Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Before and After - Part 1

I've had several requests for before and after photos of the improvements to the farm. Alas, I didn't take any photos of the worst places in the house because, I think, I only wanted people to have a good impression of my purchase. But I dug through my old photos and managed to find these which will give you an idea of some of the improvements. I'll divide them into two posts.

Let's start with the upstairs of the farm house, though no one had used it in decades. The bathroom was totally nonfunctional and the widow who owned the place simply put her bed in the living room and stayed downstairs.

There are three bedrooms upstairs and this is the northeast room. It had walls of crumbling plaster covered with peeling wallpaper. There was a tiny wooden closet built in one corner. It had a ceiling light of the old pull-chain variety. Then Rick began working on it. Now it has smooth plaster walls, wall switches, no closet interfering with the door and a light/ceiling fan. He also squared up the window frames and modernized the wiring:

The other small bedroom in the northwest corner, was in even worse shape. Today it is bright and cheery. The ratty old carpeting was removed and the wide old planks leveled, anchored, stabilized and painted. As in the previous room, the wiring, lighting, plaster and window frame were modernized:

If you've followed this blog for a while, you already know about the rough addition on the rear of the farm house. When I bought it, it had only the basic framing, missing windows and no access to the south side of the house where the driveway is located. Today, the main house is rented to the best tenants in the world and the the addition on the back of the house is an apartment where I can stay whenever I drive up for a visit:

The farm house kitchen was a rather pleasant place from the beginning, though it was deteriorating in many ways. Though we repainted it, we kept the basic color scheme. In this first photo, the cabinets and door have already been rebuilt and repainted but you can see the old island, floor and sink. Rick installed a new sink, new floor tiles, and a ceramic tile counter top:

When I purchased the place, the kitchen wall was a confusing array of dysfunctional cupboards and a window looking into the addition on the back. Rick moved the stove, rebuilt the cabinets, rewired the electrical outlets and put in more lighting:

The house already had a new steel roof and insulated windows when I bought it. But the old shingled exterior was in very poor shape and had broken and missing tiles in places. I found a local man who installed vinyl siding and he included many extras in the job like repainting trim and boxing in the eaves in the rear. The big maple in front of the house and also two of them to the left of the house have now been removed as they would have been a distinct threat in the event of an ice or wind storm:

I didn't think I'd be able to do anything much to the old barn, but Rick rebuilt all 32 of the windows, more than half of them from scratch. He also reattached the giant old beam in the hayloft, which stabilized the structure:

I'll post more before and after photos tomorrow.

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