Sunday, September 17, 2006

Petch House Secrets Revealed!

Ok, so a lot of these aren’t really secrets, and really I’m only writing this because I’m being lazy and it’s in between footballs games, so take it for what it is: A Complete Waste Of Time.

1) The white dot to the left of the Number one is a bullet hole. The shot was fired from inside the house and passed through someone before exiting the house. Of course, I’ve talked about this one before. I bought a new piece of glass, but I vacillate back and forth about whether I’m going to use the new glass, which I don’t like as much, or repair this glass. It’s more than just a hole. The glass is in 3 pieces, and small parts are gone, but 90% is whole. You can not buy this glass in a large enough size to replace it.

2) The previous owners vented a gas furnace out one of the chimneys. The chimneys no longer exited the house and when the new roof was put on they shingled over the opening. Their bright idea was to shove an old feather pillow in to the chimney opening that terminated in the attic. I used this pillow as padding when I hung out that window to paint the attic gable. The pillow is still on the floor right in front of that window and Mortimer, my cat, now sleeps on the pillow every afternoon. In fact, he’s sleeping there right now.

3) I had to climb up on the roof twice to deal with this little gable. The first time was 3 years ago to remove the asbestos shingles, and then again a month ago to paint the original fish scale shingles. I was able to put a ladder on the porch roof to get up there. There is another one of those little gables on the opposite side of the roof, and it still has the asbestos shingles on it. These are the last asbestos shingles on the house, but I can’t figure out an affordable or safe way to get up there to deal with them. There’s no flat roofed porch to place a ladder on. It gnaws at me that these last few asbestos shingles are still on the house.

4) I came very close to buying this house a few months before I bought The Petch House. The house was built in 1901 (I think) and had been owned by the same family since the 40s or 50s. The kids turned it in to apartments after Mom & Pop passed away and it was really neglected. One of the grand daughters was now living in one of the apartments when the family decided to sell. The grand daughter and her husband were kind of White Trash tweakers and not happy the house was being sold out from under them. They made things very difficult.

I looked at the house and couldn’t make up my mind. It needed a lot of work. It had been on the market for more than a year and they kept dropping the price. I think they wanted $130,000 when I looked at. I had been looking at houses for 4 months or so. Four or 5 weeks after I looked at this one I was getting demoralized because I couldn’t find anything. I told my realtor I wanted to make a cash offer on the place of $90,000. She said it was too low and they’d never take it. We wrote up the offer and she called it in to the listing agent. We got a call back that day that they had excepted another offer of $89,000 that morning. Apparently they were really desperate to sell. A few months later I got The Petch House. I’m happy it worked out the way it did.

5) This is the bracket that made it on to The Patch House blog banner. It sort of looks like I fooled with it in PhotoShop or something. I shot the picture first thing in the morning in the glaring sun. I then cropped it in MSPaint and added the text. Nothing fancy, it’s just washed out from the sun.

6) Concrete steps that go no where. At one time these lead to the kitchen door of the 1920s addition I removed, now they go no where. I haven’t decided whether to get rid of them or incorporate them in to a new back porch. The main sewer line runs right underneath them. I have years to decided.

7) You can barley see it, but there is a fancy cast iron crawl space vent on the skirting there. It is the last remaining original vent from 1895. There were three more in other places around the house, but they were broken, or fell off, and were thrown away. It’s on the list to replace them with something equally as cool as this remaining vent.

8) This is my favorite place to stand and survey the neighborhood. The stained glass window has one clear pane right at eye level. It’s old and very wavy glass so it was there just for this purpose. It’s my wavy window on the world.

9) This concrete step was broken just before I bought the place. There was a car wreck in front of the house while it was on the market. One of the cars jumped the curb and ended up in the front yard. That step was broken and when I first looked at the house a lot of the yard was torn up as well.

10) This bracket seemed like the best place to hook up all 8 or 9 of the cable connections for the house. It was just a hideous rats nest of cables TV lines that all converged here on this bracket. From there they streamed out all over the house. It was unbelievably ugly. They just showed the house no respect at all.

11) This looks so much better without the tree. I can’t believe I considered keeping it.

12) The sunbursts on the green siding on either side of the 12 are not original. Due to a screw up at the mill I had a bunch of extra “sun rays” so I added these myself. It’s not that I think they look bad, but it’s always kind of bugged me that they are not original to the 1895 design.


Greg said...

Oops! It's there now.

StuccoHouse said...

This was a really fun post. Although I'm a bit dizzy from scrolling back and forth from the pic to the description below :-)

Lisa said...

Very interesting - especially the bit about the other house you looked at. Re: 12 - I wonder what the starbursts would look like up on the gables?

Greg said...

That is the normally camera shy Sadie.....and she's just big boned :-)