One of the most interesting buildings on the property is what we call “The Lodge”. While we don’t know for sure, we think it was built in the 1890’s and is the oldest building other than the barn (which was likely built first and only a few years before). When we purchased the farm, it was clear it had been renovated multiple times but was still in terrible condition. These pictures are from December 2019:
I can’t believe I didn’t take more pictures of the interior. The roof in the Living Room was completely rotted and falling in on itself. It was so bad, we had to remove it entirely and brace the center beam. Here it is, open to the sky, in January 2020:
As we started to rebuild, we had to figure out how to put new dimensional lumber together with the historic true dimension lumber. We’re not doing a full restoration since the building needed to be stabilized immediately. A heavy snowfall or bad thunderstorm might have caused a collapse. .
Once we got the roof on, we had to deal with the floor. Room by room, we tore everything back to whatever was solid, and free of insect damage. Of course, the new flooring is slightly different than the 100-year old original floors and the 50-year old flooring they laid on top. It took us until May 2020 to get the bad wood removed and to reframe or sister existing beams:
Next up: rebuilding the rear wall to finally seal the building from animals; replacing the ceiling in the Living Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen; running new electrical to the back half of the house, including new lighting in the Dining Room; renovating the bathroom; installing new plumbing (and bringing it up to code); rebuilding the kitchen; and rebuilding the front porch.
I’m sure we’ll run into more surprises along the way. Check back here for updates and progress.
So here we are, in the middle of December, 2020, and we’re making real progress on the restoration of this building. As it turns out, we needed to replace the entire floor in the back half of the dining room and the whole floor in the kitchen. We also needed to remove A LOT of the interior paneling. Many boards were either rotted or had insect damage. We used v-grove paneling but like most of the modern lumber we’ve been purchasing, dimensions have changed slightly. Here are some pictures of the new floors and walls:
We also had to rebuild the entire rear wall on either side of the original chimney and fireplace. We removed the interior panel boards first only to find that the furring strips were mostly rotted and that there was considerable damage to the exterior boards, too. Fortunately, we have a barn full of original planks that we’ve been able to re-purpose to keep the exterior looking mostly original. We put a post on each side of the fireplace to help brace the new walls and give us a way to seal the gaps between the wood and stone. I’m hopeful that some stain and a little finish work will make everything look cohesive.