The Cross House

Oh. Oh! OH! AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Yesterday, after a long time being dormant, the radiator system in the 1894 Cross House was, after much ado, reactivated.

As my post yesterday detailed, some highly distressing and unexpected results occurred.


Well, you can imagine my great excitement, and fear, at arriving at the house today.

Would all be well? Or would I be confronted with more highly distressing and unexpected results? Would pipes have burst and would I find the basement half-filled with water? Would ceilings have collapsed? Would water be spraying crazily across the gorgeous dining room table?

Justin and I arrived at the house at the same time, about 12:30PM. We stepped inside, nervously.

And were shocked.

Profoundly shocked.

We looked at each other, our eyes wide.

“Wow. Wow! WOW!”

The house was…warm. Quite warm. I have never experienced the house as warm.


We wandered. And discovered that every room was warm.

The most astonishing discovery was the stairhall. The massive staircase acts as a chimney, funneling warm air UP. When standing on the first-floor, this is highly obvious. And uncomfortable.

But today?

There was no draft. And there was no noticeable difference between the temperature of, say, the kitchen or dining room, and the stairhall.

Justin and I were gobsmacked.


Another astonishing thing was the quiet. The house was utterly silent.

This meant that the boilers, which are noisy, had shut down. Why? Because the thermostat setting had been reached! And it was 23-degrees outside! Considering how porous the house still is, this is remarkable. Astonishing. I could not believe it.

Justin and I walked, in a kinda daze, with silly smiles on our faces, all over the house. We eventually settled in the sewing room, sitting on the WARM marble tops of the two radiators. The sun poured in through the huge windows behind us, warming our backs further.

I felt…bliss.



26 Responses to Oh. Oh! OH! AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

  1. That is such great news! It’s a huge accomplishment to get such a major project up and running. I didn’t comment yesterday because everything that could be said was said by others, but I wanted to make sure I congratulated you today. I’m SO happy for you!

  2. Hi Ross…I’m so glad to read some positive results after the trauma of your post and accompanying photos yesterday. It sounds like things are toasty warm there for the first time in years , so that will help whilst you tackle the next interior project. Enjoy.

  3. Very good news, especially with all of the gaps in the plaster/ceilings, etc. This is a very good omen for lots of fun work between now and spring!

  4. Ross,

    I have found your site, and like you I must start at the beginning forward… That being said I have made my way to April 5, 2016 posting and noticed something you made not have in your sleuthing. In the placing of “The Beam” post you showed the area in original drawing mode. Did you ever notice the curve of the telephone closet…. matches the unearthed curve the staircase landing was at one point, before the change to a corner?

    Curves on both sides of the entry at one time. 🙂

  5. A warm house is a warm welcome!
    Congratulations to your warm house!

    My grandma always had a very warm home and she said she freezed a lot in war and post-war times and she is thankful not having to cut back on heating!

    But be prepared that the radiators will begin to gurgle in the next days especially on the upper floors. This is because there is air dissolved in the water you filled in. You have to bleed the radiators a few times until the system is settled. If you don’t do this you will have less warm in the upperst floor, because air doesn’t transport heat like water does, in fact it’s isolating…

    Do you have an open or a closed system?

  6. Oh, I feel bliss too 🙂
    This is a major accomplishment! Congratulations!

    Although my house is not nearly as beautiful/old and exquisite as yours, also 40 years of history can lead to astonishing things to be found.
    We renovated not even 2 years ago, everything from plumbing to electrics, from floor tiles to bathroom, from wood floors to kitchen, replacing all the funky/low quality materials that have been used during the early seventies and in later “renovations”.
    Not even 18 month later the only waterpipe that we did not replace leaked (not to mention that I asked the plumber 4 times if it would not be wise to do this). We tore out our gorgeous tiles again only to discover that some genius used exactly for this one part of pipe thats in the floor, crossing our corridor nothing more than a garden hose :-((

  7. I’m glad your heat is finally working!

    I was poking around on the internet and ran across this website – some interesting things here, and all free to download. Maybe you can get some ideas?

  8. Congratulations! I am hoping to experience this myself soon in my 1891 home. Someone a decade or two ago abandon the boiler and radiators for a heat pump that costs a fortune to run and leaves the place cold. Please keep us updated on how the utility bills fair.

    • Well Ross, Saturday was the big day for my radiator system. After many small setbacks, I finally got my system filled, purged and fired up. Sunday morning I came in and was amazed at the difference. If you haven’t been through this experience a person might think you’re nuts to take such delight in something that most take for granted.

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