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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Victorian Homes Magazine Visitors

You would think that by the time you are 40 you would be wise about certain things. Possibly even home improvement. Not us! While already owning a house we took a walk one day around the neighborhood and spied a huge old house that we had never seen before because it was winter and the foliage that hides it in the summer was on the ground. "What a neat old house" we said. "Just needs a little TLC" and "Oh look, a for sale sign."

One month later we were members of the "two house club" and had to evict some pharmaceutically inflicted individuals from two of the four apartments that we had just acquired. Almost seven years later we are still members of the "two house club" and our three year project has expanded into a journey of learning such wonderful and useful things like how to make beeswax polish, everything you ever wanted to know and more about shellac, making concrete counter tops and sinks and what plaster is really all about. No contractors are being used. None! We tried one plumber early on and his work failed inspection and a portion had to be re-done by yours-truly. As we say around here "Why pay someone to screw up when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself for free!"

Now, if you have a little time, go get a cup of your drug of choice and prepare to sit down for awhile as you venture through our nightmare. Here is a little tip;

if you just want to look at pictures of house pornography, click on the link to the right that says "Our New House - The entire Crack House story". Here you will find the original site that I established documenting our journey since 2001. I am always slow to update it though and I am a few months behind.

If you feel a little sadistic and want to laugh (alot) at our pain, then read the blog entries. When you are done, click on some of the 50 or so links I've listed because many of those people are in the same boat and every single one of them has followed our journey with sadistic enthusiasm!


At 1/17/2008 10:32 AM, Blogger Amalie said...

Yep-- the old "It just needs a little TLC"... That's how they get ya!

Thanks again for the shellac guidance-- we didn't by any means do a perfect job on the floors, but we are so, so, so glad we did them ourselves, if for no other reason than that I don't think the pros would have been willing to use the shellac.

You've converted another unsuspecting homeowner!

At 1/17/2008 6:02 PM, Blogger Patience_Crabstick said...

Those are some amazing pictures.

At 1/18/2008 5:20 PM, Blogger ellipsisknits said...

This is off-topic, but I couldn't find an email, and figured you wouldn't be keeping track of old comments anymore.

Anyway, back on July 19, 2005, you mentioned removing your wood mantle to strip the paint.

Could you go into more detail on that? We want to move our mantle (to a different room) and don't know where to start to get it off the wall. Did you have to disassemble it? Tear out the wall? Is it plausible for people with little woodworking experience to do this without irrevocably damaging the wood?

you can email me at alspachc-at-yahoo-com

Your house is beautiful!

At 1/21/2008 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already said it: I love your work and I love your house blog. It's amazing what you did in this house, and nearly incredible and I'm always curious what the next post will be....

At 1/21/2008 5:46 PM, Blogger Chad said...

Seriously Gary.. you have to fix your blog template, it looks like ass in firefox.

At 1/21/2008 10:46 PM, Blogger Skymosher said...

Love your stories! Absolutely love them!

At 1/30/2008 11:40 AM, Blogger Ali said...

Ok, so I found you because we plan to move to Dayton in 2 years. When we do we want to find an OLD house (not a mansion though, I am not so ambitious) to restore. I have read this blog in its entirety over the last two days. lol. I have a new found appreciation for shellac and its many wonderful uses. Who woulda thunk it?

I am saddened now though, because when I went to visit your "the entire crackhouse story" site, I found many pages not working. :( I think I am addicted to your Crack-house. LOL

Maybe by the time we move to Dayton your house will be finished (and you will actually be living in it!) and you can come help me do mine! lol we hope to find something in your area or South Park... not positively certain yet. Probably wherever we can find the right house.

But really, thank you for taking the time to document all this. I have learned SOOO much!

At 1/30/2008 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should tell Victorian Homes that the article on you guys is helping sell their magazine. I finally tracked down a copy at Barnes & Noble last Saturday, and was disappointed that it was only a two-page spread and had no previously-unpublished pictures of any of your houses! Could have read it and put it back! But I bought it anyway. The whole magazine. And my house isn't even a Victorian. Ain't I noble?


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