Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A New Start

Well I had a totally random opportunity fall in my lap last week. Without going into much detail I was able to land the most awesome house to rent (to me) in the northern hemisphere. I found a Mission Style/Arts and Crafts house that is about 90 years old, in pretty good shape for a beauty that old. The owner is allowing me to rehab and rent to own! So anyhow, I am going to use this forum to chronicle my adventures in remodelling an house.
What are my qualifications? Officially? I am a network administrator for a medium sized printing company in the North Central Illinois. I actually have rehabbed a house for a girlfriend a few years ago and thats is where I got the bug. Many years ago I had the chance to learn from a true master craftsman that lived next to my grandmother, the stuff that guy could do with hand tools was fantastic. He was the kind of guy that had powertools but always used his old hand tools to do the job once, right, and make it long lasting. There are still two houses that he built with his father 50 + years ago that are still standing and are a testiment to his craftsmanship.
I didnt know it at the time but he built in the Mission/Craftsman style and stuck to that until his death. I remember he built me a bedroom in my grandmothers (grams) basement when I was a teenager. He drilled holes in the concrete with and old bit & brace then filled each of the holes with lead (kind of looked like steel wool) , then drove a nail through the studs into the lead filled holes. that was 30 years ago. Those studs are still holding strong to that floor today. He never used a nail gun on any project.
I was able to watch Elmer (yes that was his name) for the better part of my life and picked up alot of what he did just by watching and "being in the way" Ummm helping.

So on with the show!