Tuesday, October 04, 2022

The Upper Deck is Done

For many years our upper porch deck has looked awful. There was a roof leak and gutter issues that caused sections of the floor to rot out. There were also no railings around the upper porch. Well, it has been rebuilt by yours truely and I have made screens to keep the mosquitos at bay. Here is what it looks like now.
The next project is to replace the wood bulk head doors with metal ones and to build a metal shed in the back yard.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Remember When?

If you have been following this site for any amount of time then you may remember the images of the house we lived in before finally moving into the Old Crack House in 2009. In case you forgot, here is a link. Then in 2016, after renting it for 7 years. This happened. Well, I finally got it all fixed up and we sold it in May 2022. Here are some pictures of how it looked in March when the photos were taken.
The front of the house.
The entry hall and living room
The dining room
The kitchen and butler pantry
Staircase to 2nd floor
The bathroom
The finished attic
The basement
Rear of house and garage Now the one thing I did find that puts a date on the house was this little medallion that was covered in paint and nailed above the front steps to the porch.
It reads "Board of Review" and dated 1911. Now I am back to working on projects at the "Old Crack House" since I am now 21 years into my three year project.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

My Number is Up

 Back in 2014 I was doing this. Then we had issues with the box gutters at the front of the house and water pouring down on the front door feature. That forced me into doing this and over time the paint on the upper door feature peeled. So, this week I sanded, scraped and repainted that part with a new addition. Can you see what it is?

A few times this month my daughter has door dashed food and with no number on the house, well, it causes confusion. Now there won’t be any more of that!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Time For Change

 Long awaited update is happening at "This Old Crack House". It would appear that the web hosting service that I have used since 2005 when I started this blog has gone "Kaput" and much of my early material is now lost to the world. When I started this blog in 2005 I used AOL's web hosting service for links and to host images. That was called Hot Dog Express if I recall correctly. I had to learn HTML code and had several web pages at the time. They shut that down and I transferred all my material to a friend in the neighborhood who hosted my images for free. This year it appears that that all ended. I have some time on my hands and will rebuild some sites. Fortunately I have good photo records. So I have to review all my 2005 posts and re insert some photos that are missing and rework some posts since the links no longer work. I started that today. Hence the new appearance to the blog. That may change again but at least you can archive all the posts back to 2005. Unfortunately my original website from 2001 is gone along with my Walnut Hills history site and my miniatures page. So I will start rewriting some of that material and figure a way to link it here. Stay tuned. There will be more work done this year on THIS OLD CRACK HOUSE!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Other Things

 Back in 2014 through 2016 I wrote a series of posts about “Helen’s House” which was built in 1900 by Leonard Volkenand. We turned it into a short term rental and market it through the AirBnB platform. It has been very successful being so close to the University of Dayton and we offer a unique experience because the house is not your typical Ikea furnished, grey wall, minimalistic AirBnB listing. The link is here. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13246834?federated_search_id=64134272-c9bd-461a-ab86-a3d0f5843328&source_impression_id=p3_1615434075_9wO3hKBYfMQIfkQ3

So if you need a place to stay while visiting Dayton, Ohio or live here, have family visiting and don’t want to tidy your place. This may be a good choice.

Back in December 2005  we bought an old farm bell. It had been sitting in my basement for 15 years. I finally put it to use last spring. I built this in the back yard.

When I rebuilt the bulk head I was smart enough to equip it for a future electric socket and line out to the yard. So there is an outdoor socket box attached to one of the legs. When we ring the bell, our friends can hear it 4 blocks (1/2 mile) away.

One of the joys of this place has been anticipating future needs years in advance. 

Other than this I got another room in the basement re plastered over winter and spent most of last year renovating my old residence that got trashed several years ago so that I can sell it this year. I will post pictures later this year of that renovation.

And .... I’m running for mayor again. 


Friday, October 23, 2020

Where have you been Mayor Leitzell?

 Wow. I didn't realize that my roof was done two years ago. It seems like yesterday I was out there risking my neck. Well, I have not been dormant. In fact, I have been fixing up other houses in my neighborhood to sell to new home buyers. Of course that means less work on the Old Crack House but none-the-less, the skills I learned working on this house have paid off because I have become much better at home improvement projects. So I gave up politics for a while. Both local parties don't seem to like independent candidates. However that is changing again. More about that later.

My wife and I bought a foreclosure home in June 2018. It is in my neighborhood about 4 blocks from our house. Here are the "BEFORE" photos that were in the real estate listing.

                                                      Here is the outside front.

Here is the outside back.

The view as you enter the front door.

The living room.

The dining room.

First floor powder room.

The outdated kitchen.

A bedroom.

Another bedroom.

A third bedroom.

Upstairs bathroom.

A painted blue bath tub.

Every room had carpet or carpet tile and all was saturated with cat urine. The previous owner had passed away having some 30 cats in the house. One of our biggest challenges was getting the odor out of the wood floors.

We put a lot of money and sweat equity into the place to produce this end product. 

We removed a wall between the kitchen and dining room. Put tin ceilings in both those rooms. Moved a door and some windows around. Re finished the woodwork. Completely finished the attic. Rebuilt the deck. Rewired the house so it was up to current code. Replaced the furnace and air conditioner. Basically it is a new house with old bones.

The house was listed on Zillow and we had a full price offer in 48 hours. Since it sold last November, several other houses have been fixed up on the same street commanding good prices. So we set a trend and a standard in my neighborhood. I have since been working on my old residence that was destroyed by my last renter. I wrote about it here. The interior is completely re done and I have a friend there on a six month lease while I finish painting the exterior and the garage. The yard needs some TLC as well. I hope to put it up for sale next spring. 

 Meanwhile, at the Old Crack House I have repaired the plaster walls in four of the five rooms in the basement and whitewashed them. Here is a before and after photo of an area beneath a fire place. 

It would seem that I did this back in April this year.


I set up a "Gaming Table" in the basement because my now 17 year old daughter wanted me to run some Dungeons and Dragons games for her and her friends. Here are some photos of the various scenarios I have run for them.

So I’m still a cool dad .....

 I will post about and link to our AirBnB home across the alley in a few days. That has been operating well since June 2016 and my last post had something to do with the mud room. There is history there that is connected to our house. So I will keep you in suspense for a little while.