An 1880s Italianate Home in Albany, Oregon
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Renovation projects

Upstairs renovation -- early 2005

Top, January 2005: I've begun pulling wires and installing plumbing for an upstairs washer and dryer.


Middle, February 2005: I've installed the wires and plumbing, but I haven't done the sheet rock work yet. But because we wanted to use the new equipment as soon as possible, it has been hooked up and is already washing clothes.


Bottom, February 2005: We bought a top-of-the-line washer and dryer. Because they are stackable, they take up less space in the walk-in closet area.

Top, June 2003: The upstairs hallway as we saw it on our first visit.

Bottom, January 2005: Barb's made new drapes and she painted the hallway. I've installed new lights, carpet, and a stained glass ceiling window.


Top, June 2003: The upstairs hallway as we saw it on our first visit.


Middle, January 2005: We have painted, and we have put down tack strip to prepare for the new carpet.


Bottom, March 2005: With the new carpet, paint, and furniture, the hallway corner is hardly recognizable.

Top, January 2005: We decided to remove the parquet flooring in the upstairs office so there would not be a jump-up in the flooring after the carpet was installed.


Middle, January 2005: Bill Cutler and I used chisels to pry up the flooring. It was well glued down.


Bottom, January 2005: After an hour of work, we were only about one-third of the way done.


Top, January 2005: Bill Cutler and I trim the edge of the carpet.


Bottom, January 2005: Bill and I prepare to stretch the carpet in another direction.

Top, January 2005: Barb cleans up the leftover fuzz.


Bottom, March 2005: We have reinstalled the office furniture

Top, June 2003: The upstairs guest bedroom as we saw it on our first visit.

Bottom, December 2004: I've begun sheet rock work in the closet.

Top, June 2003: The upstairs guest bedroom as we saw it on our first visit.

Middle, January 2005: We have installed carpet in the bedroom, but the hallway has yet to be done.

Bottom, January 2005: The finished carpet installation.

Top, June 2003: The upstairs guest bedroom as we saw it on our first visit.

Bottom, January 2005: Barb's made new drapes, and we've installed new carpet.

Floor repair  -- August 2003

The home's original fir flooring was in pretty bad shape when we took possession at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13, 2003. A month earlier, we had scheduled American Hardwood Floors to refinish the floors -- starting Thursday the 14th at 8 a.m. That was cutting it pretty close. In two days, a four-man crew laid missing flooring, sanding off many layers of paint, and applied three coats of finish. They worked hard and did a super job. Highly recommended.

Before After Comments
Master bedroom
Before: floors were painted and dusty.
After: the original old-growth Douglas fir flooring was cut vertical-grain and has many rings to the inch. It really polished up well.
Front door entryway
Before: basic painted flooring.
After: We still need to replace the cold-air return's grill part way down the hall. Also, we've added a large mirror we got on sale at Costco.
Living room fireplace
Before: missing flooring.
After: I went to Architectural Salvage in Philomath and managed to buy identical flooring that had been removed from a demolished building. The newly replaced flooring looks just like the original.
Living room (as seen from front parlor)
Before: more missing flooring.
After: I pulled up the painted plywood, and we had the missing flooring replaced. Note the darker square of flooring in the foreground. This likely was where the cold air return used to be. Also, if you look closely, you can see the line where metal track used to be between the two pocket doors. This helps explain why the pocket doors don't work as well as they did originally.
Living room (looking into front parlor)
Living room (as seen from dining room)
Before: lots of missing flooring.
After: Some of the recycled flooring that I bought from Architectural Salvage in Philomath was sixteen feet long. So you don't see many joints in the newly laid flooring.
Dining room (as seen from kitchen)
Before: basic painted floor.
After: to the left of the line across the floor used to be a fireplace. The missing flooring was replaced many years ago with lower-quality flooring. We had two of the worst floor boards replaced.

Doors and Windows -- October 2003

We tried stripping paint from this door with two kinds of chemical paint stripper. It was SLOW. Then we tried this Wagner paint stripper that Dave bought on eBay for $5. It turns the paint into a putty that comes right off. But the door still has a long way to go before it is ready to install between the living room and hallway. (We found the door leaning up against a wall in the basement. )

The door had about five layers of paint. Interestingly, the bottom layer was a faux wood finish ... sort of a golden oak.

Here is what the door looks like after finishing with the paint stripped.
To prepare for building a carriage house (that is, a garage for you neophytes), we purchased all the wooden double-hung windows from a home that had been torn down outside Blodgett. That home was demolished because of Oregon's building codes. The property owner wanted a new home, and although the property included many acres, it was only zoned for one home. Thus, the nice 1930's house was demolished to make way for a modern structure.
Double-hung windows use steel counter-weights to keep the windows well balanced. The counter-weights are held up by white sash cord. Each weight has how many pounds of steel it contains embossed in the top. Most of these weights are 6 pound, but some of the smaller windows take 4 or 5 pound weights.
Here are all the windows stacked up in the basement awaiting paint stripping and repainting.


The Allen-House.Com and websites are maintained by Dave and Barbara Sullivan who live in the N. H. Allen House at 208 6th Avenue SE, Albany, Oregon. Our home phone is 541-924-5983.