We are getting closer to the completion of The Franklin House. The finishes are going up. The floors have been put in. We just have to wrap up a few details. It is so exciting! I can’t wait to share some more of the bits and pieces with everyone.
I love hand poured concrete counter tops. They are durable, earthy, and cool. I have been telling Pete that I want them in our kitchen for years now. Concrete was perfect for this project because the use of natural and man made materials plays into our industrial vibe.
After some research online I found some great forms from Z Counterforms. These forms were pretty easy to use and created a great smooth edge. The white form you see in the picture below was the rigid form and the black you see is the curve form. They just screw into the concrete board and once the concrete has cured they snap right off! We will definitely use these forms again.
Once the forms were off the counters had to be diamond ground…sanded…and sanded…and sanded…and sanded some more.
The sanding exposed the tiny aggregate in the concrete and created and really organic finish. The edges have tiny little voids and holes that show the handmade nature of the product. This is more beautiful to me than any perfection.
After all the sanding the counters have to be sealed with several coats of concrete sealer to protect them from staining, though I personally like the way the staining and mottling that occurs over time. I can’t wait to have concrete counter tops in my own kitchen!
We also poured a trough sink for the master bath. This was a little more labor intensive since there was no easy peasy forms to be had from the internet. Pete had to build a form from melamine from scratch. It took a whole bunch of math and lot of measuring!
Both the kitchen counter top and the master sink had to have mesh reinforcement in the concrete to prevent cracking.
Because of the difference in the type of form we used on the sink, it needed far less sanding and therefore did not expose the aggregate in the concrete. The sink is much shallower than a traditional sink.
The sink is installed and will have 2 faucets. Perfect for the master bath!
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!
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.
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!!!
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.
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!
It has been quite a while since I have shared any updates! It was WAYYYYYY back in November! Too long…. way too long. One of the reasons that I have not been updating as much was the holiday season. I swear it gets busier every year! Then I discovered the white screen of death due to a bad plug-in on the website. Luckily Peter is MUCH more computer savvy than me. He was able to fix it (three times). Third time was the charm!
It was mid-January when we hit our one-year anniversary with the Franklin House. Which is both scary and amazing to me. Scary because we misjudged how much time this project would take. Amazing because we have done SO much to bring this house back to life.
We have had some major ups and downs in this project and we are preparing to do an extensive analysis to figure out what we did right and what went wrong. We know that framing and rebuilding the structure took way longer than anticipated, so much rotten wood… Also every aspect of the project took longer and cost more than we originally thought. But that same down is also an up, because it has been an amazing learning process. That kind of sums up this last year in nutshell…
We are getting closer and closer to the completion of the project. One of the biggest wins from this past year have been the friendships and acquaintances that we have made. That is definitely one of the biggest things that we will miss about this house, the neighbors! Everybody that we have met loves the Olde Towne East neighborhood. There is such a sense of community in this area! I hope that the new homeowners love these people and this area as much as we do!
I have a TON of updates to share with you so keep your eye out for those. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and Peter posts all kinds of fun stuff on Instagram! We are Larsen Dwellings on all social media.
The interior of the Franklin House is getting close! It has seemed to be a slow progression but I have heard before that the days are long but the years are short. We have almost completely rebuilt this house. Replaced rotten wood, main beams, awkward staircases, all the mechanical elements and we rearranged the floor plan. It is a new old house. It is a historic home with a modern life. We love this old girl and are excited to get her dressed and ready to meet her new family.
Remember this space? This past January we walked into this sad, neglected, saggy room and we saw the potential. “This could be amazing!” we said. The light…..it was the light that attracted us to this space. The south facing windows let in the most beautiful winter light. And it was cold in there! Those first few days that we measured and wandered around the crazy chopped up space I have NEVER been so cold. It was 10 degrees out and felt even colder inside.
Pete and George demolished the lath and plaster. They took everything down to studs. We really got a good look at changes that various owners had made through out the years. We could see where a single family home had been made into a duplex. We could see where a duplex had been brought back to a single family home. It was a rebirth for this place. And we saw more progression…
We moved a staircase, removed a staircase and rebuilt a staircase. We cleaned and repaired brick. We installed two HUGE beams. We created an open inviting floor plan that takes advantage of the light. We had good insulation put in. Never again will we freeze inside! We had drywall installed and all of a sudden…..it was a house again!
We are really proud of how this space feels. It is open but cozy. After being a dark unfinished area for so long the reflective light in here now that we have drywall is really cheerful. When writing this post it was pretty crazy to go through all the old pictures to really see the progression of the space.
Keep your eye out for a pieces parts post soon! And as always…..thank you for reading!
We finally are sharing the finished roof cresting!
Hi Guys! It has been a while since I have had time to share an update with you! Big things are happening around these parts but that is another post for another day.
Do you remember this roof cresting? I get a little sad when I see these pictures…this amazing detail deserved so much better than this chippy purple paint. Pete and George worked hard to bring this 130 year old detail back to life.
It took much sanding to get all the old paint and rust off. This old galvanized metal had worn almost completely away. The guys had to replace the missing bits with new pieces. It worked really well!
Since the original cresting was missing some of the humps we had a good (and talented) friend make these replacement parts. The only thing that we couldn’t remake were the rosettes. Ah well….
After tons of soldering and repairing and attaching we sealed the bottom side for water tightness and primed the whole thing. You can see the repairs when you are up close but when the cresting is on the roof you can’t tell at all!
We decided to go with black to match the color tones of the new roof. I think the whole neighborhood was happy to see this go back up!
We are so happy to see this up on the new roof! The black looks amazing against the sky. The hard work that it took to keep the cresting was totally worth it!
Keep your eyes out for another blog post later this week. I will be sharing my BIG news! Yay!
It has been WAY too long since we have posted an update on the Franklin House. We have some more detailed posts coming up (including one from Pete!!!) but in the meantime here are the pieces/parts that have been making up our days.
We had the chimneys tuck pointed and repaired inside and out. We are very pleased with the results! We used All Ohio Masonry and they were great. We really recommend them. Since the house is soooo tall and the roof is soooo steep they had to use this fancy lift to safely reach the top of the chimneys. Those guys are much braver than me!
One of our absolute favorite historic details on the house was this cresting. It is just so cool. It was in very very bad shape and we thought that we were going to be able to have it powder coated. But no… that was not possible. It was originally soldered together and our test piece fell apart in the powder coating oven. Whoops! Also, our garage is filling up. Been filled up…. I need to reorganize it. Jeesh.
This guy is the job site mascot. Pete and George found him under the back porch when it was torn off. Cute and creepy all at the same time. Must be from the sixties or seventies.
New windows have been going in. We have to do this before we can get the insulation put in. After quite a while with the window spaces boarded up it is super nice to have the light back. The bright and cheery atmosphere in the house is really what drew us to it in the beginning.
The house had never had any vapor barrier on it before either. Now that it has vapor barrier the house will be much easier to take care of! The paint won’t peel off! Yay!
The guys have been working on the addition to prepare for the new rubber roof. You can see where they moved the windows and pulled off the siding to expose the exterior sheathing. I love the fact that it was put on the house at a 45 degree angle!
Pete has been repairing the decorative cap on the addition. Apparently the cap was wooden and had rotted over time. So OF COURSE you should just put metal over it. Repeatedly. Pete said that there were three layers over the old wood. Now it is brand new and solid!
Keep your eyes out for Pete’s blog this coming week! Very exciting! And as always….thank you for reading!
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.
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.
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!
Progress at The Franklin House has been slow and steady. We will have some more posts soon showing the progress on the inside but in the meantime here is a quick update on the happenings. So here are our pieces/parts #4.
Pete and George removed the ugly porch. They did it when it was hot and humid. I thought that they were going to melt away. That porch was a layer of concrete over another layer of concrete. Yikes! I am excited to get a period correct porch back on there!
The Porch leftovers. We filled TWO thirty yard dumpsters with the concrete and wood bits of that horrible thing!
I was really impressed with this space when I saw it! It used to be over super overgrown and had a layer of debris. The brick chimney was covered in ivy and that is gone too! It looks so much better now.
The guys have been hard at work to prepare the house for the new windows. The place is going to look so great with all new windows in! We also have the masons in doing work on the chimneys and foundation. They are doing a fantastic job!
Just a teaser for what has been happening on the inside. After a hiccup with the plumber we are getting all the important bits in. The electrical, HVAC and plumbing is on its way!!!
Our awesome roofing company came out to remove the roof cresting off The Franklin House. This is one of our favorite architectural details on the exterior of this house. We are having it powder coated to preserve these original Victorian details for many years to come.
These pictures show the roof cresting before we repair it. The condition of this stuff is not great. The metal is worn very thin in places and it has some missing pieces and damage. We hope that we can replace the missing parts but the rosette detail is going to be hard to replicate. If you have any suggestions for us about that please leave them in the comments!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!