Our Biggest Mess: Straightening This Old House Up

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Old houses have lots of quirks – uneven floors and walls seem to be the norm. Thomas is a perfectionist and couldn’t stand the idea of having things uneven or crooked. After all of the time and energy he spent taking things out, there was no way he was going to put it back together without it being just right. So he started leveling. He kept leveling, and then he leveled some more. He jacked up the floor in a million spots, and he lowered the floor by chiseling out some of the rock foundation and then poured concrete to the desired level.
He furred out the walls (add a board on top of the existing which enabled him to make the walls straight). He added boards under the existing floor to reinforce the floor joist. He added boards to the ones on the ceiling. He drove me crazy.
This was the part that I shed many tears over. I couldn’t help much, it was slow, I don’t care as much about straight floors as Thomas, it was slow, I just wanted a kitchen sink already, and did I mention it was SO slow! I’d go into that side of the house at night, clean what I could, chat his ear off, then sit on a bucket and cry. I could see no progress and often lost hope in the vision. Remodeling isn’t for the faint of heart.
Now that we are ready to move on from the “straightening stage” I couldn’t be happier. There’s noticeable progress again!
Living Room Floor:
Laying new sub floor on top of the existing made leveling the floors easier than working with what was there.

Ceiling in Living Room:
The bottom board was already there, and Thomas added the top board for support and to help bear the weight of the drywall that will be screwed to it. The particle board is holding the two together.

In the living room looking into the kitchen:
We removed the small front bedroom and opened up the living room to the kitchen.  Instead of one door between the two, we now have a 12-foot opening! The area that used to be the small bedroom will be a larger dining area. If this is confusing, feel free to look back at the floor plans that I made!

The beam at the top of the 12 foot opening that supports the roof.

Future sight of the kitchen sink:
The kitchen sink will go under this window!

Looking down the hall and down the new stairs (bathroom used to be where the stairs are and to the right of them).

At the end of the hall looking into the kitchen, bedroom on the right:
Do you see the white “work bench” in the kitchen? It’s the old kitchen cabinets!

Hole in the ceiling from the fireplace:
The huge fireplace was between the bathroom and the kitchen. Thomas took the whole thing out by hand! To see a video of that click here.

In the living room looking at the kitchen:
Again, the kitchen sink will go under the window that you can see part of. The door that you can see goes  into the mudroom that we are using for our current “kitchen.” My fridge is directly behind that door. And again, the floor plans help a lot to understand the layout.  Look at those here.

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  1. Don’t feel alone…our second and final house is finally finished after 28 yrs. My husband did a great job ,was very meticulous and slow.
    It looks professionally done. The house is close to 100 yrs old so I know that we had many obstacles to deal with. We brainstormed, ideas we mine at times and he made them happen. As we tore off aluminum siding and put hardiplank in it’s place, windows, roof,ect. My husband became very ill,then I did. Before we lost him, he got to see the house finally finished. Take some time from working to make memories. All the best and good luck with your beautiful home, done right. ?

    1. What a great tribute to him, thank you for sharing that with me and congrats on having a well built home by someone you love.

  2. You are such a good sport and Thomas is such a problem solver and great worker (uncle Terry too). You are both amazing I am impressed.

    About the windows I had a girlfriend put some dried flowers behind the the pane of glass and made it all pretty with ribbon and stuff and gave it to me. It hangs on my bedroom wall and makes me smile everytime I look at it. She used some flowers that were special to both of us…I could try sending a picture if you would like. I am not near as techy as Thomas 🙂