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Old 03-25-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
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Help with colonial house


I just bought a home built in the 1790's and in my quest to "fix" the walls, i took the plaster off the interior walls and on the inside of the exterior walls i discovered stone. The stacked stone is between the timbers and i am wondering what i can do with this. Are these in fact stone walls that can be repointed and exposed or are they intended to be covered witn plaster or sheetrock? Any insight will help greatly!
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:43 AM   #2
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Got a picture, can not see it from here.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:31 AM   #3
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:57 AM   #4
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what type of siding is on the outside? is it a stone wall outside?
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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I worked in a lot of the old homes but never saw that, the house must have one heck of a foundation to hold that weight.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:40 PM   #6
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I'm just relieved to see someone calling their home a "colonial" that's ACTUALLY a colonial!
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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I myself have worked on "colonials" that old here in New England, but have never seen stone inside the wall. I'll have to dig out one of my old books on Colonial New England construction and see what I can find out
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:00 PM   #8
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What room of the house and what story is that in? Is it the front wall?
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:12 PM   #9
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My Grandfathers home had this. According to my dad who is now 94, this was fairly common in the old days and was done to help the home hold heat through the night as the fire dwindled in the wood or coal burning cook stove/ heating system in the kitchen. Im sure it cut down on drafts too, and served as a fire stop as most of these homes were of balloon construction. My grandfather added steam heat in cast iron radiators, and that house was always as cozy as a bug in a rug, and properly humidified. Nothing like crappy forced hot air heat.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans
My Grandfathers home had this. According to my dad who is now 94, this was fairly common in the old days and was done to help the home hold heat through the night as the fire dwindled in the wood or coal burning cook stove/ heating system in the kitchen. Im sure it cut down on drafts too, and served as a fire stop as most of these homes were of balloon construction. My grandfather added steam heat in cast iron radiators, and that house was always as cozy as a bug in a rug, and properly humidified. Nothing like crappy forced hot air heat.
1790 would have been about 40 years too early for balloon framing. Most likely some form of heavy timber framing.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jagans View Post
My Grandfathers home had this. According to my dad who is now 94, this was fairly common in the old days and was done to help the home hold heat through the night as the fire dwindled in the wood or coal burning cook stove/ heating system in the kitchen. Im sure it cut down on drafts too, and served as a fire stop as most of these homes were of balloon construction. My grandfather added steam heat in cast iron radiators, and that house was always as cozy as a bug in a rug, and properly humidified. Nothing like crappy forced hot air heat.
How funny is it that we were more building science smart 200+ years ago than we have been for the last 50 years!!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:16 AM   #12
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How funny is it that we were more building science smart 200+ years ago than we have been for the last 50 years!!

there are monasteries that were built out of wood hundreds and hundreds of years ago with zero rot now. the wood was placed such that the positive and negative poles where accurate with how the wood grew in its natural state. that is a true science of nature and how emulating it brings the best results. I could see guys running around now with dowsing rods dowsing every stick of wood to find the polarity right before they nail it up with the nail gun
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:22 AM   #13
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How funny is it that we were more building science smart 200+ years ago than we have been for the last 50 years!!
Not quite. All that wood and coal burning wasn't very smart. Nor was the lack of insulation, masonry heat bank aside. Most the houses were overbuilt and that wasted a lot of material. But since it was (mistakenly) thought of as cheap and plentiful they didn't care. I'm all for sturdy stuff, but nostalgia is often wrong.

BigJim raises a good question, make sure all that weight is being managed properly. When you start taking off the wall you're potentially removing something that was holding part of the weight in place. Was there a lot of cracking on this wall?

That and what's the chance that was part of an older exterior wall?
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:39 PM   #14
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It has clapboard siding and yes, the foundation is at least 24" stone and on the main load bearing walls 3' thick. The stone is inside all of the outside walls. I have had two architects out to the property and while one was a dud saying that the builders were "crazy" the other she light on the building. Similar to half timber architecture, the stone was used a insulation. It is not supportive in any way as the beams and studs are all hand sawn 4x6 wood posts. There are also wood "shelves" inside the walls to support layers of stone.

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Old 03-28-2013, 10:44 PM   #15
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I will semd more pics as we get through more layers of "updates" done by the previous owners.

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