Bungalow Archaeology

Category: Restore & Repair

Okay, okay. I've been getting requests to show a little bit of our on-going "bungalow archaeology". Here is a quick departure from the regular inventory (just for a little break).

Scenario #1

We walk to the house for the first time and notice that on one side of the wall, well, there's a chimney. Not a well-maintained chimney. But a real chimney.

However, INSIDE OF the house...there is a wall of hickory wood. Where there should be a fireplace, built-in bookcases and windows above the bookcases. We know this because there are 2 other houses on the street of this same design, same builder, from 1914. Same layout. And that is what they have.

Yes, the above is with some of her stuff moved out already. Amazing, isn't it? At this time, this is the most organized room in the house. During the inspection, the organ and the boxes in front of WHERE the fireplace should be are moved aside. And we have our first clue, Nancy Drew! A HEARTH!

And then, our second clue! The stained glass windows!! (Behind a pile of stuff, of course)

So, when my parents come to visit, we are supposed to be cleaning. But we cannot resist the call of GERALDO RIVERA...who seems to murmur from the woodwork, "Will you find a fireplace or no? Money or a dead body? You cannot change the channel, can youuuuuuu?"

We peek.

And, though our cameras cannot show it, we find....the missing fireplace!! Or, most of it. The brick face will need to be redone, but it is back there. We also found the built-in bookcases in the basement where they were being used in "The Boy Scout Room" (more about that later). No money, no body. Just as well.

And for those of you who are wondering, yes, A is that tall. He is 6' 7". Ergo, our purchase of the only bungalow we could find with that much headroom in the basement, on the first floor and second floor.

Scenario #2

During our first visit to the house, we notice other strange decisions in homeownership. For example, the tiles in the first floor bathroom are stripped out, and the owner is too tired to replace them. She had already bought her condo and so, what for? But this window. It looks a little odd too.

But back to the window. Again, my dad cannot resist taking out his cro-bar. His own renovating days over as my parents are in a cozy house on a lake, one daughter's Victorian house well on its way, our 1920's condo sold...the temptation is too great for him. I mean, does one ever get tired of pulling down other people's muddles?

Not in our family, obviously.

(And I'd like to point out that the renovation chromosome runs in A's family as well. His grandfather and father have a few stories in this area. Or, A's mom has a few stories about them. Anyway.)

Voila! Dad, thanks for the window! The rest of the window, that is. Now to line those walls with plastic and keep the room well-ventilated until the tile can be put on. After the 1951 cast-iron tub is re-glazed. While we are living there.

What can we say? It's like camping with a mortgage. The only way to own a house, right?

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Hi! and Happy New Year!Just wondered across your project and wondered where you were planning to purchase your tile for the bathroom. I work for a designer showroom in Chicago which is right down your alley for this bathroom if you are looking to restore it back to its original look for the 1920's. One of our artisans is faboulous!!Actually they all are. Let me know if I can be of assistance.I have been in the business for over 20 years. Judy


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