Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back

It's been already two years since moving into this house. Things are moving slowly. There is no reasons to rush. This is our place. We make sure we pick what we like and do it right. We want to be happy with all outcomes. Our friend told us that we should get long lasting fun at least for the years we pay our mortgage. That is a good way of thinking.

The house shows Craftsman influence - the built-in cabinets in the dining room and the hallway, the dominant fire place, the roof, the front porch which we found out used to be open, and so on. Arts and Crafts movements started around 1910. The house was built in 1925. Typical Craftsman style houses are seen in California, but architects in the east coast could be interested in the new wave at that time. In fact, the Arts and Crafts movement in England was introduced at MFA in Boston for the first time in the US. The architect who designed this house might try to take some new style into this house. The form shown in this house is not as masculine as bungalows in the west coast. I think it's good balance. It's nice to have something a little different in New England where you find a lot of Colonials and Capes.

The previous owner bought the house in the 70's. A lot of regulations have been changed since then. This house hasn't much. When we moved in, it had knobs and tubes. Yes, it's a fire hazard. But, it's an old charm...uh, not this one. First year, we took care of it. The electricians updated all original sockets on the baseboards. This made me quite happy. We were able to avoid ugly plates to hide the old holes on the baseboards. Now, all old wiring is gone. Yay!

We had a lot of rain in spring of 2010. Most of my town used to be a swamp. My area is no exception. The basement was flooded. We saw hoses were sticking out from the neighbors' basements. Over the fence, the next door's yard turned to a pond. We heard quacks over the fence. A duck couple decided to stay the temporary pond for a while.

It was not fun to take care of water in the basement. We installed French drains in the basement in the second year. This works wonderfully. It cost more than what we originally thought, but it's well worth investment. The vendor cleaned up walls in the basement as well. We still run a dehumidifier, but there is no musky smell anymore. And, we still have the field stone walls. These are the old charm!

For any work, finding venders could be tricky. We want to hire somebody who understands why we love the house in addition to having necessary skill. Luckily, ones we have worked with so far all understand the charm of the house. They were careful to keep the charm getting their job done right. We appreciate their respect to the history of the house a lot. Hopefully, this luck lasts long.

We did some work on the house by ourselves as well. I'll talk about some projects we've done next.

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