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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

How's That Roof Coming Along?


Here is a series of photos showing current roof progress!






It  takes a while to remove four layers of shingle, clean it up. Tar paper a roof and then put metal on it. This was a repair. A major one really so that means I can write the cost off on my Federal income taxes. Next year I can repair the front part of the roof. Some shingles are missing which justifies a repair.
Now I get to clean up and remodel the other house that was destroyed by my former tenant.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

More Roofing Antics (a little late)

It seems that is is raining just about every two days so far this year. This is a problem when you are trying to tear off a roof that has 4 layers of shingle over the original cedar shakes that were put on in 1900. It takes forever because I need to preserve the shake layer as best I can in order to install metal roofing over it. This saves me from having to haul 8' X 4' sheets of plywood onto my roof which weigh far more than the 17' X 3' sheets of metal roofing!

The roof over the walk in attic has leaked ever since we bought the house and based on the damage to the bathroom ceiling, probably had for years. It would also appear that it had leaked in the same area many years before that. The end result being this hole below the gutter line where all the rotten wood shakes just crumbled as I tore of the overlying asphalt shingle.


From inside it looked like this! Culminating in a giant hole where the straps had rotted as well. There had been a previous repair done here.


Here is a view of the rest of the roof on this side of the house. Complete with tarp for the next installment of rain.


And here, in the eaves was where I found a whiskey bottle that was produced between 1905 and 1915. Since it post dates the original 1900 roof, it must have been someones secret stash or a place to hide a bottle that would be found over 100 years later. There was another bottle (you can see it in the photo sitting on the floor) stashed in the floor between the wall. It still contains some moldy liquid but has no dating marks and just has the 1 quart stamp on it. It was placed there after the rock wool insulation was installed.


This side of the attic roof is currently under tar paper. I am now forced to strip the section above this on the main part of the house in order to properly install the metal because there is a valley and a chimney at the junction of the two sections.


I don't know which I hate more, roofing or plumbing.
To be continued ......

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

One Woman's Trash is Another Man's Garbage

If you have been following this blog for many years then you may remember that I tried to sell my original Dayton home in September 2008 when the mortgage crisis struck. I rented it for several years to a friend of ours who bought her own place in 2014. The neighbor saw how attentive I was to fixing problems and wanted to move in since their lease was up. Unfortunately the husband died in June 2015 leaving a widow with three children. I gave money to their funeral fund, put a new roof on the house when the widow expressed an interest in a lease purchase and was very tolerant of sporadic and late rent payments. Things seemed fine until February of this year when payments were infrequent and consistently late. I don't think she was a bad person or vindictive. I do think she got some priorities mixed up. I finally had to evict her. I should have done it sooner. Tenants have more rights than property owners in Ohio. Once the court sides with the landlord, it still takes up to ten days to get possession of your property. This tenant left but she still had possessions in the house which I can not remove until she turns over the keys and grants that right or her time granted by the court expires. She promised me that she would remove all her items. Just like she promised to cut the grass, pay her rent on time and dispose of some trash she had placed in the garage. Well, I have possession now ...... Put on your Dr. Seuss hat and let's investigate my house.




A little bit of trash, alright?


Whoa! Then this.  Outta sight!


Didn't pay electric bill. Left all your food. What a thrill!


This floor was once very fair


 Now it's ruined, needs some care.


 Who wouldn't want a couch like this?


 Or this one too? It will be missed


Dog and cat feces, but that isn't all.


Here is some more, in the hall.


In one bedroom on the floor


 Look around, you'll see some more.



 Would you like poop where you sleep?


Is there more in here? I'll have to sweep.


 Let's go up the stairs to see ....

There is more up here. God blessed me.



Go to the basement, take a tour


Where on Earth's the basement floor?


 Let's go out the back to see


What this tenant has left for me.


If trash is treasure like they say


I hit the jackpot here today!





Isn't it nice that I can still smile and be humorous when people treat me in the most appalling ways?
I should first add that she lived in this filth with three children for several months and she left two kittens in the house with no food or water and they were very difficult to catch and release with all the trash and furniture in every room. There is also an infestation of fleas and evidence that bed bugs were also present in the house at one time. I found a dead one on my shirt today when I started to bag all the trash.
Today was the first day that I could legally enter the place and begin disposal of her property. So what was on the door to greet me?


You gotta love Dayton City Government again. Back to the same lame bully tactics that made me run for mayor in 2009. Funny how I have no idea what the violation is and that this appears the moment I have possession of my house again. The damage done is going to cost several thousand dollars but this time around I have way more knowledge, experience and the proper tools to make it right again.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Debacle of the Mud Room

There is what really appears to be an enclosed porch at the back of the house. Helen used to have a clothes dryer back there and a large cupboard on castors. There is also a built in set of cabinets. I have these "before" photos.







I don't think anything major has been done with this room since the 1930s. What's more, the room has no insulation other than some blown in rock wool in the flat part of the ceiling.
Last year I got the wood walls painted flat white but the wife wanted the walls insulated. That meant removing most of the drywall that was installed in a piecemeal manner back in the day. When the drywall was removed it revealed a roof leak that was going to have to be dealt with. Now I don't know which I hate more, roofing or plumbing but I had to deal with the issue.
This roof still has the original cedar shakes under ..... wait for it ..... four layers of shingles! I don't want to have to haul sheets of 8' X 4' plywood up a ladder so I have decided to strip the roof down to the original shakes and put a metal roof over those.
For anyone who cares, on election day I won in a local contested primary to run for county commission. The next day, to celebrate, I started to tear off the roof at the back of the house!


It took two days to get the shingle off and another day to get this far. Then it rained for several days.


Those bags left over from filling the wood pellet stoves sure came in useful this year. On the rainy days I went inside and installed insulation and drywall. Then smoothed out the joints.
As of today the roof now looks like this.


Only now I have to do the next section above the attic room where we have an existing roof leak. So I just need three consecutive days without rain to remove shingles on one half of the roof and install tar paper. These are the special attachments for my boots that I had to buy just so I could stand on the metal roof.


And here is the mudroom before painting the remaining walls and door white.



I think Helen would like the improvements to her house.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Almost There!

If you recall, back in January I was stripping wallpaper from the bedroom walls and ceilings leaving the rooms looking like this.







Well, now they look like this!






We need a few more pictures hung on the walls but I am getting there. All the windows in these rooms were replaced with vinyl windows. Besides the energy savings the real reason I needed to replace them was to cut down on the noise since the house sits on a main thoroughfare and the traffic is constant. I even put an old time light in the one closet that needed it.


And to make life easier on the guests, I found these practical pulls for the ceiling fans.


I preserved the writing on the walls from 1939. The one is covered by the diagonal framed picture above the sconce light. The other will be covered by the dresser mirror after I restore the dresser top which was water damaged. The original top was faux grained plywood. I can replace with a piece of Luan board and try my hand at the faux graining or I may just paint it with a fancy pattern. So now I am in clean up mode around the entire house. Most of the things left to do are minor. Such as replace the smoke and CO2 detectors, get the doorbell to work, buy linens for the beds and get a TV for downstairs.Hopefully within two months we can promote "Helen's House" as a unique Air BnB experience. A step back to a simpler time.

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