Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?


October 10, 2001 - 11:24 a.m.

I love my house

And here it is:

This is the third house Iíve bought, and it is my favorite. Houses built in the 1920ís like mine were built to last, with steel beams in the foundations and rock lath and plaster on the walls. The bathroom in this place is original too, the ceramic tile floor is placed on a three inch poured concrete base. The cast iron tub is in need of a new finish though. I discovered a solid walnut staircase underneath the paint and carpet a few years ago. It refinished nicely. I also discovered maple hardwood floors underneath all the awful carpet upstairs. Itís too bad they were so sloppy with the paint. I expect the window trim is made of some nice hardwood, but I think Iíve inhaled enough lead based paint fumes in one lifetime. My refinishing technique involves a heat gun and a putty knife. Itís kinda fun once you get the hang of it. But for now, Benjamin Moore B2 white semi-gloss looks just fine.

The old girl does have her faults. The pipes are the original galvanized iron ones, so I have plenty of iron in my diet. Apparently a regular feature in Dutch Colonial homes is a balcony. Mine has rolled roofing on it, and Iíve been trying to tar the leaks shut for awhile. The solution is a new roof out on that part, but I need to put that off for awhile. I have hot water heat in this house (another first for me) and I like it just fine. It precludes central air-conditioning though. The boiler is a relic too. Itís a convection based system, no water pumps. The only moving part is the water: as it heats and cools, it flows. That probably explains its longevity. The coal doors have been cemented shut and the natural gas conversion unit looks like World War Two vintage stuff. The last furnace guy I had in here just shook his head. The old-timers recognize the Republic brand burner, wistfully. For a mere $5000, I could bring my heating system into the 21st Century. Maybe I could host a bake sale. Pray for it people, maybe I can get it through one more heating season.

Last winter I installed a dishwasher and a new countertop and stainless steel sink. I got really tired of hand washing dishes. I also repainted the walls and got rid of that awful ďrag-onĒ paint technique I put on about two years ago. It looked like a bad dream; Son1 said it looked like a huge scab. He was right. I wonít post a picture of the old finish, just in case you are eating while you read this. The new finish is much nicer, I spent an hour studying the color deck at Home Depot and came up with three colors that match the countertop and the appliances. Iím getting better at this.

If you have any ideas on how to make my house look better, simply write them down on the back of a $20 bill and mail them to me!







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