Moving and renovating this house is the most creative thing I have engaged in. And an experience like this one was one of the oldest things in my memory. When a child in Denver, maybe five years old, a house was dropped in big chunks down Colfax Ave. It seemed those chunks stayed in place for weeks, and whenever we drove by, they looked like some kind of a mark of death to me. It was impressive.
Always having remembered this, I did not think about it long and hard until my own house was moved, realizing then what primal place in my being moving a house was. I even saw a mansion being moved down the Inter-coastal Waterway in Florida one time. Man, that was a double-take, but the story made the papers and television the next day, so it was not a dream.
Below is the house that we moved over three miles down the road. You can see the traces of the new foundation in the sand, and the house is being placed over it. The roof, in good condition, is what saved the house from the elements.
This house was originally built in the tongue and groove style, and we saved all that we could in the interior. When the house was purchased, we had no idea that the walls and floors and ceilings were ALL tongue and groove.
Below is what we saw in places:
These three patterns plus many more were installed in layers over the tongue and groove floors. Asbestos, probably, and we had to remove all the layers.
In the image above, you can see some fine 1970s era indoor/outdoor carpeting as well. If you know about pattern, you can tell the decade in which the lino was bought. Oldest nearest the floor. I cut two by two chunks of each example and saved them.
When we got to the actual floor, there was some good wood and some not so good. There had been a bad fire in the kitchen fireplace (which was non-existent when we bought the place), and the floors and ceilings were burnt and scarred. I went through all the wood, saving the good stuff, tossing the bad.
How did the former owners deal with redecorating the walls of the house? Same way. I scraped layers and layers and patterns and patterns revealing some really nice tongue and groove walls. That statement should be taken within a certain context. I like walls, floors, gliders, whatever to show remnants of their history.
Many of the walls in the interior of the house were removed and not replaced. Most of the openings in the last two images were made larger. This house is really built for one person, and the only existent doors are for the bathrooms.
Some problems were bigger than simply requiring sweat and labor. At the front of the house, a shotgun, the door had been covered over, intact with sidelights, by plywood to create an interior bathroom wall. Plywood was applied to the outside and inside. The door and sidelight were removed by us, to use in the laundry, leaving a gaping hole. A custom window was ordered, cement board was installed, and I started creating a composition.