A new education in old construction
Buying a 112 year old house has been interesting to say the least. I have learned:
Always check the water in the toilet bowl to see if the floor is tilting. That’s one place you can see a tilt right away.
Shake shingles don’t have plywood under them. Guess I should have known that one, since they were around before plywood.
Balloon framing has studs that run straight from floor to ceiling with hollow walls. Bad for heating purposes… and fires that start in them spread quickly throughout the walls-floor to ceiling. (Answer: insulate.)
Kitchen cabinets at the time were PAINTED! From the start, they were painted white, rather than left with a wood look. Enamel paints were new (lead based) and could be washed more easily than wood.
Radon gas detector is a must.
But also, framing was simpler. Construction design was sturdy, but would be easier for an amateur to duplicate.
I still plan to redo the wiring. And insulate the walls. The back porch (with the bathroom on it) is sagging badly, but “sistering” the joists with new boards, releveling them and jacking the old ones up would help a lot. So would two layers of subfloor…