The Cross House
This is not a post about delicious stained-glass, luscious woodwork, fabulous mantles, stunning architectural detailing, amazing vintage wallpaper, or anything of even the slightest aesthetic pleasure.
Nope, this post is about particle board, pressure-treated lumber, concrete block, and spray-foam.
So, for those with delicate visual sensibilities? It is strongly recommend that you skip this post and instead watch Downton Abbey.
In my previous carriage house post I detailed the 1921 shed which had been added to the 1894 carriage house when it was converted into a house.
The shed offered a kinda mid-century split-level spatial dynamic (cool name for a band: SPLIT LEVEL SPATIAL DYNAMIC). One walked a half-flight down from the kitchen to reach ground level. Then would could either go outside, or take another half-flight to the basement. The shed was kinda cool and interesting, but I carefully took it apart for reasons previously detailed.
That was not quite two years ago.
This removal meant that house bits which were not meant to be exposed to the elements WERE exposed.
This also meant the the gutters high above, which had drained onto the shed roof, and then spilled to the ground, now drained onto the steps leading to the basement. And the basement, and steps, not meant to have rain pouring onto and into them, now had exactly that.
With the 1,278,956 vital concerns about the Cross House restoration however, this issue was not at the top of the list.
Then a person said they wanted to rent the carriage house, and issue 967,476 vaulted to the Top Ten List.
The steps to the basement reached a kinda vestibule. There were sheetrock walls on two sides, and a solid-core door made of particle board.
When the vestibule had a roof over it, all was well.
But sheetrock and particle board react very poorly to rain. After almost two years, each was not, ah, looking their best.
Moroever, the shed also provided for protection against wind and cold. With the shed gone, the vestibule was SO not air tight, and installing new plumbing (the carriage house will be totally re-plumbed) was impossible with ICE a certain reality.
Something had to be done.
But what needed to be done would only be temporary.
My GRAND PLAN for the carriage house is to create an interior basement stair. So, the current basement entry will be replaced down the road.
As such, any new work will later be torn out, and the current basement entry will be filled in with concrete block.
This meant that instead of creating the most fabulous ever basement entry (as would normally be my wont), I would do The Very Least.
As I am a guy who defaults to IOT (insanely overdoing things), doing The Very Least feels really really strange.
WARNING #2: VISUALLY DULL IMAGES
When this exciting, dynamic, and challenging work is soon completed, I will no longer have wind rushing into the basement. I will be greatly relieved.
Next week I will also add downspouts, to channel rain AWAY from the house rather than INTO it. This, too, will cause great relief.
Then, if the weather holds out, I can properly side the walls where the shed once was, the carriage house will be tight against winter terrors, and I can comfortably start on the plumbing and wiring and plastering and…
IS GOD LISTENING?
Before I begin in earnest on creating the kitchen for the carriage house, I hope my prayers are answered for a green sink.