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Wrapping Up the Exterior

We are so close to wrapping up the exterior of the Franklin House! The front porch needs stained and a little landscaping and that will wrap up the exterior. Whew!

Original Front

New Front

We wanted to really bring back the historic Queen Anne details on this home. It originally had a wood clapboard siding on the exterior. The old paint job had all but peeled away leaving the wood to rot. Peeling paint makes for some very artistic photos but does not protect wood from its arch enemy, water, very well.

Peeling Paint

Because we wanted to preserve the historic look of the home we first looked at wooden siding. We could only find one local supplier for clapboard and the cost was astronomical. It was overwhelming to think that we were looking at least $25,000 for the materials, installation and the cost of painting on top of that!

Pete’s Mom suggested that we look into Hardie board which is a pre-colored concrete board.  (thanks Kathleen!) The material cost was in line with the wood but we saved a ton by not having to paint it. It maintains the historic look but with modern ease of upkeep! Yay for less work!!!

Original Side

Mid Side

Finished Side

We also knew from the very beginning of this project that we wanted to add a modern feel to the addition on the back of this home. We went with a charcoal colored metal barn siding and I love the way it looks! It is a great juxtaposition to the ornate Queen Anne front! The metal siding that we chose has hidden fasteners for a really clean look.

Original Back

Finished Back

This place has really gone through some changes! Now on to the finishes on the interior! Flooring is going down, tile is in, finishes are on their way. I will share some of those pictures soon. Our time with this house is almost over. I can’t wait to meet the next house!

As always guys, THANK YOU for reading!

Starting On the Exterior

The Franklin House is slowly but surely coming along. We are finally starting on the exterior! After the hiccup with our plumber (fired) we are making big steps forward this week! Our new plumber is an old friend and is rocking right along. We will be having our plumbing rough-in inspection on Friday. Our electrician, who is also a very good friend, is ready for his rough-in inspection also.

Exterior repair

While our awesome subcontractors are getting things done on the inside Pete and George are getting things done on the outside. The entire front of the house was rotten and needed to be replaced. Since this place is so old none of it has vapor barrier. That is definitely something we are going to remedy. Before everyone starts to worry, with all this replacement going on, we are going to take it back to where it was historically. We will be putting the fish scale siding back up as well as the clapboard.

Putting up scaffolding

The guys are using rented scaffolding (safety first!) to reach the top of the house. The best part is seeing the openings for the new windows and door. The space is going to be so light and bright!  We have made some color choices for the exterior and we are looking forward to showing you those. The mason will be working on our four chimneys soon and then it will be time for the roof.

Exciting things around here! We will keep you updated as things move along. And as always…thanks for reading!

Interview with Budget Dumpster!

Guys! We did a really fun interview with our friends over at Budget Dumpster. Go check it out hereRemoving Porch


We have been using Budget Dumpster since the start of this huge project and we can’t say enough nice things about their service! We ordered several dumpsters from them to contain everything from old plaster to the concrete porch. The customer service has been great. The delivery and pick-up drivers have been awesome. We really recommend this company! Columbus locals please find their page here!

We want to thank Budget Dumpster for featuring us on their blog!

We were in no way paid or compensated for this post. All opinions are our own.

The Best Garden Tool Ever

Winged Weeder 1

This is the best garden tool we have ever bought. My parents got one and spread the word to us. This is the Winged Weeder. As someone who HATES to weed this thing is the best. No more bending over to pull difficult weeds.

Winged Weeder 2
It is as simple as it looks.

This tool is really just a sharp bit of metal on a stick. It is brilliant in its simplicity. This tool just slides underneath the top layer of dirt and either pulls up shallow rooted weeds or clips off the tough ones. A quick raking takes care of the debris. We had a serious grass problem in our veggie bed about a month ago because of all the rain we have had. This tool took care of it and we have not had to weed since! The key is definitely raking up the weeds after.

Winged Weeder 3
See ya later weeds!

This is not a sponsored post. I have not been paid to promote this product. I just really love this thing! Go buy one now!

Supporting the Structure

We knew when we bought this house that supporting the structure was going to be necessary. As usual, it was a can of worms. We got an engineer to take a look at our drawings to make sure that we were putting in enough support for this old house and he had some great ideas that really helped our entire design.  He suggested a combination of some 16″ LVLs (laminated veneer lumber) and some steel c channel to reinforce those old beams.

There were two problem areas on the first floor. One was towards the middle of the house. At some point in time a well-meaning soul had removed a support beam in the basement. Perhaps to install a furnace? They did not replace the column. The area above sank. It sank like a whole 3 inches. BUT we knew this the first time we saw the house. No biggie! We can just jack that back up and pop a new support column in!

Jacking up the first floor
Note the fancy equipment.

We also knew going in that we would have to sister some old beams with new to account for some cut out from HVAC installation. It is NEVER a good idea to cut any sort of beam in a house. Once the beams were sistered the floor started feel much sturdier!

Sistered beams
Sistered beams!

The other big issue with the structure became apparent once the guys had pulled up the sub flooring at the front of the house to show the engineer how the beams connect to the rubble foundation. We had a hint about water damage in this area after we had snow and then a thaw, then a freeze. Where the two gables meet in the front of the house there is a wacky gutter design that caused an ice dam which in turn caused water to run down the front of the house. The beams in the front of the house were rotten and needed replaced.

Floor removed
See you later rotten beams!
New basement beam
Pretty new structure. This place isn’t going anywhere!

The guys had to build temporary walls to take the weight of the house while they put these new beams and joists in.  It feels so much better in there now! But for a while they couldn’t open the front door! We tried to save as much of the good structure that was there so there is a ton of old meets new in the house. I think it’s pretty cool.

Old meets new
Old meet new. New meet old! ( I am not sure about the weird green basement wall treatment. I though it was mold at first)

Once the new beams were in the boys leveled the whole first floor. It was a lot of measuring and moving the floor up and down. Since this place is a balloon frame we could move the floors up and down with out the exterior walls moving!

Floor leveling
George is in the basement and Pete is doing the measuring!
floor leveling
Measure measure measure!

Once they got the structure level they put down new subfloor. The original dining room floor was just the 7/8″ thick plank. It has a great design to it but unfortunately was too damaged to save as finished floor. It is staying in the house as sub flooring though!

Original Floor
See the stripes!
Cutting Subfloor.
Subfloor. So you don’t fall through.

The guys had to add some more structure support for the second floor at this point since they removed almost ALL the walls on the first floor. Next they were going to put in a new LVL to support the second floor  and make it ready to put in the new staircase!

New LVL for the second floor! So exciting!

I will show more of the second and third floor structure repair on the next post plus the building of our new staircase! But here is a bonus weird shot that I took standing in the basement looking straight up at the bottom of the stairs to the third floor. It’s art I tell ya!

stairs from basement