Saturday, December 03, 2005

Here is our original front door back in it's original place. I think it turned out great. It took a whole lot of cleaning and a new coat of shellac. Unfortunately, most of the woodwork in the house has satin poly on it. That's why the door looks shiny in this pic. Whithout the camera flash, it's hard to really tell the difference. I have to trim the bootom of the door so that it shuts properly again. Question is, should I replace the existing metal threshold with a new wood one? What should I install on the bottom of my door to keep out the drafts? I was thinking about spring bronze like I used on the windows, but I was wondering if there is a better method or product. BTW-someday this will again be a front door. We plan to replace the front porch that used to exist where the closet is shown on the othere side of the door. We end up losing the closet, but I think we will benefit more with a front porch.

I've been looking for this doorknob. I've seen it on e-bay a couple of times, but I haven't been able to find it in good condition. Most of the oringinal doorknobs were replaced with ugly brass ones. I'm not sure why. The oringinals are beautiful and function very well. If any of you come across this doorknob, I would be eternally greatful if you let me know!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

So the squirrel adventures continue. Saturday night we awoke to a weird chirping noise that we attributed to the radiators (finally broke down and turned on the heat). An hour or so later we were up again roused scampering sounds that we swore were coming from under the bed. On went the lights, but nothing to be seen--went back to bed thinking that now we have squirrels living in the walls. Sunday morning I take the kids to soccer and my wife discovers a baby squirrel hiding in the front hall closet; we found its brother (sister?) peeking out from behind a backpack about an hour later. Both are in the capable hands of our local (well not really so local--took an hour to get there) wildlife rehab center who will no doubt release them to go live in someone else's attic.

So having no time to work on any new projects this weekend (too busy cleaning up squirrel sh**) I thought I'd post a few pics of what has been done:

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

GOT EM'. Well, 2 months later and practically a whole jar of peanut butter later I finally caught that squirrel. I borrowed another trap that seemed to have a better tripping mechanism. I put the peanut butter on the top and bottom of the tray that sets off the trap. I have to say, even thought I hated this squirrel for chewing away at my house I did feel bad for it. I put a blanket over the cage and set it free in the woods about 5 miles away. Some people say 6 miles is best, but he would have to cross an overpass to get to Highland Park. He seemed pretty mad at me. Lots of growling. Good luck Chippy! ...........................Yeh, I named him Chippy so what!

Monday, October 17, 2005

If you already have not done so, you have to check out the Sears Home Archive. So many of the homes listed are here in Highland Park. The one that looks closest to mine is The Fullerton. Although everything isn't quite the same, but close enough. This front porch looks like it might look nice on my home. What do you think?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Oooo so nice- All was going fine until I saw the hacked off ends of the sill. Could you imagine putting up this crappy aluminum siding and cutting off a perfectly good sill? B.T.W the squirrel is still winning and probably quite fat and happy with all of the food I have been giving him in the trap. Tonight I will try a new one. The trap mechanism seems to work better. If this doesn't work I'll call the pros.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Saying "I hate squirrels" would be mean, so I'll just say I dislike them greatly. Trapping the squirrel in my attic has been quite difficult. It's been there for at least two months now. I know when she sees me she thinks "Here comes that nice man that feeds me the peanut butter!" I read that it is against the law to release the squirrel in a park. Why would you release it in your own yard? I plan to release it accross the river. That is if I ever get the thing.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

While going through all the useless files on my computer I came accross these pics from Aladdin. The colors on the chart are still so nice for today. We painted our entrance close to the color green shown here. Our staircase is very similar, except that this house appears a bit larger.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Have you ever pondered-" Gee with all of this extra time I have, I sure wish I had plans to re-create the wood storm windows that I once had on my house." Well wait no more!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Now is the time to think about those old, cold, drafty windows. If you have windows that are in need of a little weatherproofing , you may want to think about V-Bronze.
I'ts also known as spring bronze. The pic to the left describes how it is done. It's not hard to do. A little boring maybe, but not hard. I recommend a nice vodka martini while working. Just don't hit your thumb with the hammer.

Step 2

Step 3

Monday, September 12, 2005

Even though the siding isn't ripped off and the new front porch put on and all the windows fixed, it doesn't mean we can't start thinking about color. I saw this house in Princeton last year and I like it for now. I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to change my mind. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the color choice for the front porch. Gotta love those copper downspouts. Something similar here.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Wouldn't it be nice. With all of those damn acorns falling I'd love to have a roof over my car. Did you know that acorns can put lots of small dents all over your car? I think the squirrels are hurling them downward to gain more speed. I threw this carport on in Photoshop to see if I like it. I do, but sadly it's too close to the neighbors property line.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My wife and I purchased this 1910 foursquare because we knew there was something great hiding under its wicked '60s remodel and lovely aluminum siding; six months later we found a photo to prove it. The top shot of the house was taken in 1930, apparently there was a traveling photographer who took shots of the houses in town, then sold postcards made from the pictures to the homeowners.

An Excerpt from the Highland Park Historical Society website:

600 Highland Park House Photos

In 1933, James Lloyd Grimstead traveled the streets of Highland Park snapping photographs of people's houses and then selling printed photo postcards to the occupants. The Metuchen-Edison Historical Society has the negatives of over 600 Highland Park houses. If you would like a reprint, please first look at the list of streets (below) to see if your street was photographed at all. Grimstead did not photograph every house in Highland Park nor every house on the streets he was on.

The streets Grimstead photographed are: Abbott St., South Adelaide Ave., Benner St., Cleveland Ave., Cliff Court, Donaldson St., Graham St., Grant Ave., Harrison Ave., Hill St., Lawrence Ave., Lincoln Ave., Magnolia St., North Second Ave., North Third Ave., North Fourth Ave., North Fifth Ave., North Sixth Ave., North Seventh Ave., North Eighth Ave., South First Ave., South Second Ave., South Third Ave., and Wayne Street.

If your street is listed, please call Marie Vajo at (732) 985-3217 or e-mail her at to find out if your house was photographed. She handles the orders for black and white photographic reprints.

Now on to the "after" photo. The slate roof is still pretty much intact, but the previous owners ripped off the glassed in front porch and replaced it with concrete steps and a coat closet. Our plan is to replace the porch, tear off the siding and restore the clapboard and shakes underneath. And since we don't think the steps are going to make it through the next winter--the porch will probably happen sooner than we originally planned.