We think we have come up with the strategy for the Taylor Homestead. We started our renovation process last weekend, when Carol, Russell, and contractor/neighbor Chris headed over there to do some work on the exterior and investigate its drainage. Here’s Russell’s report of what he did:
On Saturday, I got up on the roof to trim the limbs away. The pitch was so steep at the top that I had to remember my rock climbing days. The hard part there was getting the saw up there with me because I needed both hands to climb.
I demo’d the brick facing on both sides of the front door. That was old enough that the cement had become harder than the bricks.
I cut the grass in front with a weed-eater. Then went inside to pull the sheet rock on the stairwell. For most of that, I could use the stairs themselves, but for the top corner, of course, I had to get up on a ladder. I went to pull a large section off with both hands. When it came off, the force threw me backwards off the ladder onto the other wall. At least I was wearing eye protection.
There really were a LOT of trees that had grown up around the edge of the house and many branches over the house, rubbing on the roof. Russell said he could see that the limbs rubbing on the roof had migrated a couple of feet. Of course, the limbs were not happy about being trimmed. Between the trees and the ladder incident, he got rather banged up, as you can see from the arm-length bruise he’s sporting now. We appreciate his sacrifice for our cause.
We will still have to get rid of some little “junk” trees, but at least the roof is now safe.
Meanwhile, Carol and Chris investigated the interesting drainage system and figured out what we could do to revive it. It’s an interesting and unconventional system, but we think we can make it work enough to sell the house. Whew.
We took all the information in, and came up with our plan for the house. We are not doing a major overhaul, but are cleaning it up, replacing the floors, painting, and finishing sprucing up the exterior. That’s the current plan, anyway. You know how plans can change as circumstances change!
Anita headed over to the house yesterday, so she could figure out which contractors to contact first, pin down the budget, and get the repairs going. She’ll be making regular trips out there as the project moves forward, so we can look forward to some blog posts from her. The tree trimming photos are from her trip to the house yesterday.