Posts tagged ‘foundation’

05/10/2011

Creepy Crawlies

I decided to get the house sprayed for termites. Yes, it looks like the termites have been hitting the studs as if they were a buggy McDonalds, and these hungry beasties have lots of trails leading up the root cellar walls, as seen in this post. None of this was particularly alarming to me. I mean the house is 100+ years old. They did not have Terminex back then, right? There is no way to tell if the damage is new or old, and luckily, none of it so far has been majorly structural. Which I credit to the beams and studs being twice the size that builders use now, and that the wood being harder wood than is used today. While I planned to have the house sprayed eventually, we were going to put this job on the  to do list  a little later.

This all changed when I walked in and found hundreds of tiny wings all over my bay window. After consulting the internet, and determining that these transparent offerings were not signs of more pleasant winged things, like butterflies or even fairies. They are definitely signs of live termites. According to Terminex, who came to give me an estimate today, termites have a frantic orgy, lose their wings, and then go to start up brand new colonies where they are kings and queens. While I appreciate the establishment of new societies and a system of government, I do not like them trashing my house with their destruction and orgies.So, they need to be eradicated. However, I’m not particularly that freaked out about them. I mean, no structural damage, and honestly, I was expecting some problems like this. Apparently this attitude is not the norm, and the Terminex guy expected more histrionics and drama when he gave me  this news. He told me that I didn’t scare easily, which was pretty amusing. I don’t think you can afford to be dramatic over every little thing when undergoing a massive renovation. It just ups the stress level, and drives you crazy. Ultimately, they are just tiny squatters, right? I just have to kick them out!

Image from Google images

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02/19/2011

Bark at the Moon: A Wolf Playlist

In celebration for getting the electricity turned on, so that I can actually listen to music as I clean, here is a wolf playlist of some of my favorites for you all to enjoy:

All these link to youtube videos, if you want to listen!

Wolf notepad that was in the house

1. Howl – Florence and the Machine – listen

2. The Lion and the Wolf – Thrice – listen

3. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran – listen

4. All Babes are Wolves – Spinnerette – listen

5. Wolfsblood – The Misfits – listen

6. Wolves at my Door – Converge – listen

7. Howlin’ For You – The Black Keys – listen

8. Werecat – Tiger Army – listen

9. Bark at the Moon – Ozzy Osbourne – listen

10. I was a Teenage Werewolf – The Cramps – listen

11. Falling in Love with the Wolfboy – The Magnetic Fields – listen

12. Werewolf – Cat Power – listen

13. Home – Leona Naess – listen

 

Thanks to my friends and my sister for helping find the songs. If you know any other good ones, please post them!

02/14/2011

On Support…and thanks!

Painted Brick Design in the Root Cellar

I’ve been talking to contractors this week about things like foundations, roof supports, lots of structural things. If the house isn’t properly supported, it will collapse. If you take down these porch posts to build a wall instead, you have to first build a temporary wall to support the roof, so it doesn’t collapse. I mean, common sense right?

Well the last few days, I’ve exactly how important those foundations and supporting walls can be. When we first purchased the house, there was some negativity. Lots of people said that it was too dirty,  too big of a job, and that we should just tear it down and put in something new like a modular home. Truthfully, it probably would be easier to do that. This house is going to take a lot of work, and a lot of time. I could get something new, and a modular home would be ready to move in quickly. Yet, for me, it would lack the soul. You see the thing about old houses is the character. Many people say that, and you think about the moldings and woodwork. I see it not only as that, but for the human element. Someone went to a lot of effort to create those old moldings. They laid the brick by hand, planed the wood, and created something, yes, charming. Part of the idea of character comes from the idea that someone, somewhere cared enough to do that work. This home was a place for them to live their lives, to see their children grow up. It was very much a labor of love, and a gesture of support to their family.

I didn’t think anyone would be that interested when we bought the house. Sure, it has a story, but its old and weird, too. I didn’t plan to blog about it, I didn’t really plan to talk about all this that much at all. From the very beginning, when I started telling my friends and family, they offered so much encouragement. They have helped me clean up, asked about my plans, told me to blog about it, and then offered supported for that. It is often a daunting prospect to redo this house. Its exciting and scary for me. I’ve never owned a house before, especially not one from the 1890’s with a close-to-leaking roof, cracked plaster, and no insulation. Yet, like me the house has a strong foundation and lots of support because someone cared. So what I’m trying to say in a really long-winded way is, thanks. Thanks for being supportive, and interested, and encouraging. You guys make me love my house even more, and I genuinely appreciate it.

Just as an example of how awesome these people really are, check out my friend Meghan’s blog ,  Sings the Magpie. She is awesome and hilarious and you should all read it!

Brick Found in the House, Stamped with the name of a company and "Trimble O".