Sunday, November 23, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Here's a look at the process of skim coat plaster repairs. The walls downstairs are 10.5 ft. Scaffolds were used during the rennovation. Constant vacuuming required to keep up with the dust. Otherwise we'd being blowing dust around all the finished painted walls in the other rooms.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Our moto: "You can save a lot of money doing the work yourself."
We had a plaster contractor from Appleton look at the walls and ceilings in the house (3,000 sq. ft). He wanted $26,000 to put 1/4 drywall over the ceilings and walls. Another plaster contractor looked at the house and said, "The walls are in fine shape--repair the cracks and skim coat". Having the second opinion saved us $25,000.
It hasn't been easy, but my husband tackled each room. If you stick with it, it takes about a month's work per room. My husband put up new drywall ceilings. Each crack was repaired with Durabond plaster and flexible web tape. Sanded, then ready for skim coat plaster. Then sanded, then second layer of skim coat plaster. Then sanded, and evaluated for areas requiring more plaster, then sanded.
After the plastering was complete and the woodwork washed and taped, Zinzer 1-2-3 latex primer over the ceiling and walls. Two coats worked best. First coat really sopped up the paint, and of course second coat much less.
Two topcoats of latex. The kitchen is Valspar "Aged Photo" Tan, the dining room "Flaming Sunset" Red, "Bewitch" in the library, and "Barely Brown" in the Office/Music Room. A custom mix of "Barely Brown" and Brunnette" is the living room color.
We topped off each room with a double molding my husband picked out. The molding was the last thing installed in each room.
Baking Bread on the old cookstove January 2008. It doesn't great much better than the smell of fresh baked bread.
This is a South Bend Malleable Wood Cook Stove, c 1915. If this old stove could talk, eh?
In the fall and winter 2007 we used the old cook stove to keep warm and to heat up our lunch while working on the old house.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
A Snowy February and March 2007 turned into an early spring. April 16, 2007 we closed on the house. A week later the previous owner's adult grandchildren had an auction. The day was sunny and quite warm. We agreed not to enter the house until after the family auction.
We were upset at the auction when the auctioneer sold our two screen doors. Many things weren't quite right at the sale. The carpetbaggers were busy!!
2007 was probably the hardest for my husband. He worked long days with a full time job, mowing two huge lawns.
First project at the old house was getting water to the property. My husband used two 6 ton jacks to remove the sand point from the well. It moved 6 inches an hour. Like pulling a cork from a wine bottle. The damaged sandpoint was replaced, and new pump added. He hauled out the 80 gallon hot water heater, and installed a new 40 gallon unit.
The next project mid June 2007 was repairing and repainting the steel roof. We found paperwork in the house telling us the steel roof was installed new in the mide 1950s. Also with the same paperwork was a letter addressed to previous owner congratulating him on becoming President of our community.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
This is the west wall of the kitchen as we first saw it February 18, 2007.
We'd been interested in the house since we first saw it from the driveway in 2001. We contacted the owner Donna Osen and asked if she would be interested in selling the house. She said no.
We continued writing to Donna, and ocassionally telephoning her for the next six years. Each time she said no, but one time she gave us hope by saying "look--if I ever decide to sell the house you'll be the first person I'll call, ok?"
From 2001 to 2007 almost weekly we drove by the house on our way to get groceries in Stevens Point. Sometimes we would sit in the driveway a little while and just look at the house. Silly us! We always referred to the house as "our house". I remember telling a neighbor that my husband and I were smitten by the old house and we hoped someday we could buy it. The neighbor laughed at me and said, "yeah, you and about two hundred other people would like to buy that house".
During our trips by the old house we could see the wrap around porch was failing and the cedar shingles on the porch roof were covered with green moss. The house had been vaccant since the 1970s. The Quien daughters continued to heat the house during the winter, and have the lawn mowed though no one lived there.
Barbara Osen, daughter of Donna Quien Osen loaned me this photo of her great grandparents (seated) Thomas and Maren Gurholt Quien. Standing left to right are her great aunts Bessie, Gusta, her grandfather Peter, and Ragnhild.
Her grandfather Peter Quien (pronounced Ka-Veen) married Ruth Danielson. They had two daughters Mary Jane Quien Fossum and Donna Quien Osen. As time went on the name Quien was pronounced "Queen".
Thomas Quien bought was the second owner of our home--purchasing it Dec 1917. Mary Jane and Donna kept their grandparents' home until their deaths. Mary Jane passed away in 1996, and Donna passed away in 2006. The Quien family owned our house for 90 years. We are the third owners, purchasing the house April 16, 2007.
- In August 2008 I looked in the telephone book and found Oliver Wrolstad and phoned him. Oliver lives about 6 miles from us. I introduced myself and told him I am interested in the history of the Wrolstad family, in particular John Olson Wrolstad who built my house. Oliver said he could help me.
- A couple weeks later my parents, husband, and I met Oliver for dinner and talked about his grandfather Halvor Wrolstad and his great uncle John Olson Wrolstad who built our house. Halvor and John Olson Wrolstad were brothers.
- Oliver graciously loaned me his family photos and documents to scan. Here is one of the photos I scanned from Oliver Wrolstad's collection. It is John Olson Wrolstad in his civil war uniform. I told Oliver I've seen this photo before in a book and again on the Wrolstad his family website, but I only saw the photo. I've never seen this page written in Norwegian. There are four more pages following this one, each written in Norwegian. I don't know the book but have written to Vesterheim Norwegian Museum in Decorah IA. I'm looking forward to finding out what it says.