10:56AM | 04/23/05
Member Since: 04/22/05
3 lifetime posts
I just discovered that I have indeed purchased my dream home. I have an 1856 colonial revival home that was remodeled in the 70's (you can imagine!) and I want to return it to the proper style. It is vinal sided OVER BRICK! I have already discovered 2 door ways and 8 windows that were covered up by a previous owner and I think there are at least 2 walls that don't belong. I would love to find an original blueprint and restore the house but there isn't one available. I can only imagine what else there may be to discover but I don't know where to start. I am afraid that on a tight budget, I may only end up removing work that I had already done to restore another room. If anyone could recommend a good starting point, I would greatly appreciate it. Keep in mind though, I'm married and my wife won't let me pull down drywall just to see what's behind it (which I have done while she has been away and repaired before she came home).


11:31AM | 04/23/05
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Redbeard,

Congratulations on your find! This is the kind of post I love to read. So I generally feel compelled to answer. I should mention that I'm not a pro--but that should not always be held against someone :)

Sounds like a previous owner was hornswoggled into the vinyl siding. Those salespeople can really be the worst.

I would think you could do this on a budget. Also, restoration is great, but it can be quite expensive and labor intensive. And I think it can have pitfalls. (Such as, some folks will spend hundreds of hours restoring old windows. And after it's all done, they still have drafty, rattley, inefficient old windows. Not that there's anything wrong with that--but I think restorers can get carried away--and some historic neighborhoods mandate this level of detail.)

If it were mine, I'd lose the vinyl in a hurry. Be prepared for a few surprises--but hopefully there won't be many. Hopefully the "vinyl victims" were just suckered and there wasn't anything major wrong.

You should be commended on your quick drywall repairs! You should consider your wife's feelings, however--in that not a whole lot of exploratory surgery may be really necessary. Besides, what do you know about the home's electrical, plumbing and insulation? Were these updated as part of the misguided '70s remodel? You might not need to pull down drywall unnecessarily.

Interesting about all the old doors & windows. I once had an old house where I'd found previous owners had moved a door or two. I think they did it to change the 'flow'--e.g., to access the bathroom from the master bedroom instead of the hallway. It was just a more modern way of thinking. Perhaps your previous occupants had similar motives?

Keep us posted, OK? This is an interesting one!


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


04:26PM | 04/25/05
Member Since: 04/22/05
3 lifetime posts
I have found out from a neighbor that the brick was repointed before the siding was put up but it was a soft brick, not too sure what that means. The siding people nailed furring strips onto the brick so I am going to have holes to fix in the exterior walls. The drywall actually conceals false walls. What I mean by that is instead of chasing the new wiring through the old walls and repairing the plaster, they built new 2x4 framed walls to cover it all. The interior walls that are on the exterior sides were plastered over the brick and offered no place to run wiring. I understood the false walls here but not in every room. I figured that in each room I have lost about 10" of room space, and did I mention the drop ceilings? The only original things that I have found so far are a few pieces of baseboard moulding and one 4 panel door. At least this will help in the restoration. The one window that I had opened, I discovered that they were arched on top and it was a 6 over 6 light sash. The wife was OK with me checking out this one, it was in a walkin closet we were re-doing the was once a sleeping porch off the master bedroom. Thanks for the interest everyone. Matt


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