Friday, August 19, 2005

Life Before Foam Core (1985-1990)

About 20 years ago we bought a cute little old farmhouse with a finished outbuilding in the back. Our property was on a half acre lot on a two lane country road with two vacant lots next door. The front part of the house was built in the 1870s and the back half was added in 1946, which we are guessing because of the wadded-up newspapers that had been used for insulation in the walls. The couple that sold it to us had purchased it in the 1950s and raised seven children there. There were three bedrooms upstairs, one of which contained two sets of bunk beds for the four boys. The parents slept downstairs in a filled in room that used to be part of the wraparound front porch which later became our bedroom as well.

This house seemed perfect for us, because we liked the idea of living in an old house and because the outbuilding was just right for a piano teaching studio and Doug’s mouthpiece shop. We also loved the fact that there was a paved parking area right outside and only one step up into it the outbuilding. And Cyndy adored the beautiful old maple tree that grew between the building and the house.

We did a lot of work on the house for several years after we moved in. We added a wall and french doors between the living room and the hallway so that we could make it into a bedroom. We made the laundry room off of the kitchen into a bathroom and moved the washer and dryer into the mud room. We took down the pine paneling in the dining room and put up normal wallboard instead. We replaced all of the 1940s super-leaky windows with brand-new energy-efficient Anderson windows.

And then to truly make the house our own, we decided to paint it a new color. I wanted to paint it blue, but Doug thought pink would be more fun. I guess it reminded him of all the pink houses in Bermuda where we took our honeymoon. So we copied the deep dusty rose color from an old Victorian house in Rockville and I spent the entire fall painting. The following year I scraped and painted the trim. The previous paint was so old and thick that I had to take it down to bare wood with a heat gun. That was a lot of scraping and sanding! It took me the entire fall to get all of the trim scraped, sanded, primed, and painted, and the house looked great for about seven years. The surrounding area didn't look so great because they were widening the road in front of our house.


lilkunta said...

Why the cliffhanger? Why was your house torn down?

Cyndy said...

Hi lilkunta. Our house was torn down because we had a fire in 2005 and my husband decided that the best thing to do would be to tear the original part down and turn the addition into a house. I wanted to have the insurance company restore it because that's the normal thing to do and I'd still have my house, but I reluctantly went along with Doug's plan.