Friday, January 7, 2011

This Dilapidated Farmhouse, Part 4

My poor old farm house has gone through a lot of changes over the past century. We're not exactly sure when it was built, but 120 years ago, this is how it looked:

When I moved in back in March, my dad had already re-roofed it (including all new decking). Despite the beautiful new roof, the house still needs a lot of work.

Then in May 2010, my uncle finished the "top," a piece that he decided was neccessary to keep the roof from rotting along its flat top.

You can't tell from the photos, but the underside of the overhang has been replaced along the back and far side. The next step is to replace it along the front and near side, but before we do that, I must decide what to do with the porch.

Originally I wanted to extend the porch all the way across the front of the house and enclose the bottom, screen it in, and create an outdoor dining area (sort of like this, although my photoshop skills are sorely lacking):

The actual design would have looked like something similar to this, but with the top on the second story left as it was (so the middle of the second story would be covered, but the ends would not be).

I still think it would look really nice, but my goals have changed for the house. Something this elaborate would cost considerable time and money--neither which I can realistically afford. So, I've decided to take a little of the decorative elements that I like, but restore the porch in it's original size and scope.

I plan on using square posts to play off the squareness of the house, but I really like the railing above. I thought it had a borderline antique/victorian/craftsman/farmhouse quality to it, much like my house does.

And apparently I was right, because when we went to the movies and saw True Grit, low and behold, "my" railing appeared in one of the scenes!

That pretty much pegged it right there. The pillars will be more modern square pillars, but the railing will be just like this. I think it will fit with the look of the house perfectly--the squareness and the echo of it being over a century old, and yet add some much needed interest without the overly-done victorian elements that were lost on the house long before my dad ever moved in.

Another dilemma I've been facing is what color to paint the house. I love the nice, neat farms where all the outbuildings are painted the same color, and then the farmhouse is painted a different, but complimentary color. Since I've already purchased it, the color for the outbuildings will be/remain grey with white trim.

So, what goes with grey and white, and yet goes with a brown/gray/slate colored roof? I've considered different shades of yellow, sage, grays, tans, and haven't been truly pleased with any of them.

Then I drove down a side street the other day and saw this:

This house has the exact same roof on it as my house. The gray would look really nice with the outbuildings, while the maroon accents would make it stand out and seperate it from the outbuildings. I love it!

I hate moving, and yet I've had to move eight times in the past ten years:
2001 - Lawrence, KS
2002 - Tonganoxie, KS
2004 - Near Tombstone, Arizona
2006 - The farm here in Kansas
2007 - Pilot Point, TX
2008 - Kansas City
2009 - Drexel, MO
2010 - The farm here in Kansas (hopefully once and for all).

I'm ready to stay in one place for a long time, and I truly hope this can be my home, I can make this into a home, and this will remain my home, because it already feels like I'm home.

There's no place like home, Toto.


Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

That top photo is your house? Wow, pretty cool photo!! You're doing a great job with the place so far:)

Nicole said...

Oh I love your house! It sounds like it is a bit older than my great grandparents house. My great grandpa's parents moved here from Illinois (right after the Civil War) and bought up tons of land. The old barn on their place was built in 1880 time frame and the house was finally finished just before my great grandfather was born in November of 1891. He lived in the same house until he died in 1998 (10 days shy of his 108th birthday)

Jessie McCandless said...

Yes, I feel really fortunate to have a cool old photo of the house like that. I really wish that they had left the original mouldings and porch pieces intact instead of putting in that awful iron, but whatchagonnado?

Thanks so much, too. I feel like it's still quite an eyesore but it has so much potential. I know I'll be busting buttons when it's done! :)

Jessie McCandless said...

Thank you so much, Nicole! I do like it a lot--it has tons of potential. That is really neat about your ancestor's home. You have lots of wonderful details about your family's homestead! My family is similar--my 2nd great-grandparent's house is about 2 miles from where I live and it is completely restored in its original condition. It's gorgeous, but no longer owned by my family, unfortunately. It sounds like your great grandfather had a very full and wonderful life :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

I've always loved old houses and restoring them to their original state. Since my husband's had enough of restoring we now live in a relatively new house.

Your doing a great job on fixing the house up. I'm sure when it's finished it will be awesome. I think the maroon with the gray and white would look stunning. Have fun with this.

CCC said...

How cool is that to have that old picture of it. I have to confess I love those old turned post uprights and the victorian gingerbread but just cause I'm old and the house I grew up in had a tiny bit of gingerbread that I loved.

I moved 7 times the first 3 years we were married and know what you mean about wanting to stay put. Sometimes that's just not to be. We seem to move on the average once every 5 years. I've learned to be adaptable. But I envy you, wonderful old house.

Jessie McCandless said...

Thanks so much Grey. Yes, until a person really digs into one they have no idea what they're really getting into. There are so many basics that have to be completely replaced, before the real work can even begin. It will be worth it, but I agree--will probably be the last time I'd want to work on one! LOL

Jessie McCandless said...

CCC, I love the gingerbread, too, and if the original work were still on it it would definitely be left, but it was ripped out long ago. Sadly the inside woodwork was also ripped out. I have no idea how they could do something like that, but it's all gone. :(

I'm surprised to hear that you move that much, since you have such a lovely farm yourself. You have a great home, albiet in a very cold place. I don't think I could do it, but I love hearing about it! :)