Saturday, August 21, 2010

Old Homes Tour 2015?

If y'all make it down to Lexington's Old Homes Tour this year, I'll be volunteering at the Krum-Timmer House on Highland Avenue.  I'm looking forward to it because it's one of those houses that I've always wanted to peek inside.  I'll be there all afternoon on Sunday.  Incidentally, the house is for sale and you can get a teeny peek inside too by looking at the realtor's listing here.  The write-up for the Krum-Timmer House on the Lexington tourism website says that the current owner bought the house sight unseen from an internet real estate listing.  That's the third time in recent years that I've heard of that happening in my hometown. 

While I was talking to the Tourism Director on the phone, he asked me how things are going at my house.  I filled him in briefly on my current and future projects and he said, "Old Homes Tour 2015, maybe?"  I said, "You bet!"  That got me thinking....can I really finish my house, inside and out, by September of 2015??

The exterior's all but done, at least for now.  I need to paint two windows on the east side of the house and put a second coat of paint on the porch windows.  (Previously un-noticed until the Sgt. Major and I were sitting out there Tuesday afternoon and I noticed the black window trim looked a bit streaky.)  After that I need to go around with a critical eye and see what else I might have missed painting.  The picket fence needs staining and White Trash Bob says we should spray the stain so it's not such a time-consuming job.  Come spring, I'll start some landscaping, which will evolve and never really be finished.  That's one project I'm happy to work on for years and years.  And with that, the exterior's complete.  Unless I win the Powerball, in which case I'll buy reproduction iron roof cresting, rebuild the porch roof to mimic what it looked like originally, replace the porch posts with architectural salvage, and put imbricated shingles back on the bay roofs.  Yeah, don't count on any of that.

The interior is a horse of a different color.  A color closely resembling disaster.  There are small projects:  finish painting the second parlor, hang the last little piece of backsplash in the kitchen (which I bought two years ago and have never cut), find the perfect chandelier for the dining room, and replace the front storm door.  There are medium projects:  finish the wallpaper (half done) in the dining room, remove the painted-over wallpaper from the entryway and front parlor, put up picture rail in the front parlor, and paint and/or paper the entryway and front parlor. 

And then there are three big projects:  refinishing the floors in the whole house, renovating the bathrooms, and doing something about the back bedroom.  The floor refinishing someone else will do, but it will be a big project in terms of money.  The bathroom renovation will be a gigantic project that will cause a cascade of small and medium projects and no doubt cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  It's not just fixing up the bathroom, you know—it's first deciding what to do about that tiny little hallway bathroom, then gutting the existing bathroom and replacing flooring and putting up beadboard and laying tile and installing all new fixtures and tearing out that old shower which means the porch floor and ceiling will have to be re-done and the back door can finally be moved.  The back bedroom, which I have scarcely previously mentioned here because it's horrific and I pretend it doesn't exist, has a floor of scraps of plywood that don't quite fit together, 1970s-era icky paneling over the original plaster walls (which I suspect are not intact) and a dropped ceiling with acoustic tiles.  Thinking about that room gives me fits.

I just re-read those last two paragraphs.  Lordy be, I think I'd better get started...


  1. I like goals, it keeps me focused. Take that list and break your projects down by year then by month. Maybe it won't look so overwhelming that way. And tell WTB you have until 2015 to get these jobs done....maybe he'll give you a hand. ;D
    Keep us never know, one of us might show up and give you a hand!

  2. I just read what I wrote, do I sound bossy or what?

  3. I love that ironwork in the old pic. Maybe if you can't do the whole thing, you could just do the part on the front window? It's so eye catching.

    2015...sounds like a's good to have a goal!

  4. Your back bedroom sounds a lot like my living room/dining room. Except I don't even have plaster under the paneling.

    I was looking at the 1906 photo - what happened to the chimneys? Were there fireplaces, no longer existent?

  5. Milah--Not bossy, just organized! That's something I need to learn!!

    Pedalpower--I love it too, and I really wish it was still there....maybe someday.

    Karen Anne--We've been trying to figure that out too. Read my newest post for the answer. :)

  6. Jayne:

    I've been reading the previous posts over at the "Simpson's Folly" blog and ran across this post after reading yours mentioning roof cresting. I don't know if they still have it or even how much they'd want for it, but maybe you could work out something.

  7. Hi Jayne
    First... thank you for visiting our blog,, and for your kind words and wishes!
    Second... I have been going through your blog and love the way you write!
    Love the door story and WTB of course!

    Healdsburg also has a yearly home tour run by a busy body womens organization to raise money for college scholarships... actually its more about patting themselves on the back about what a wonderful job they are doing!!!
    We began the restoration of our home only one year ago and last March the "ladies who lunch' paraded up to our front porch one evening and asked if we would please be on the home tour. Well, you can imagine the look on our face! But believe it or not, we were on the home tour in May. A tour of the ruins and the renovation touted as before and after, with after being next May... really its going to be more like, before, during, and after, with perhaps a few more durings thrown in there. Folks in town have been chomping at the bit for years to get inside our house and this would be their opportunity. They sold a huge number of tickets surpasing anything they had ever sold and folks were lined up down the street out in front of our house...

    There were lots of other stories involved that are a good laugh now, but were not so funny then, including me telling the organization to take a flying leap two weeks before the tour... but all water under the bridge now.

    The point of my rambling is, don't be afraid of the tour and how people will judge you, just go for it and enjoy the ride... so what if you are not finished, or serve the proper tea, or happen to have "those window dressings, can you believe she has those window dressings?, oh my... "

    Like my Dad used to say...
    "If they don't like it they can go up the street"

    My best!

  8. Hi Jayne
    First, thank you for visiting our blog
    and for your kind words and wishes!

    Second.... Home tours...
    Healdsburg also has a yearly home tour sponsored by a a bunch of busy body women who call themselves a "League". They run the home tour to raise scholarship money for local girls wanting to go to college, but its really more of an opportunity to pat themselves on the back and say how wonderful each other are!
    We started renovations almost exactly one year ago this month, and last March the "Ladies who Lunch" arrived on our doorstep one evening. Please be a part of our home tour they pleaded. Both Phillip and I looked around the ruins and shrugged our shoulders.

    To say the least, in May we were put on the home tour as a before and after... meaning that next year will be the after.... more like the during if you want to know the truth, with the after somewhere down the road. Our house is locally famous as the big abandoned, 140 year old house two blocks off the town square, and everyone wants to see inside of it. The Ladies League sold more tickets than they ever had before and folks were lined up down the street outside of our house for hours.

    There were quite a few dramatic moments leading up to it including me telling the "Ladies" (used loosely here) to take a flying leap two weeks before the event.

    My point is... A home tour can be exciting and don't worry about being finished or ready! Do what you can and have fun. For those that are going to walk through your house and judge you...
    In the words of my late father...
    "if they don't like it, they can go up the street!"

    My best!
    And I have a mysterious chimney story too...

  9. Jayne
    Well... leave it to blogger....
    I wrote the first long comment and hit post... only for the browser to tell me there was an error and my comment was too long!

    I came back just now to rewrite it, did so and posted it to your blog...

    and lo and behold, there is the original one after all...

    Sorry for the double up and it is interesting to see how I write and rewrite something an hour apart!

    My best