Our photo at left shows a pre brick wall lining used as insulation and as a wind or draft block. The wood shingle roof shown in the photo below is on a building in Key West, Florida, adjacent to the Hemingway house, viewed from the Key West tower. And if your house is old, you at least know the age of your toilet. In evaluating the probable age of a home when inspecting its foundation, how do u hook we consider the foundation materials and style of workmanship.

How to Research the History of Your House

These details can also indicate where additional safety inspections or perhaps repairs or updating are needed for safe use of a chimney, fireplace, building heating system, or wood stove. If you are not inclined to dismantle your house, a tour of the neighborhood to scope out similar homes can suggest the original blueprint lying within altered walls. As they studied the exterior and interior of the Schondorf house, John Massengale, an architect and historian from nearby Bedford, N. Compare the way your house looks with these style guides. Lift the lid of the tank and look for a date.

The tax roll for your home is located at your local city hall, town hall, county courthouse, dating or municipal building. Rewiring a house will require a permit from your local building department. Ceiling joists for the top floor are nailed to the sides of the balloon-framed wall studs just as the floor joists were nailed below. What kinds of construction and production techniques worked well and which did not? In some applications it was covered with wallpaper.

How to Replace the Wiring on an Old House. The material did not perform acceptably as a roof covering, but it led to the development of asphalt floor tiles. Panels are lifted into place by crane and fastened together on a foundation, and possibly a framed-in floor which have been prepared before the panels arrive. Quirky details of a house may point up an otherwise unnoticeable alteration. But one look at the kitchen, and you know they're both wrong.

Peeling Back Time

Rafters attach to the top plate of the building walls. These furnaces are the ancestor of modern forced hot air heating systems. This article series explains the eras of use of different types of roofing materials as an aid to understanding the history and age of buildings. Department of Interior is a primer for the pros, but also a handy guide for the curious homeowner or conscientious realtor. About the Author Charles W.

Home Guides

This article explains and list examples of source of public records that can help determine the age of a building. Look at the shape of the roof and the placement of the windows. Talk to survivors of the previous owners, neighbors, senior citizens at lunch, local carpenters and plumbers, male cougar called and anyone else who might know something about the house. Presumably this is when the Greek Revival house was built. The product was very successful and by over four million square yards of asphalt floor tiles were being sold annually.

Permits and Codes

Old House Dreams - Old Homes & Historic Houses For Sale

How Old Is Your House

Brush up on your history of architectural concrete blocks. Asphalt-based flooring as it was originally produced used heavy asphalt products which meant that the floor tiles could be made in dark colors only. Chart of plumbing types and years of use courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates. While varying somewhat by area of the country in the U.

Handpicked historic real estate for old house enthusiasts
  1. Notice in both the door hardware photo above and that shown below that unlike contemporary passage door locksets, the knob setback distance from the door edge is considerably greater.
  2. The cross-grain construction combined with glue produces a strong, uniform material that is used for both enclosure and for structural stiffness in frame construction of building walls and roofs.
  3. Alternately, accessing the crawlspace or attic and drilling through the wood plate is necessary.
  4. Artists practice careful observation as they draw and compose.
Dating of Old Houses

Details about Beaver-board and Upson Board, a wood fiber product used as an inexpensive interior wall covering and draft blocker from about are provided. If your house is newly purchased, before you paint or move in, plan on cutting numerous holes in the walls to make running the new cable easier. People are apt to make changes to a house as soon as ownership is transferred, so knowing when your home changed hands might indicate when remodeling occurred. Replacing electrical wiring is part of making an old house safer, more modern and more livable. The majority of the new cable will likely be run through the attic and crawlspace before it enters the walls.

You will have to drill a new hole for the new cable. You may have to leave the wiring in the walls intact and only replace the cable in the attic or crawlspace. Home owners can use a cruder technique called cratering. He lives in Oakland, Calif. Newspapers also sometimes yield surprising information.

This Old House

The wall studs extend from the first floor sill to a height sufficient to frame both the first and second floor walls. Pressure from expanding materials absorbed both the original free space around the floor perimeter and added enough force to buckle the flooring up at the center of the room. It may be possible to pull the old cable back through the hole in which it runs. If you encounter black or very dark asphalt floor tiles they are probably very high in asbestos fibers.

Search the InspectApedia website. Timber frame construction initially used hand hewn beams, signs 34 later manually or mechanically sawn beams cut by a pit saw. The reason is pretty obvious.

  • This kind of remodeling is easier to do in a newly purchased home than a well lived-in one.
  • Lacking such a gold mine, a researcher can plumb photo archives in local libraries and historical societies.
  • Timber framing using post and beam construction with mortise and tenon joint connections was used in Europe for at least years before it was first employed in North America.
  • George Van Kleek's house is clearly visible on an map, the earliest one in the Somers Historical Society that shows property locations.
  • Asphalt siding material was made in two common versions, one much like asphalt roof shingles and the other as in this photo was comprised of an asphalt coating laminated to hardboard siding material.
Dating of Old Houses (June edition)

Open Library

Don't assume that an old gas fixture or valve on a wall or found in a fireplace are inactive. Unless you have personally witnessed the construction, your house could be any age. Resilient floor coverings include organic flooring materials such as asphalt tile, cork tile, linoleum, rubber flooring, vinyl tile, vinyl sheet flooring. Later versions or modified original systems added ducts to individual rooms, sometimes still only on the first floor of the building. For example, an American bungalow house with a concrete block foundation could be from homemade cast concrete blocks, rusticated to look like stone.

Wall studs and first floor joists rest on the building sill plates flat wood members set atop the building foundation. On occasion we'll find a very old structure which has been moved and re-set on a new concrete or concrete block foundation, adding more historical information to the home. Had the lath strips been split but not sawn I'd have figured the home was older still. The composition of the original products included asphaltic binders to which an asbestos filler was added by mixing on a rubber mill.

How to Replace the Wiring on an Old House

These materials are rarely available in most architectural and professional libraries. Cork floor tiles were considered a warm, quiet, but less durable resilient floor covering than some of its competitors. Aluminum siding and then vinyl siding were sold both for that purpose and also as exterior wall cladding for new construction as well. Organic resin vinyl increased in popularity for this reason, but slowly.

On the exposed side this wood fiberboard product was usually painted and its joints covered with wood lath or other trim. Every old house has a story to tell. Get the latest This Old House news, updates and special offers every week, direct to your inbox. If your house is very old, the title or property deed may not list all owners.

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