Skip to main content

1 year anniversary

April 1st, 2009 marked the one year anniversary of owning my home. I had planned to be much further along in my restoration, but got a reality check on how long (and costly) this stuff is. I thought stripping the paint off the brick fireplace would take ONE weekend and a few gallons of paint stripper...WRONG! In the end, it took me almost a year (on and off) to complete and over $1000 worth of baking soda, compressor rental, and other expenses. And I'm STILL cleaning baking soda from my house! It's EVERYWHERE!

So in one year's time, here is what was accomplished:
  • The attic was completely unfinished. All the wood paneling and other wall materials were removed, along with some of the framing. All of the carpet was removed. About 100 lbs or more of raccoon poop was removed.
  • I have new column screw jacks that are supporting the beam which is directly underneath the
    load-bearing wall that goes through the center of the house, which has fallen 2" on one side over the years. The process of jacking the beam up is about to begin.
  • The sagging plaster ceilings were removed downstairs.
  • Paint has been partially stripped from the built-in cabinets. 
  • On the exterior, the awnings were removed from the front two upstairs windows and across the porch. 
  • A massive mountain of crap was removed from under the porch. Minor roof repair was done to the garage. 
  • The missing gate was replaced on the back of the fence, along with random fence boards that had been removed. 
  • In the kitchen, at least 5 layers of flooring were removed, which had accumulated throughout the years to about an inch and a half thickness. 
  • The drop ceiling in the kitchen was removed and the remainder of the plaster ceiling above was also removed. 
  • The soffits above the cabinets were removed. 
  • The carpeting was removed from the back porch.
  • The wood paneling was removed from the back porch, as well as window trim. 
  • The tongue and groove wood porch ceiling was removed from the back porch area. 
  • The paint was stripped from the brick fireplace. 
  • The baseboards in the living room have been removed for paint stripping.
  • The carpet was removed from the whole house.


  1. Hi, as a fellow owner of a 1914 home, I applaud you. Your home reno will take 5-10 years, depending upon how much money you have and how much you do yourself. In this economy, you may be able to get help for cheaper than you think. We recently stripped our kitchen floor of many layers, sanded and sealed with an oil finish. the maple looks great! We had it done, and it was a lot of money, but less than it would've been 2 yrs ago. Now we are thinking about replacing the cabinetry doors in the dining room- getting rid of the cheesy 1970's all glass doors that are there now. yuck.
    Keep at it, 1 room at a time. That way it won't be so daunting! Good luck!

  2. I am hoping for 5 years and have it done by 2014 (the 100 year birthdate). My kitchen floor had linoleum originally. It had a thick mesh backing but was covered w/ glue for the next layer of flooring so I couldn't salvage it. The flooring under the linoleum was never finished or stained, it was just a surface for the linoleum to adhere to. The rest of the house is white oak flooring that I will have to refinish.

  3. We are renovating and putting an addition on our 1910 Chicago 4 square. I have a blog too!

    Best of luck to you!

  4. I love all of the wonderful (but hard!) work you're putting into your home. Everything you've done is fabulous!!! My husband and I are planning on putting a bid in on a 1908 foursquare next week that has been neglected so reading the blogs of homeowners like yourself is going to be really helpful!! Keep up the great work and I hope your headaches with the crazy court system are at an end!


Post a Comment