Monday, June 24, 2013

So Close!

I scrounged up an photo of the old farmhouse I took nearly 7 years ago.  I took it on an early autumn day (you can tell as the tiger lilies in the front are spent and there are leaves collecting in the front yard).

Back in 2006, we had junipers all around the house (holding in moisture, providing a home to rabbits which chewed on cable lines, and hiding chipped and broken Transite tiles).  Those are gone.

I transplanted the tiger lilies to the white garden on the east of the yard (so much easier to mow around).

I removed the lamp post (it too was a pain to mow around).

We put on a new roof.

We replaced almost every window (hooray for energy tax credits).

As frequent followers know, we also resided the house.  We also covered all the trim detail in metal flashing (no more panting!).

There are still a few minor items on the residing punch list, but we really like the results.  Our 200+ year old house looks almost brand new!

A lot of old power and phone lines were removed.  We also did a minor modification to open up the porch.  We now can put a table under the porch.  The green base color really accentuates the white trim around the house.

I wonder what changes future owners will make?  Do you think this will be a 300+ year old house?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sneak Preview

The siding job on the old farmhouse is nearly done.  Just a little more trim work, gutters to be installed, and a few sections of siding to go near the electrical service.

I found an older photo of the house . . .

. . . and one of the new siding.

Looking good.  What do you think?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pinks, Purples, Blues

It seems that nature tends to pick a few colors from her palate, mix them, play with them, and then move to new colors.  At this time of year, I seem to see more pinks, purples and blues in the wildflowers.

English Thyme . . .

Lilacs . . .

Rhododendrons . . .

Azaleas . . .

Salvia . . .

Columbine . . .

Phlox . . .

Dame's Rockets  . . .

Iris  . . .

Ground Ivy . . .

The warm yellows and orange will here soon.  The lilies are just starting to bloom. . .

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Very Different House

The contractors are done removing the old Transite siding.  I note recently that they had found an old door when the siding was removed.

We found out that there was a second door on the opposite side of the house from the other door.  I was somewhat surprised.  Old farmhouses like ours typically did not have doors on the gable ends.  Strange.

We also uncovered a picture window which is now near the addition (the present day kitchen).

The contractors will start installing the new siding next week.  It will be nice to see the final outcome.  Stay tuned . . .

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Farmhouse Archeology

We decided to go and get our house resided.  This was something we have been considering for a while.  We have never really liked the Transite siding (you know - it's that funny shingle composed of cement and asbestos).  Sure, the Transite siding lasts forever, does not rot, holds paint well, and is fire resistant.  However, it tends to chip, is hard to repair, and it is made of asbestos.  Plus, it doesn't look real original on our late 1790's farmhouse.  With the recent storm damage, we just had to move out on this project.

We will go vinyl.  I know - not quite original.  I have done my share of painting.  I don't feel any compulsion spending my time scraping and painting every 5 to 6 years.  With a lifetime of 30 to 50 years, I am happy with our decision.

The crew we hired started to pull the Transite.  It has to be treated as hazardous waste.  What a chore!

As they worked on the 2-story section (the original house), they came across an old door!

This opening was turned into a window.   This part of the house is now our living room.  The wife always thought this window felt colder than the other windows.  Now we know why!

The house is getting wrapped, and foam board will be going up soon.  Surprisingly, the sheathing is in good shape.  They really knew how to build houses 200 years ago.  The new siding will be up in a few weeks.

Can't wait to see how this turns out!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

All In

I guess gardening is like gambling.  You look at the odds, place your bets, see what you get.

We finished putting our plants into the vegetable beds last weekend.  Around these parts, we don't put our 'warm-weather' plants in until Memorial Day.

We expanded the garden this year.  We have about 200 square feet of beds.

We have potatoes (two varieties of red potatoes), carrots and garlic.

Green beans, spinach, herbs, bell peppers, scallions and hot peppers (red hot chili and cherry peppers).

Sugar snap peas, kale, basil (sweet and lemon), roma tomatoes.

Roma and golden pear tomatoes.

We also have thyme, lavender, sage and mint in various perennial beds.

We made our bet - we are now waiting to see how we did!