Steampunk Victoriana

Yesterdays Craftsmanship, Tomorrow's Future
a Project by 2 Crazy House-Lovers


Our Blog » Merry Christmas Gift from a neighbor, Happy New years to you all and a ton of updates

Merry Christmas Gift from a neighbor, Happy New years to you all and a ton of updates

A neighbor is after me!!!  Thanks for following us on the many Social scenes!
The house renovation is coming along well. Since the last update here is the list of things done:

Cleaned and had hauled off the Front Porch of Debris
Cleaned and had hauled off the First Floor Debris
Added a Cat door as getting up at night to let them out sucked (lol)
New-ish steps up the rear (9 of 14 were broken)
Sealed bathroom window upstairs
Bought supplies to replace all remaining faucets that are broken
Plumbed the hot/cold to the second floor (yay, the warm toilet works... but, uses hot water lol)
Froze new pipes in last snow, Fixed that in this last weekend warming
Bought a possible fix for the upstairs tub drain, plan to replace tub if I can find one
Got an 80k BTU gas furnace for first floor, and installed it temporarily. Warm is good.
Inspected and semi-sanded parts of the front porch
Sealed the front doors. They are 2 24" doors, anyone got any spares?
New pin in floor locks for front and rear doors
Installed 2 dome wide angle day/night cams and digital recorder
Cleaned out front doors broken glass
Cleaned remaining glass of spray paint
Got water heater working and properly vented now
Ran gas to temp furnace, sealed pipes, tested for leaks and added new valve
Insulated all the spaces from the first floor to the second floor
Replaced second floor toilet as it was badly cracked and added new seals
Scrubbed raw wood floors, the dust from hell was rough, now what to do with them?
Fixed rear door latch, window, part of porch, removed debris there
Cut tree limbs lower than 9 ft and dead limbs
Cleaned sidewalks and side of house walk of debris (Whom fixes the sidewalk in front of the house?)
Washed Truck
Got a new desk moved in
Cleaned sad looking kitchen floor, its still sad
Added new locks and dead bolt to front doors
Replaced 2 exterior light fixtures
Hung roman shade curtains over my plastic walls where windows are
Resealed missing window after storm
Broke 2 cans of expanding foam, seems the nozzles break easy

Got a good look at front porch spindles to re-turn then on the lathe, can't decide to make new ones of the same design or whack off 3" off each end and repair :/

Had downstairs re-wired mostly on trade, any electricians out there? I have 3 remaining light switches and 200' of wire to exchange the old knob and tube. I also want to get a quote on changing to 100 or 200 amp service and a real panel.

I need some ideas for paint colors to be somewhat modern and historic. I have planned if I can wing it to gold leaf some of the exterior details as it looks amazing and lasts forever for a relatively low cost.

We have a basement drain or 2 filled with muck, Ideas for DIY? Shop-Vac, Drill on a clean-out tool and warm water? Would the drains under the floors have traps? Would they connect to the sewer or is that split here?

I have 1 5' section of cast iron on the 6" 2ND floor bath stand-pipe to replace. Fortunately (Hah) it's just under a point that is well supported. So, I think I can cut old out with a sawzall? and replace with 2 think rubber gaskets. Researching.

I have an HVAC question on placement of furnaces. Technically I have 4 floors and I would like to heat them all, mainly the 1st thru 3rd. I could put a unit in the main and one in the 3rd floor crawl space. Or both in the basement? My last project of 18 years had them in the attic and basement and the basement one would die far more often due to humidity down there. I can run the expanding kind of ducts to a main trunk myself, but not sure where or how best to run the main trunk. I have plenty of head room over the floors, like 3' height total. I thought of mounting the furnaces in this space and access thru the stair well with trap doors but, if I had to exchange the units... It's kill me to rip out the ceilings. I thought of doing a Paneled ceiling in the rooms like this: and make a panel large enough to get into the ceiling space and large enough to add/remove a furnace. Too many ideas.

As for the ceilings, from above you can surmise they are lowered from the originals. I plan to use several Can/LED lights to light the rooms well. But, part of me is torn. Do I remove all the existing lowered ceiling beam work, nailed and bolted in place and level to gain a larger height and then AC/duct problems... Or do I use this space for ducts, wires, furnaces? Do I cut perhaps a tray ceiling into the rooms or even a circular opening with molding to expose the ceiling above and have duct space? Ideas?

Otherwise its going well and I'm itching to redo the front, porch first and work way up, now that the 1st floor work area is warm... might go faster. Any one know where I can buy/rent/trade for or have some scaffolding? Also looking for a carpenter to help me build a temp deck onto the front porch (seen this done a couple times) to support scaffolding for the upper facade.

Looking for a tub and 2 or 4 x 24" exterior doors, kitchen cabinets .

On a last note... On Dec 24th a city inspector was called by a friendly neighbor (Merry Christmas) to survey the stacked neatly (piles) of boxes with wood lath that we moved to the porch when we moved in (to make room to move in).  We planned to remove them as soon as we could, then it snowed and I lost my job... So, the priorities had changed.  The boxes were all over the house from the former owners' demolition fun.  So, we got a letter Jan 2nd that if the debris wasn't removed on the 7th then I can be prosecuted and fined $1000 a day with a ton of cites of the Pittsburgh building code, city code, international something other code.... I looked them up... good lord you need a lawyer to understand that pile of code and edits on edits... Couldn't they just re-write it with the edits?   So, we needed help ASAP and I had just got paid my last check.  So, I called around and got Erik's Hauling and let me tell you, they rocked.  Nice, fast, same-day and less than all the other guys I called.  They removed 2 trucks (5x8x12 beds) of debris, boxes, plaster remains and lath boards. Seriously, they are great if you need hauling, fast. Sad, it was my last check... but we are not in jail owing fines.  Eric's Hauling and moving ( was fast, low cost and I would use them again... 3rd floor is next.  Welcome to Pittsburgh, I guess!

Anyone want to come visit the project? Let me know by email
- Neil P & crew
Posted: 1/16/2013 11:44:02 PM by Neil Powers | with 0 comments
Filed under: life, Plumbing, warming

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