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.
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!!!
Last fall Peter and I got married. And the thing to do when one marries an architectural designer in the midwest is honeymoon with Frank LLoyd Wright. We booked two nights at Polymath Park and stayed in The Duncan House. This is one of the Usonian homes designed by Mr. Wright. Located in the Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania this property is only a hour or so from Fallingwater.
This house is only 1 of 7 Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes that you can actually stay overnight in. Built elsewhere, this house was moved to this site and reassembled. Wright designed these usonian homes for the “everyman”. They are chock full of Wright’s architectural philosophies. From the outside this home is nestled into its landscape and takes advantage of its gorgeous surroundings. It has the large hearth that is centrally located in the home and the car port this is indicative to Wright’s designs.
Much of these Usonian homes are made of concrete block. This was an inexpensive building material that could be left as it was or covered with a stone to make it more fancy. One of the design features of these homes was the horizontal lines throughout that draw the eye around the structure. These houses had large windows in the back to bring the outdoors in and take full advantage of the sun.
The homes had a small kitchen with plenty of storage space. Mr. Wright believed that built-in storage was necessary to keeping clutter away. This kitchen had the original red formica counter tops and the push button cooktop! Very space age!
This view from the kitchen into the dining room shows the built ins and shelving that is definitely indicative of Frank Lloyd Wright design. Also notice how the horizontal lines continue throughout the interior of the home as well.
The centerpiece of any Wright design is the massive fireplace. In his philosophy the hearth is the heart of the home. This beauty is covered in a locally sourced stone ut originally it was left in concrete block. This draw back to this fireplace design is that it is not very efficient.
The living room is a large light filled space. The windows give it the indoor/outdoor feel. This is where the family would gather and spend most of their time since the Wrightian idea was that bedrooms were for sleeping and storing one’s clothing.
This hallway leads to the three bedrooms and one of the bathrooms in this home. Mr. Wright didn’t feel that this was a place to spend much time so the hall narrows to “push” you through it. Many more built ins here to store one’s belongings.
This is the master bedroom. Its small size was due to the fact that all you were supposed to do in here was sleep and change your clothes. There is a small bathroom around the other side of the bed. It still had its fifties tiles (with fish!) and accessories. So cool.
We really enjoyed staying on this awesome property. We suggest if you are going to see Fallingwater that you spend a night in Polymath Park too!