Enon Hall


These journal entries track our progress as we undertake our adventure of restoring this very old home. The main reason for keeping this journal on the web is that we have found that there are very few resources (books or websites) that follow all of the trials and tribulations of restoring an old home...from start to finish.

April 7, 2002

This was a weekend of unexpected progress.

Two guys came by the house looking for work Saturday afternoon. They offered to do some clearing. I didn't really have anything that I wanted to spend money on, so they pointed at the remaining asbestos shingles on the house and said, "We could finish taking those off...we do that." They gave me a good price for removing the rest of the shingles, hauling them away (including all of the ones I had bagged) and even removing the TV antenna from the chimney. "Go for it!" I said. They worked hard all day Sunday and finished it all. (All except the 1950s addition which has no other siding under the shingles. I'll remove those when I'm ready to re-side.

Didn't take them long to discover our turn-of-the-century law office entrance. In the 1950s the opening was filled with boards (with gaps between them) in order to have a nailing surface for the shingles. We covered it up with plastic sheeting until I can figure out how to handle this.

Great to see the TV antenna finally down (left chimney).

Meanwhile we were making progress inside in the downstairs bathroom. We found a 6' X 12' vinyl floor remnant for $30! We decided that ripping out the counter and replacing it with a pedestal sink would be cheaper than re-laminating the top and buying a new sink and faucet. It will also make the installation of the flooring much easier, and make the room look bigger and better.

Gay graciously offered to work on the window sash that I removed last weekend. She got it all scraped and primed and she's gonna try her hand at glazing it.

Before I can install the flooring I need to squeeze under that part of the house and see if I can shim up one section of the plywood subfloor that has dropped about 1/4" in one place where it butts with another sheet. -- Bill

April 14, 2002

I leveled up the bathroom floor today. This was my first venture under the 19th century portion of the house. A very tight squeeze as you can see from this photo William took of me emerging from the 19th century crawl space into the 18th century cellar.

That section of the house is in great shape structurally...everything is very sound. I love stumbling across old construction details like this pinned mortice and tenon joint.

With the subfloor leveled, we can install the vinyl flooring. We have also purchased our pedestal sink and new lighting. Gay put another coat of paint on the trim. I think it's all going to come together nicely. -- Bill

April 21, 2002

This weekend we all pitched in to work on the bathroom. First I had to move the cold water supply line for the sink about 6 inches to better conceal it behind the new pedestal. Then I installed the vinyl flooring. Went pretty well for a "first-timer." By the light of morning I had a couple glaring air bubbles, but I was able to slit the vinyl and slip some adhesive under these areas with a putty knife and then roll it back out smooth. No one will ever know. : )

With the toilet out, I replaced its old, drippy supply line while Gay and William cleaned up the toilet and replaced most of its parts and seals.

William even replaced the brass hinge hardware on the toilet seat with a new chrome hinge to match the new sink faucet.

Gay painted the radiator and helped me install the new sink. The only minor challenge was going from a 1 1/4" sink drain pipe into a 1 1/2" floor drain. After a quick trip to town I had the washer I needed to make the transition smoothly. With everything hooked up we gave it a test run and all the connections were drip-free. Usually my plumbing work requires a couple passes before all of the trickles are gone, but this job went perfectly!

We didn't get the toilet reinstalled because we were waiting for some joint compound to dry for sanding and painting where we had patched up a crack in the corner behind the toilet. But I set it it in place long enough to take the "almost after" photo below. We still need to install the shoe moulding around the baseboard, hang towel bars, and install a second ceiling light fixture like the one in the photo. We think the light fixture is really cool. It's black wrought iron and the globe looks like a candle. It doesn't put out much light though, so we're adding a second one.

(Oh, and Gay still needs to finish reglazing the window sash.)

For an ugly reminder of what this room looked like when we bought the house, roll your mouse over the photo above. (Those are old newspapers stuffed into the cracks around the window.)

Best part is this was a real low-budget job!

Vinyl floor remnant: $30
Pedestal sink: $110
Faucet: $30
Ceiling light fixtures ($20 each!): $40
New cabinet door pulls: $8
8' length of 5 1/2" baseboard: $10
Misc. materials (adhesive, paint, plumbing connectors, etc.): $100

TOTAL: $328 for a complete bathroom makeover!! -- Bill

April 28, 2002

We finished up the bathroom this weekend; shoe moulding, final painting, reinstalled the toilet, hung the mirror and towel bars, and installed the second ceiling light fixture. Looks good. Only mystery is why the sink drain pipe now gurgles loudly when we flush the toilet. Not sure what changed that would cause that.

Also installed a new porch light on the back porch.

The major accomplishment of the weekend was creating a new vegetable garden. I tilled it up on Saturday and Gay and William worked in it on Sunday planting tomato plants, and seeds for beans, corn, squash, etc. -- Bill

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