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Author Topic: Interesting find in old farmhouse  (Read 185 times)

mlappin

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Interesting find in old farmhouse
« on: February 03, 2020, 09:04:38 PM »

So opened up under the stairwell going to the second story and found something interesting. They tore the lathe and plaster off the one wall and left the other. What was left they wrote a poem on, signed their names and dated it. House was built 1857, poem was wrote 1883. Plan is to fasten a piece of plexiglass over it and leave it. Have zero clues as to where the original stairwell was located.

Also the exposed section of wall had zero insulation in it, it was tried to use blow in cellulose above it but just fell down the wall cavity and left a foot of it under the stairs. To top it all off when central heat was installed a 10” cold air return was ran a few foot off the furnace then right up under the stairs, a few registers were placed in the kick boards near the bottom to pull cold air from the upstairs down, only issue was near the top of the stairs a void was left that went right under the flat roof, so for the last 100 years(?) the cold air return has been literally pulling air from outside, central AC has also been pulling hot air from under the roof. Even after cutting a door opening in when the furnace kicked on the cobwebs would move where the air was coming in from the flat roof. Immediately noticed wood consumption went down after boxing in the registers in the stairs, connecting directly to the cold air return and closing off and insulating the void at the flat roof.


Closet under stairwell. by Marty Lappin, on Flickr



Closet under stairwell. by Marty Lappin, on Flickr



Untitled by Marty Lappin, on Flickr



« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 09:31:59 PM by mlappin »
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E Yoder

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Re: Interesting find in old farmhouse
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2020, 03:12:06 AM »

That's very interesting. When I crawl around under old houses I often wish I could meet the owners/builder.
We're putting a GS200 on an old farmhouse today, built around 1860. Right during the Civil War, several miles off the old Wilderness Road that settled southwest VA and Kentucky. 
Considering all the destruction in VA those years I bet they worried about their new house!
About the ducts and insulation- I remind myself in old houses: there might be a reason they want an outdoor furnace. I think we get those kind of situations more because they don't want to pay for gas or electric. So the
stove guy is expected to fix it! :)
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mlappin

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Re: Interesting find in old farmhouse
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2020, 01:08:30 PM »

Oh I knew the one wall wasn’t insulated, its our house after all. I don’t do enough drywall to ever feel comfortable doing it for somebody else, let alone mudding it.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 01:11:10 PM by mlappin »
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Re: Interesting find in old farmhouse
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 07:14:31 PM »

Built in 1862 to be precise. Lath and plaster, fishing lines through closets and attic, air handler under a stairway. .. great fun. 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 07:16:17 PM by E Yoder »
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mlappin

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Re: Interesting find in old farmhouse
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 06:44:21 AM »

I’ve found diamond cutting tool makr short work of the sand plaster without busting it all up, goes thru the lathe even like butter. I had a 7” diamond blade in the soil saw for cutting the opening out.
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Re: Interesting find in old farmhouse
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 08:03:37 AM »

When my younger bro and I began the destruction phase of construction in our family home (circa 1830's) sometime in the 50's electricity was added.  When we removed the old electric, no junction boxes, no outlet boxes, etc,... found.  What we found was where the wire was connected to the switch, the insulation was so brittle that it broke off in our hands.  You could see that the wire got hot at one point because we found burn marks on the wood lathe, the 2x4's and the wood surrounding the general area of the connections.  It was only by the grace of God that the house didn't get fire.
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mlappin

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Re: Interesting find in old farmhouse
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 10:51:57 AM »

Oh yah, still removing knob and tube from our house. When I pulled the old fuse boxes and replaced with a breaker box the main feed wire from outside all the insulation was crumbling on that. I won’t use aluminum wire unless its over head, new copper mains were pulled thru a 2” conduit that was routed under the crawl space to get outside. Copper leads good for 200 amps are a real booger to pull thru several elbows.
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E Yoder

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Re: Interesting find in old farmhouse
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2020, 02:14:20 AM »

It's crazy how many old houses still have the old knob and tube wiring bring used. Even with Romex you'll see junctions with just tape (and peeling), dangled here and there.
Certain areas have the Federal Pacific breaker boxes which won't trip too.
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