Monday, August 1, 2011

Knox Hill Project: Weekly Update

Most people assume that their old house looks pretty much the way it did a hundred years ago. Oh yeah maybe the windows have been changed or aluminum siding put on but it is not drasticaly different.. That is not the case with our house that started life 140 years ago as a weekend cottage and grew and grew over its first 50 years.

When our house was built it was not a 'year round' house but just a weekend place. It was in fact just 4 rooms and out back was a brick summer kitchen. Summer kitchens were, the Victorian believed a safe and healthy way to cook. They were usually brick and several feet away from the house (for safely). They also kept the heat of cooking out of the  house and noxious odors, such as the making of soap for example. By around 1895 the house was getting small and a small one story addition was added with a porch. A few years after that they did and "up" which added another bedroom  with a bathroom and eventually the kitchen was moved inside the house and a bathroom built on the second floor. In the 1940's the summer kitchen was demoed and in the 1950's a metal garage structure was built and at some point, a side porch was added to the house.

Many of these changes were simply made, and as a result they often do not translate well to todays living and in some cases just were not built right. Such is the case with this rear addition, it sits on a foundation that was never designed for two levels and after a lot of thought it will come down and a new structure that has a proper foundation and can actually support two stories  will be reconstructed in its place. This also allows us to correct some issues ( like a soil line that is field tile). We will also be albe to construct a larger kitchen and make a better connection to the new wing that will house a breakfast room and a new two story carriage house.

However until that phase can happen we have to have away to get into the 1st floor of this part of the house. Currently you get to it by walking though the 1/2 bath on the fiirst floor. So in order to restolve that issue (so we can get the 1/2 bath operational again) we decided to open back up the old back door from when the house was built and via a small enclosure tie directly into the kitchen which means we will not have to go outside to access this room.

Essentially this is a 3'x4' enclosure that, although temporary, will be sided to match the house. At this point its up and ready for siding which will happen this week. Hopefully the final design plans will be ready and we can submit for the necessary permits for the demo and new addiitions.

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