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07/07/2010

The Good and Bad of Old Houses

Cody's parents live in an old 100+ year old house. They live in a little Texas community, the same community his family has lived in for generations.

We headed out to Cody's parents over the weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July, but to also put in a new shower. The bathtub had been there since Cody's Mom moved into the house (when she was just a little girl) and it needed to be replaced.

Cody and his Dad thought it would be an one-day project, but I guess with any old house, you really don't know what you're going to find--and that was definitely the case for this project.

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They pulled out the bathtub and shower surround and took up the sub-floor that was not in good shape. They were going to replace all the sub-floor and walls (old homes don't have drywall, they just have wood walls).

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On strict orders from Cody's Mom, they needed to move the water from one wall to the other (we all agreed it would look better anyway). In the process the cold water line underneath the house broke in half (the old metal pipes are original and it didn't take much pressure for the rust to just snap it in half). The floors are also not square (again, life in an older home) which caused some issues with attaching the shower walls to the shower floor.

All the problems aside, it was pretty interesting to see what was behind the shower.

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An old home has the wooden framing, with wood just nailed over it--no insulation of any kind. The coolest part was seeing all the found wood they used to cover the walls. Wood of all thicknesses, knots included, was used. Then there was this fabric wallpaper that was tacked onto the wood walls. I'm sure you could have literally seen the air blowing in through the wallpaper on a windy day.

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The find of the day was the BEAUTIFUL bead-board that is in perfect condition, hiding under the ceiling tiles. Once Cody and his dad removed the staples, it looked just awesome. Blew me away that it was ever covered up.

Good of old houses: the history, workmanship, use of found materials, etc.

Bad of old houses: lack of insulation, nothing is square (they didn't have levels back then), pretty much everything needs to be replaced, etc.

I was on the "good" side this weekend while Cody was on the "bad." Probably because I wasn't the one doing the work, just taking pictures!

Comments

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Amazing detail. I love the bead board. Did they leave that showing?

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