year old house can tell you that the work is never straight forward. We took all the furniture out of the room and decided that we would remove the fake beams across the ceiling because they looked stupid and were falling apart. We had examined the room carefully and could not conceive of a good reason why the previous home owners would have put them in, besides an obvious obsession with the whole 1980's southwestern look. (Hence the hideous dusty puke-rose color on the walls and trim and the fake arches in the doorways. Why they had paired it all with a 1970's orange and brown shag carpet, I cannot fathom.) Turns out that the ceiling is comprised of homasote, too, and that the edges of the sheets are not really connected to anything. They are screwed in hither and dither along the breadth of the sheets but the edges are just sort of hanging out, begging for some sort of faux architecture to hide them.

Sigh. There's more. The previous home owners in their fit of south west obsession, plastered the walls and ceilings with that stuccoish, pebbley stuff and wrapped the ceiling and the walls all in it together. There is a nice little curve where they meet instead of a sharp corner with a bit of space for each segment of the house to wiggle around in. Of course there has been some cracking, especially in areas where the homaoste edges have sagged inside the faux beams. If we rip the ceiling out and replace it with wall board like normal homeowners would, we would also have to replace all of the walls. Our tax return $$ is gone so we will have to do a shoddy job of it and try to patch up the places where the homasote is crumbled or where the stucco stuff has cracked with spackling. This drives my husband crazy. If he had his way, he would have ripped out the stairs and several wall yesterday.

But - when it is done, it will look different and hopefully better than before. We'll be going for a paprika color on a couple of the walls paired with a buttery cream color on the others with a deep, dark aqua on the floors. That is unless someone contacts me and says they have $50,000 they want to spend on an old fixer upper with 4 acres in Fort Jackson, NY. In that case, we'll go buy a yurt and start working on building a straw bale home near grandma's!


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