Monday, October 18, 2010

A fuTILE attempt...

...at making a funny title for this post. Other contenders? "A genTILE bedroom renovation" and "ErecTILE dysfunction". Obviously, this was the clear winner.

Anyhow, we've undertaken a small tile project in our master bedroom. The previous tile, although probably original to the house, was cracked, filthy, and falling off/gone. And although we love preservation, it was too far gone. So, Russell chipped all the old tile off (and uncovered some artifacts in the process....more on that another day). Now, we're in the process of laying new, beautiful, robin's egg blue glass tile.

Here's the before shot (after removing the old tile)



And during....




Not bad, eh? More pictures coming soon!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Famous Last Words


"I'll update tomorrow"....right....

So, I'm not so great at blogging everyday! But, I'm working on it :)

Well, our wonderful friend Jon came out to the house and assessed our toilet situation after the quote came back at a whopping 3K. We (he) pulled the toilet and looked at the subfloor underneath. The verdict: not rotten. Whew! So, after some fanagling with wax rings, we are leak free! We still need to replace the 4 tiles that surround the toilet, as they got damaged in the process, but it's much better than replacing the ENTIRE floor, as the HEP guy wanted us to.

So, people keep asking me what project we're on now, and the answer is....we're not. School started and life got MUCH faster then it was over the summer. We're barely making it through the workday, let alone jumping into a project every night. I guess this was one of those "romanticized house fantasies" yours truly may have indulged in before we bought this place. I guess I envisioned myself happily scraping paint every night while, I don't know, the cats lazed by the fire? Yeah, not so much. But, I'm determined to get back on the house. So, here are my 2 choices:
1. Finish scraping the paint around the front door and refinish the wood underneath. Not gonna lie, I've given up the dream of scraping all the white paint in the house.
2. Knock down the old closet which is now the doorway to the guest bedroom. This will require some demo, and some drywall, which I have zero experience with and Russell, even less than that, if possible :)
3. Replace the broken tiles around our bedroom fireplace with new, sexy blue glass tiles.

Whaddya think?

Monday, August 2, 2010

My little money pit

Our laundry room ceiling has always (well, since we've moved in), had a water stain on it. Obviously there was repair done at some point,because it's a small drywall patch. But over time, it's become water stained. This is not good. We assume it's from the toilet in our only bathroom (There is a 2nd toilet, but it's on Damien's side)

So, we called in a plumber from "Hep" and found out that instead of a minor plumbing fix on the toilet, we're in for a bit of a renovation. He suspects this leak, whether existing or previous, damaged the subfloor beneath the toilet, 'causing the tile around it to crack. This means we'll have to replace the subfloor and the tile. Worst case scenario is the floor joist underneath has been compromised and we'll have to replace that too. Let's hope not, eh? :) His actual words to me: "If you put someone fat on there, they'd fall right through the floor!". Grrrreeat...

Which, brings me to my Christmas list this year:
1. Money
2. Money orders
3. Visa giftcards
4. Cash
5. Checks
6. Foreign currency to be exchanged
7. Winning lottery tickets
8. Credit cards in my name, billing address: yours.

I'll update when we hear the verdict tomorrow!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our house is newsworthy!

Well, it was in 2006!

Here is an article in the Metropulse featuring our house. There's also a great picture, bur of course it's not on this link and my scanner and computer currently have issues they just can't seem to resolve. I'm workin' on it!




http://www.metropulse.com/news/2006/aug/17/urban_renewal-2006-33/

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Perks of downtown living

One of the perks of our new neighborhood is it's proximity to the Fellini Kroger. Russell disagrees. Actually, he sees this as a bit of a problem. In case you're not familiar, Fellini Kroger is actually just a standard Kroger, less than a mile from our house. It gets it's nickname from the assorted characters you might meet there and their likeness to characters in a certain Italian director's art films.

Well, I had my first Fellini experience 2 weeks ago. It was late- maybe 10 pm- and I decided I needed a snack. We'd just moved in, so the cupboard was bare. I headed out to Kroger- Russell declined the invitation, 'cause he's afraid. :) Everything was normal, until I got to the check out. I'm finishing up, I turn to leave, and there, in my path, is what I can only describe as a scuba diver wearing spelunking gear. Yup. Full body wet suit/leotard (?), big yellow helmet with flashlight on the front, boots, and a fanny pack. Oh, and all of this is on a man who has to be at least 80 years old.

And yesterday, I saw a van parked in the Fellini Kroger parking lot. It was some kind of business- construction or plumbing or whatnot. And on the back of it read "Git R Done with Jesus". Now, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't be up for that kind of shenanigans.

I love my neighborhood :) :) :)

Our house, is a very very very old house

Well, we're in the middle of a lot of projects over here at McCurdy house! The master bedroom ceiling plaster was replaced with drywall last week. However, in the process, they ruined the floors (which were already 95% ruined), so now we're looking for someone to refinish them! I (Becca) thought I could do it myself, and really, probably can, but may as well get some quotes, right?

Other then that, a lot of painting, sanding, and general cleaning has been the norm around here. I'll post pictures once there's an exciting "after" shot. Right now, it's just a mess :)

However, my awesome mom used her private investigator skills to rustle up some information on the former owners! Seriously, if mom ever quits her day job, the FBI could use this woman. She knows things....maybe too much, if ya get my drift...

She found out that the house was originally 1354 Armstrong Ave, not Thompson place. We've wondered if the current "side" door is actually the original "front" door. Still not sure, but this does make it interesting!

Here's the list of all previous residents with only a couple gaps left to fill in. Owners are above, with the years owned in parentheses

Coykendall "era" (1901-1916)
1903-1904 Edward Coykendall, manager of the Fountain Head Railroad (aka the "Dummy line" or the railway that ran between Downtown and Fountain City!)
1905- Strangely, C.M. Allen (engineer at H.W. Curtis- on this listing, the address is also referred to as 130 Thompson Place) is listed as the resident, but in 1906, it returns to Coykendall. A renter for one year?
1906-1912- Edward Coykendall
1913- L.F. Thompson (the road's namesake? Interesting...)
1915- Vacant
1916- J.F. Fonville- travelling salesman

Hahn (1916-1932)
1921-1932 G.R. Hahn (dispatcher for the Southern Railroad)

VanHoosier (1932--?)
1933-1943- Mrs. G.H. VanHoosier (assistant manager for Lerner Shops)
*1936: 2nd floor is rented to C.Halladine Kerr- a salesman for Albert Burkhart Furniture. This is the first listing for the "2nd floor"--does this mean the house was divided in the 30's?? :)
*1941- 2nd floor is rented again, to Jason Crawford


1944- W.J. Hale (U.S. Navy) and renter C.F. Black (listed at 1354 1/2)
1947-1949- C.R. Mahood (student), Miss Pauline Jones (registered Nurse) and Dr. and Mrs. Margaret Harvey (also a registered nurse)
19??- 1951- T.R. Ousley (salesman)
1952-1962- Miss C.B. Sweeney (teacher at West High School)
1963-1964- Miss Ethel Vinson
1964-1965- Vacant
1965-1968- B. G. Johnson (cameraman at Knox Blueprint and Supply Co)
1968-1970- Vacant
1970-1971- Mrs. J.S. Bean (nurse technician at St. Mary's)- 2nd Floor Vacant. (This is what the listing says, however the house is currently divided in half, not by floors...hmmmm....)
1971-1974- Vacant
1974-1977- K.W. & Catharine Clayton (teacher)
1977-1983- Berean Bible Church (Sunday School Annex!!! I love this!!)
1983-1984- Joe and Mary Castillo (commercial artist)
1984-1993- Marshall Cabell, Anthony Krakoviak, and Steven Scagliotta (owners)
1993-1994- Brenda Jarrard (owner)
1994-1997- Dennis and Patricia Earl (owner)
1997-2000- Mark and Susan Davis (owner)
2000-2008- Michael Branam and Thomas Havesy (owner)
2008-2010- Patrick and Caroline King (owner)
2010 - ? - us!! :) : ) :)

So, some interesting tidbits from this list: First, the longest ANYONE haslived in this house is 10 years. That's not very long! Second, it was vacant quite a few times--I'm wondering if the attic fire was in 1971, causing the 4 year vacancy immediately after.

And in closing, I have to tell you that as I type this, it is MONSOONING. This is unfortunate, as I painted the porch this morning :( Wonder how long after painting a porch can be rained on? Heck.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My first post


Hello world!

This blog is set up to keep our friends and family updated on our renovation projects at McCurdy House. We hope to post pictures and stories periodically.

So, a little background in case you're new to our story. Actually, we're new to it to, since it kinda just started. Russell and I got married about a month ago- June 5, 2010. After a fantastic honeymoon to Disneyworld, we bought out first house.

A little background on the house- well, as much as we know so far- it's about 100 years old, built either in 1900 or 1910*. (*Update: 1903) The style is American Foursquare, although it's missing the typical broad front porch that stretches across the front facade of the house. Ours covers a little more then half. It's currently divided into a duplex. We're not sure when that happened- either during the Depression or the 70's are our guesses, but those are totally unfounded. For this first year, we're renting "Apartment 2" (re: half our house) to a good friend, Damien Rose, and his pony sized dog, Tundra.

In total, the house has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 kitchens, 2 living rooms, 0 dining rooms, 0 laundry rooms, and 3 porches, all of which need work in some way. Structurally, it's very sound: brand new roof, good foundation, solid electrical and plumbing. Cosmetically, another story. The exterior needs a complete face lift: replacing/restoring the wood siding, same for the wood windows, new paint, new porches. The interior layout will need to be reworked when we return it to a single family house. Nearly all the moldings and fireplaces have been painted white, so we'll strip that. The floors need to be refinished. A new kitchen, w/d room, and downstairs bathroom need to be built. Many of the plaster walls need to be replaced or repaired.

So, we've got a lot of work to do! But we're in it for the "long haul" and we're not in a rush. One room at a time. :)