I mentioned in a previous post that I would be starting a salvage operation. Well, it has begun.
The little parsonage house was built in the late twenties or early thirties. It’s been abandoned for roughly 21 years. If the cottage had had a septic system, it might have been worthwhile fixing up. But as it is, the flush toilet drains to the creek.
It’s a remarkably sturdy house despite the neglect. Sturdy wood floors despite some roof leakage. The ceiling in the bathroom has collapsed, but there’s nothing worth salvaging in there. The sun porch at the back has collapsed, floor and ceiling, but I might be able to save some windows. Inside, the walls are wooden, covered with drywall. The exterior was also wooden clapboard, covered with aluminum siding. All the trim boards are solid wood. The baseboards are 8 inches wide. The doors are all solid wood. The kitchen sink is cast iron.
Along with the house are several outbuildings. A little garage, with the same siding as the house which is difficult to remove. The boards are 4 inches wide but they’re grooved down the middle making them look like 2 inch wide overlapping boards. They’re very vulnerable to splitting and I couldn’t use them for anything else but siding. I’ll probably take trim boards and the doors.
The barn wood siding is more useful, and I’ll be removing all of it. I was hoping the hay loft flooring would be salvageable but I think they’re rotten. They were much too light when I lifted them. I might try to salvage some of the metal roofing, if I can do it safely.
The little coop or garden shed doesn’t have a lot to salvage either. It has the same siding as the house and garage. But I might salvage some of the support boards and the door.
The last outbuilding is another barn, squeezed into collapse by a growing tree. Those boards are under a lot of tension. I may not mess with any of it.
The first load wasn’t big. But I spent a lot of time exploring and testing. I had taken out quite a few trim boards when the elastic on my mask broke. Believe me, you don’t want to do any salvage work in an old house without a mask, especially overhead boards.
I did snag one of the doors to experiment with. I wanted to make sure I could get the hardware off of it, and to see if there was some nice wood under the layers of moldy crackled paint. There are three coats of paint on the doors plus a varnish and a stain, but the wood is pretty underneath and nicely distressed. I only need a couple of doors for my projects, but I’ll take all the doors. What I don’t use as doors can be cut down into beautiful antique boards for possible furniture making.