While we had Ken Smith around, we took him to see the house we have under contract behind the church. His eyes lit up the minute he saw it, and it was fun to watch him as he took in the exterior. You could see his mind was taking in all the issues along with all the beautiful features that this home has.
Then we went IN! One thing you quickly learn about architects/builders is that they stomp a lot. He checked every inch of the floor for weak areas and damage. And he looked up and noted every bit of evidence of leakage (of which there is some, from before the new roof).
He duly noted all the newer windows, but also pointed out that they aren’t quite historically appropriate, as are the fine new exterior doors, which are pretty, but not turn-of-the-century. Since our current plan is to make it into a living space again, we would want it to look
appropriate to its age.
Naturally the stairway appalled him. But it did not phase him one bit. By the time we finished looking at all the spaces, he was confident that a new, nice stairway could be put in at the rear of the house that would be safe and up to code. That would free up the wide entry hall to be a lovely focal point. He also suggested that the old “study” be turned into the kitchen.
We had a lot of fun looking at the old doorknobs and other fixtures. I even found a spot where you could see three different wallpapers that were used in a back bedroom.
He left us full of ideas and even suggested a way we could recycle some items from a house he has to remove to make way for a larger project, so we’re thinking about how that could work out. And Ken agreed that the project could go slowly in stages. We agreed that it would be wise to have the renovation plan drawn up first, before starting work, so that any changes that are made would be done with the eventual final floor plan and layout in mind.
Here’s the first of many cool things we’ve learned about the property. There was originally a carriage house behind the main house, and a separate kitchen right near the well. The separate kitchen made it less likely the house would burn down if there was a kitchen fire. It also explains why the current kitchen is in such a weird makeshift place.
Are we excited about this labor of love? Yes. But we have to fund it! So this will not go fast.