Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cross Gable Bedrooms - redwood walls and floors

Second Floor - Bedrooms - Floors and Walls

One of the reasons we picked out the Eureka house was the apeal of a two story house.  The house is a cross gable house that is a 1 1/2 story with a roof line that results in slanted walls, short knee walls and dormer windows.    This style gives the two upstairs bedroom an interesting look.

Like the rest of the house, the walls and floors had suffered from multiple layers of wall papers, paint, and floor covering over a 100 years.  But, like the rest of the house we found the walls straight and the floors with old growth redwood sub floors. 

Floral Floors and Colorful Ballusters
Jamie Strips Wall Paper
First step was floor and wall stripping and cleaning....  the floors where a mix of colorful  linoleum and painted rough planks.   We where unsure what floor covering made the most senseafter we did the floors on the first floor, we liked it some much we just continued with sanding and finishing the redwood floors and we like they way they came out.

South side bedroom - combining small storage room.
While some rooms had been wallpapered the largest room had thin redwood boards which we left uncovered but we finished it with 4 or 5 coats of paint.   The redwood walls probably originally had cheesecloth like material covered with wallpaper at some point in time but all that was left of thousands of tacks.  The two double-hung bedroom windows were rebuilt due to years of neglect and leaking water,  a great job by Ray Swedenburg...  Once the walls were cleaned then the drywall was put up in most of the rooms.
Dave puts on drywall primer

Painted Walls and Rough Floors
Second Story Landing - Drywall Up

With walls painted it was time to sand the redwood subfloors.   We were very pleased with Rick Willit's work downstairs we decided to just do the same thing upstairs --- and they turned out very nice.   Here are a few picture of the finished floors.


Finally, we were very happy to have the help from Old Town Antique Lighting in Eureka who had ideas and fixtures -- very thoughtful and helpful.     A second great Eureka find is Humboldt Carpet in Old Town Eureka.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Redwood Floors – From Subfloor to Finished Art

Redwood Floors – From Sub floor to Finished Art

One of the biggest challenges in reviving the Eureka house was the floor and all that covered them. After a year of removing carpets, vinyl flooring, plywood and particleboard we were left with redwood subfloors. The rough planked floors were mostly square cut with the occasional gap that exceeded a ¼ inch.

Houses in Eureka have the unfinished subfloors covered with carpet or some other easy surface. The houses often do not have the hardwood floors, a few have Douglas fir, but many were left with subfloors. The cost of importing hardwoods was just prohibitive. Many of houses you do see with traditional oak floors were added later in the 20s or 30s.

After looking at oak and maple hardwoods we came back to the redwood subfloors. We loved the wide planks of old growth, some up toe 18 in. wide and many of them over 20 ft. long. You can just imagine what it was like to build these houses at the turn of the century.

There was concern about the softness of redwood, but we looked at other redwood floors and they were holding up well.

Our friend, Rick Willits from Blue Lake, gave us a great deal of encouragement and some advise on cleaning up the floors. If you need floor work and love wood then Rick is the guy to see on the North Coast.

We spent weeks cleaning the floors, scarping off the cardboard glued to the floors, cleaning the gaps, pulling a million tacks and nails and re-setting the large nails holding floor board down. Once our work was done Rick came in with the floor sanders and 4 coats of low gloss Varathane to finish the job.

The wide plants show off the old growth redwood that makes this house really shine. It helps tie the house the north coast and the ancient forest that are so much of the North Coast.

We plan to cover most of the floors with a collection of bright period rugs to protect our new floors.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Walls - Drywall Up and Painted - One Year Later

It's been a busy year in Eureka, but I've been slow to post updates. Today I am talking about new drywall over old messy walls and working to make the most from original molding throughout the house. The Eureka house, made from tons and tons of old growth redwood, has interior walls with wide planks attached over 2X4 studs. There were many layers of wall paper, some that fell off the walls and some that was permanently glued to rough redwood planks. We scrapped dumpsters full of old smelly wall paper from the house. Once we had as much paper off as possible we decided to re-cover the walls with drywall. Without removing molding the drywall masters used mostly ¼ inch drywall on the walls – and went either 3/8" or ½" on ceilings.
Leaving the molding in place protected the lovely old molding – but I'm sure it make fitting the drywall more difficult. The bottom molding was trimmed back a ¼" to make a smooth connection between the walls and the base molding.
This was a huge job, but a crew was in and out in a couple of days. The taping and sanding took several weeks, but finished up beautifully. Once the taping and sanding was done we put a finish on all the walls with Tuff-Hide primer-surface applied with rollers. We put on 50 or 60 gallons of the tough hide on, which provided both a final smooth coast as well as the primer base.
We had help with the tough-hide from friends who were paid off with hearty meals. You've seen Dave before in this project. We finished the tough-hide over the July 4th weekend.
With walls covered – all that was left was picking paints and getting it done --- Most of the painting got finished up over a long Christmas Holiday.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bathroom fix-up - the clawfoot tub goes!

Every old house needs a bathroom touch-up.  Ours was a mix of a nice tub and an outhouse.  The WC was set in a dark hole --- we struggled with saving the tub, but in the end we found a new home for the old claw foot somewhere in Arcata.  Here are a few before and after pictures.

Before --- 


We removed some of the redwood "paneling" and found some nice wainscoting - in the original yellow.  A little TSP and the paint looked nearly new-- a hundred years latter.

I'm not even going to show the old toilet -- just too gross.

After --

Here are the after - huge shower - It may not be period but we can live with that.

Unrelated photo of Table Mountain - Butte County - Springtime

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Brass Door Knobs Unearthed!

 The doors throughout the house are covered in tons of paint...  A little hot water, some elbow grease, and some stripper there is a new look.

 Took the paint off a door knob and plate and look what was underneath! 

Now we just need to strip and repaint the door.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Scullery Kitchen Renovation

 We recently got pretty close to finishing our scullery renovation (yep, thats where we keep the skulls)



On the wall you can see the remnants of the California Cooler - or San Fransisco Cooler.  The wall opened to the outside to keep food cool.  Long ago removed and now it just adds a draft to the room.


The counter top is a solid oak from Ikea - the two pieced were butt jointed with the edges routered to remove beveled edge and make the pieces fit together.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Front Porch Renovation

A while back we did a great new front porch renovation! 

Before, the front porch was concrete, so we thought we would bring it back to what it might have originally looked like made of local redwood.

Time to get to work!

We took the porch down, but then Pam couldn't leave the house! So we added a ramp!

This dog made our porch! 

We had a some redwood railings made. Had the porch constructed, and then got to painting! 

Here's the finished product!