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Old 09-25-2008, 12:41 AM   #16
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I use wood in mine. Due to the small size it takes a lot of feedings. Before I went to a central system I gave them a real workout. It is a full time job to keep them stoked. I can not recommend counting on them as your main heat source. In 1908 everybody wore long woolen underwear. I have used coal also. The coal burns long and hot. Peat logs work well for looks and burn slow.

Check them inside and out. If you are not sure what to look for...hire a pro...safety first... smoke blow backs, chimney fires are no fun. Mine seem to draft better if I light some newspaper first to get hot air convection currents moving up the chimney.

I'm very glad I went with a central system downstairs. The second floor is finished... kind of a great-room layout with 3 large dormer areas and a full bath. It is just used for storage. I have an old window 220V heat & air unit up there when I need it.

They do work best with coal. Coal logistics is a PITA.

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Old 09-25-2008, 04:25 PM   #17
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I was told that coal burning fire places are too sallow to burn wood. But it seems to work for Bob.
One of ours is covered with an ornate iron plate that has been glued in place by the previous owner. Weíre leaving it that way, looks nice. The other we plan to buy an insert with elec. heat and simulated flames that is made for this type of fireplace. They look really good. I think they make gas too. As far as your ceramic gas space heaters, my brothers house next door still has these and they still use them. My concern is the carbon monoxide these old heaters may put out. Our house had a gas outlet in every room, but no heaters. We bought new non vented natural gas space heaters and installed in each room they are temperature controlled, emits no carbon monoxide. They also have a shut down feature if it senses carbon monoxide.
As an added safety precaution we installed smoke alarms with a carbon monoxide detector all over the house. If your going to use them get them tested and install detectors. Plus crack a window, good advice for new or old gas space heaters. Check out the mini split units I talked about. We used them before, works great central heat/air. No ducts to run and nothing sticking out your windows.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:29 PM   #18
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I've heard the same thing about coal fireplaces being too shallow for wood, and I've also heard of people (like Bob) who use them for wood, so I guess it just depends on the individual or the particular fireplace? I wouldn't be using them for the main source of heat, actually I'd probably just use the one in the living room occassionally. I'm not even sure if I'd be able to find coal in this area, but it would be nice to burn wood or coal in it on a cold day, just for ambience (and a little heat).
I checked out the website on the mini splits, I like them but they sure look expensive. Are they?
I'm an Electrician, I know very little about HVAC, that's why I'm here, to see what my options are. I kinda like the idea of a central system downstairs, running duct below the house with floor registers, but this house has no basement (pier and beam), would this be a problem or is insulation enough to protect the duct from the cold? I'm trying to find the best route for me, something I can afford to install and something economic to use.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
I absolutely LOVE the style and look of older homes.
In the near future: I...er...'we' ... 'um the'......ah... boss (the wife)...have decided to keep an eye out for a nice older home...and that is fine with me....tho, they always need some amount of work and that takes time.

(Wife always comments on all the unfinished projects at the current home...
"hey... I work on homes all week long....why do I want to come home and do that?" )
I here you! I reply to her that I get paid for working on other homes. what are you going to pay
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by wcb7962 View Post
I've heard the same thing about coal fireplaces being too shallow for wood, and I've also heard of people (like Bob) who use them for wood, so I guess it just depends on the individual or the particular fireplace? I wouldn't be using them for the main source of heat, actually I'd probably just use the one in the living room occassionally. I'm not even sure if I'd be able to find coal in this area, but it would be nice to burn wood or coal in it on a cold day, just for ambience (and a little heat).
I checked out the website on the mini splits, I like them but they sure look expensive. Are they?
I'm an Electrician, I know very little about HVAC, that's why I'm here, to see what my options are. I kinda like the idea of a central system downstairs, running duct below the house with floor registers, but this house has no basement (pier and beam), would this be a problem or is insulation enough to protect the duct from the cold? I'm trying to find the best route for me, something I can afford to install and something economic to use.
Yes we can see someone used ours for burning wood too. But our real estate agent who sells, owns/restores old homes, told us that itís not allowed by local codes.
Itís also unsafe I'm told. But I do plan to burn some wood this winter just to try it out. Weíll install a heater in it later. The hole going to the pit under the house will need a new trap or plate before we can use it.
An under the floor central furnace has been used in the New Orleans area for many years. Most crawl spaces can accommodate duct work. If you can get under your house your good to go. The duct work is insulated so no problem with heat loss.
The Mr. Slim that was installed in our home was part of a noise mitigation near the airport paid for by the Feds. so I down know exactly how much it cost. Iím told itís on par with normal C/A unit installs, plus itís more efficient and only uses 120v. The gov. did it this way on half my home because it was cheaper for them to install. I have both systems in my 2nd home and the Mr. Slim is actually ďquieter ď than my ducted unit. Not only can you ďzoneĒ air or heat in each room with each remote, but itís has a dehumidifier setting as well, which is great for this area.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:56 PM   #21
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Edfoxx68, it sounds and looks like you got a great deal on your house. I am glad you have decided to keep the original doors and windows. It keeps the character of the old house in tact. There's just something about an old house, its the history i guess. I had always dreamed of owning an old 2-story house, so back in '99, I came across mine. Its a pretty good sized house, and its on 4 lots. I paid 69K, which at the time, was a good deal. It had been negected for many years, but has a lot of character. I am in the process of restoring another set of window sashes, and believe me, to do it right takes some time. My house has a lot of old termite damage, and since I have owned mine, I have had it tented 3 times already.

I have 2 fireplaces in my house, sharing a double chimney. I also see where there is a gas line that runs close to both fireplaces. I live down in Tampa, so the winters aren't that bad. However, I have had to rely of these as the only means of heat a few years. Geezzz, I must have gone through 2-3 truck-loads of wood one year. I finally got a large air conditioner with heat, and this takes care of the living room and dining room. I have some space heaters in a few of the rooms, but thats it. There is just something about going into the bathroom at night, and seeing your breath. Since history is my passion, the work I am doing is out of love for my house. There's just something about owning an old house!

Here is a photo of mine.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:15 AM   #22
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Love the columns. Were the bases in good shape? My columns are in fair shape, but one sets of base rings (molding) needs replacement.
We have very little termite damage, not bad at all for 100 years. The whole house is made of cypress (I mean everything) so termites aren't much of a proplem. But they do try. Ours suffered from negect for many years as well. It's beyond me why people let these grand homes go down. You can't buy craftmenship like this anymore. You can't buy craftsmanship like this anymore. We are in the Baton Rouge area and it can get pretty cold here. The house has no insulation at all... Need to fix and soon. Only one of my fireplaces has a gas line but plenty everywhere else go figure. Here are some before and afters.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:44 AM   #23
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Nice looking house! I know what you mean about having no insulation. None in mine as well. There is always a "breeze" inside.

As far as the column bases,, yes, I had to do a lot of work to them. The columns are 1" X 12"s, butt joined together, and they are hallow. I had to replace some of the wood at the bases, so when I removed a section on each one, I installed 2" X 8"s P.T. inside, glueing and screwing them together on the inside of the original boards. going from the base to up to 4' in some. Now, if I have any problems with the base, all the work that will be done will be cosmetic. The 2"x8"s inside are carrying the load. I just finished re-doing one of them last week. Water got in through "popped" filler over a screw head.

Here's some photo of the job. The first shows the damage, and note, the 2"x8" inside is OK. The secod shows screws I put in the wood to hold the filler. The final is after the first coat of primer.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:20 AM   #24
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Nice job. I have some windows I need to repair with epoxy. But the good news is I have all the windows from my brothers house next door. The glass is hard to find. It has distorted early American type glass. I have 12 short columns. No rotting but some splitting that I've repaired. Also one set of base rings has some weird looking damage, it does look like rot but its hard. Can't find base replacements.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:10 AM   #25
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For basic filling, I use Bondo, the autobody filler. It works great! It does have its limitations though. On all splits, I use epoxy. If you go to glue the splits, be sure and remove all trash inside the cracks first. I use a small saw-blade on my drill, to cut the split open, and expose good (unoxidized) wood for the epoxy to "bite". I heard you mention that your house is made of cypress. The clap-boards on my house are also cypress, but the termites have had a field day with it over the years. There are times that the outer layer of wood is good, but you can tap on it and tell ther is a hallow void inside (termite damage). With this, I drill small holes into the void, and using a large syringe, inject the epoxy filler in. Makes a silid repair without destroying the outer layer of wood. If the wood layer covering the void is real thin, I open it up to add the filler.

Its a good thing you have a lot of extra windows. I too have the old wavy/bubble glass, and I always install this type when having to replace a window. A few blocks from my house, someone was re-doing their house, and threw out all their original windows. These are now in my shed for the glass (and sashes) when needed. As far as you columns go, is it possible that someone put some of that "wood-hardener" epoxy on it, to harden up the rot? I have found that most (if not all) of what I need is not avaliable at the lumber yards, so I have to either pay to have it milled special, or do this job myself. Having to work on a shoe-string budget, I have to same as much money as possible.

Below is an example of the typical damage I am finding.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:27 PM   #26
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#1 question. How'd you strip that window so well? The columns bases at the front porch are a little different than the side porch. The base on the side porch has ďAttic BasesĒ.
The front has just the rings but not the square bottoms with a ring on top. Yes I agree they must have been repaired at some point. It looks like when they installed the columns they cut three 8í columns in half to make six short and milled base rings. I have some ideas for making my own. Most of the interior walls have been stripped of drywall exposing the tongue and grove boards underneath. In a few areas they tried to eat the wood but didnít get far. However in one bath at the rear corner of the house they eat a hole in the floor you can fall in. I guess they needed a little water to get that wood down. Itís 5400 sqr ft. so their could be areas I havenít found yet, but so far it looks good.
Where the home is built was a cypress logging town. Records Iíve found shows in 1906 the house was built by a contractor with the same name as the old lumber mill. We also had the opportunity by chance to speak with the grand daughter of the original owner.
Our home and my brother in laws home next door original owners weíre related also. After they cut all the trees in the swamps they went back to a farming town (sugar cane). I've used Bondo also but not on wood, good idea I'll use that thanks.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:26 PM   #27
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Attic bases? Not sure what that means. I see in your photos, that the columns you have are totally different than mine. I agree, someone has worked on them before. 5400sf, geezz, thats a huge house! It looks in pretty good shape too. Sounds like some interesting history attached to your house. Do you believe it was built by the owner, or a family member of the lumber mill? Its good that you spoke to a relative of the original owner. Its a great way to find out about its history. Are you going to leave the original tongue and groove boards exposed? It sounds like a really well-made house.

I had the original owners son come by and tell me about the history of my house. He was born in my house in 1923. The original owner was a Lawyer, Judge, and politician back in the 20's. I also found out that when he was a Judge, he came down hard on the Mafia, and for a while, he had various guns next to some of the windows, thinking they were going to come and try to "take him out".

As far as the "stripping" method of the window sash,, most of it was done by hand scrapers. Some of it was done by a chemical stripper, and then finished of with a sander with a hepa-filter vac attached to get up the lead paint dust. I try to document eveything I do with photos. This way, if I ever have any problems later on with something not holding up, I have instant access as to what I did to it before. I finally finished that sash today, but ran out of daylight before I put on the primer. Well, there's always next weekend.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:43 PM   #28
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Mafioso wow. I love old homes not just for their history, but the way they were built, with purpose and plan. High ceilings to keep the house cool, lots of large windows and doors to get air in. We opened all the French doors one day and a gust of wind just blow though the house. The house sitting up high on piers keeps it cool as well and keeps high water out. The house had 4 porches, the front that faces west gets the evening sun, the back gets the morning sun (screened), the north gets no sun at all and the porch to the south gets sun all day. That porch is a bathroom now. The windows are different than all the others, they open out like small doors. I was told this was an indoor garden.
I want to keep the siding as is but I may cover it because some boards are not flush or broken. Their isnít anything behind them, they are just nailed to the studs. So itís an energy concern.. A/C works too hard and cold drafts creep in. I could repair and seal these areas and pump in isolation but Iíll have to weight the cost in deciding. New siding with isolation board under was done on my other home (built 1944) and it made a BIG difference in utility cost. Weíre selling that one if/when prices go back up. Iím having a new simulated slate roof put on now because of the storm. I think it had a tin roof before. The house next door has a tin roof and suffered no damage. If we could afford it Iíd go back with metal.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:45 PM   #29
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these are the bases I talked about
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:39 PM   #30
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It seems to me that you should be able to find replacement bases like the ones you have. I don't know how much they'd cost though if you had to have them milled special. As far as the siding goes, mine is just like your. They are nailed directly to the studs. Since I only cool a few rooms at a time, I can live with the electric bill. When I bought my house, it had a tin roof. I had a new roof installed, so I wanted to go back to what it originally had. Below the tin, were 3 more roofs! The bottom (and original) was a reddish shingle. This is what I put back on. The metal was in really bad shape, and had been put on hap-hazardly. It always leaked. It looks like we both are going to have our hand full for quite a while.

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