“This Old House” book

I just finished reading “This Old House,” the companion book to their first their first project in 1980. Everything we’re doing, they did the same thing 25 years ago–nothing has changed!  Except the cost, of course. And the scope:

This Old House
Bob Vila with Jane Davison
Speedwell Forge B&B
Dawn Darlington with Gregg Hesling
House 1860s Victorian 1760 Colonial, plus six 18thcentury outbuildings
Size 3-stories including finished attic; approx. 1,500 square feet 3-stories including finished attic; 5,000 square feet in mansion; 3,000 square feet in outbuildings
History Bought and sold numerous times; converted into a medical office, then into apartments, then back to a house Sold once in 245 years; east wing added in 1795; last renovated in 1870s.
Roof Mansard roof with asphalt shingles, rotted eaves; replaced with asphalt shingles and wooden gutters Mansion had gabled slate roof, replaced with slate and copper gutters;
Summer Kitchen replaced standing-seam metal roof with slate and copper gutters; eaves were rotted;
Workshop replaced asphalt roof with slate and copper gutters, some of the rafters were rotted
Exterior Clapboard siding; required scraping and painting;
Rotted front porch that was demolished and rebuilt
Stone building that needed to be repointed;
Front porch scraped and repainted;
Rotted back back that was demolished and will be rebuilt
Windows 24 windows, all two-over-two, needed to be repainted 46 windows in the mansion plus 16 on the outbuildings; generally eight-over-two or six-over-two; needed to be disassembled, stripped, repaired, rebuilt, reglazed, and repainted
Land Quarter-acre flat lot; removed a few old trees and added sod and foundation plantings 120 acres, sloped lot, need to create a swale around the house for drainage; removed six dumpsters of trash from the property (so far)
Garage Brick garage Have to resurface the quarter-mile driveway and add additional parking areas; Can’t replace the roof on the 6-bay tractor shed because of local stormwater ordinances
Fireplaces One, with restored marble mantle Seven, four with full-length wooden mantlepieces
Floors Restored wood veneer flooring Restored solid wood flooring; replaced flooring in Summer Kitchen
Walls & Ceilings Replaced sagging plaster ceilings with blueboard and plaster Gutted attic, cut out water-damaged sections on all floors; replaced with blueboard and plaster
Electric 30-amp service converted to 200-amps; hooked to city service 30-amp service converted to 400-amps; installed new transformer; hid meter on back of the privy
Plumbing Replaced one and a half baths with two and a half baths; hooked up to city water and sewage Replaced three and a half baths with six and a half baths; drilled a new well; built the world’s biggest septic system
Kitchen Replaced existing kitchen cupboards and counters Built a new 4′ x 8′ island to house all modern appliances; restored Dawn’s grandparents 1950s-era stove; had a new floor-to-ceiling cupboard built to match existing and hide refrigerator
Heat Replaced an oil-burning steam boiler with a gas-fired hot water boiler Replaced an oil-burning steam boiler with a new propane-fired steam boiler and added a propane-fired hot water boiler, plus two heat pumps for the outbuildings
Cooling N/A Added a “split-system” in basement and attic; ran ducts to first and second floors; hid compressors in the first floor of the workshop
Other Demolished mud room None.
Cost Purchased for $17,000; budgeted $30,000 for restoration; spent $80,000 (that’s in 1980 dollars) Inherited; budgeted $200,000 for restoration; spent a lot more than that (and we’re only half-way through)
Timeframe 3 months 15 months

If you get a chance to pick up the “This Old House” book, I highly recommend it, if only to see Bob Vila in a plaid shirt installing orange plastic laminate counters. (They didn’t need put a copyright date on the book; that picture said it all.)