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.

July 2, 2000

Another day of demolition. Pulled up the rotten flooring and joists from the porch then moved on to the old kitchen addition. The demolition went pretty quickly and by 3pm I had the addition reduced to the framing.

(These pictures are fuzzy because William was taking pictures yesterday when we were out sailing and apparantly left a kidprint on the lens. Oh well.)

Firring strips had been installed over the clapboards and then drywall was added on top of them. I think my favorite part of the restoration so far has been exposing the old clapboards from beneath newer materials like asbestos shingles and drywall.

The top sash of the window in the library had actually been framed into the ceiling of this addition.

The back of the house is starting to look dramatically different. A neighbor from up the creek stopped by this afternoon and commented, "Things are looking better already." He is definitely a man of vision because we are certainly in the "it's gotta look worse before it can look better stage."

Next challenge...finding somebody to haul away the monstrous debris pile. I have been trying for a month to get somebody to deliver a dumpster, to no avail. I've been told to expect difficulties like this in lining up subcontractors in this area. Everybody keeps reminding me that this is "the land of promise...they promise to come, but they never do." -- Bill

July 8, 2000

The rest of the kitchen addition came down today. What a great feeling to stand back in the yard and see this eyesore gone! Well, actually the eyesore has just been transformed into a different eyesore...the ever-growing pile of construction debris. Several companies were supposed to give me prices this week for hauling it away...but no word.

I started the day today by killing the remaining electrical in the addition, then moved to the roof where I shed the top layer of shingles. Then with a borrowed reciprocating saw (Thanks Scott! Boy, I gotta get me one of these!) I cut the plywood sheathing into manageable sections that I could pry up and heave down onto the pile. I then moved inside the addition and took everything else down with the sledgehammer. The only incident was when I fell through a rotten spot in the floor and gouged up my leg pretty good.

Once I had everything removed I covered the back of the house with plastic sheeting to protect it from the elements. Where clapboards are missing the backside of the drywall is exposed to the world.

The plan from here is to continue moving down the back of the house, removing the remainder of the asbestos shingles and the dog house addition over the cellar entrance. (This will eventually be converted to trapdoors.) Once everything is stripped off, we can better assess the sill and determine whether any work is needed there. Then we will remove all of the clapboards, cover the framing with 1/2" plywood and then install beaded cedar clapboards to match the front of the house. Right now the clapboards on the rear of the 18th century section are a mix of original beaded clapboards on the far right and later 19th and 20th century clapboards on the left.

Gay re-screened the kitchen door to keep out the insects. William supervised all activities, as usual. -- Bill

July 16, 2000

Compared to past weekends, we took it pretty easy today. We tore out some nasty shelving from inside the dining room pantry and scrubbed the wood floor in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Spent a good bit of time just milling around, measuring, and talking about possibilities for the future. For the first time, we raised the shades in the law office all the way to reveal the full height of the windows. The view across the fields is breathtaking from up there. -- Bill

July 23, 2000

A million thanks to Mark Dameron and his son who hauled away our pile of construction debris this week! Now I have the room I need to actually start rebuilding the porch floor. This weekend was filled with a lot more goofing off than construction accomplishments. We kayaked, we boated, we assembled a picnic table (our guests will no longer need to bring their own!), and one year after we closed on Enon Hall, we finally put our name on the mailbox. -- Bill

July 30, 2000

This weekend we painted the kitchen. It looks much better and is certainly a whole lot cleaner, but we're still fighting the battle of the "big stink." We thought maybe the paint would lessen some of the smell. But I think we only managed to create a whole new "combination smell."

Need to paint in small spaces? We highly suggest getting a little person. William did a great job painting behind the refrigerator. The refrigerator is blocked in by cabinets and can only be pulled out about a foot from the wall. (Hope it doesn't croak anytime soon!) -- Bill