Saturday, May 8, 2010

Multnomah House Pictures

Now that we're sure the Multnomah house purchase is going to go through, I figure it's safe to talk about our plans and show the "before" pictures. According to PortlandMaps, this house was built in 1912. We were told it was the first house built on the block and was actually the residence for a dairy farm back then. I believe the Leonard family bought it in the late 1930s and it passed from the parents onto the children (a son and daughter who jointly own it). It was used as a rental for something like 10 years by one of their children (according to one of the neighbors). So, we'll be the third family to own this house.

When you enter in the front door and look right, you see the fireplace in the parlor. Honestly, if they hadn't painted that brick, we probably would leave the fireplace alone, but I think the shiny, white latex paint looks awful.
And with that brick being so bumpy and irregular, we might just remove the brick altogether rather than try and strip it. The mason we had out to give a bid for the exterior brickwork said the fireplace wasn't really anything distinctive that needed to be saved. And I don't like the brick well enough to spend the 100+ hours taking off that paint. If we remove the brick, we will probably replace it with a new reproduction tile face and wood trimmed fireplace facade, sort of like this one. That project will have to wait, though.

This is the ceiling in the parlor. I think it will look quite nice once that white paint is gone! Also, you can tell when you look closer that there once used to be light fixtures on the junctions of the beams. I hope we'll be able to get rid of the horrid modern light fixture in the middle and put ceiling-mounted fixtures back on the junctions.

This is the front of the parlor with a couple of built-in bookcases. Again, we're hoping to scrape off all that white paint. Luckily, the inside of the window seat and the bookcases haven't been painted! We'll probably also end up replacing the lighting fixtures because I suspect this large living room is very dark at night (hence the white paint!) so we'll plan to add some light fixtures. And I have a thing for matching fixtures. This stained glass also has a big break in it.

This photo is looking back into the entryway from the parlor/living room. I'm hoping to strip all that paint. We'll definitely be uninstalling those French doors and having them dipped.

This is the dining room. We're hoping to scrape off all that white paint and repair the stained glass in the built-in (it has a couple of broken pieces). There's also a drawer front that has a corner broken off and will have to be repaired. We'll probably uninstall all the doors and drawers and have them dipped. The rest we'll have to strip in place with a combination of an infrared heat stripper and chemical strippers. I like the light fixture so we'll leave that as is.

This is the existing kitchen. Looks like they did a cheap-o remodel somewhat recently. They replaced the bottom cabinets and put the old ones down in the basement and left the upper cabinets in place.
The third photo is a bit of cabinetry in the attached breakfast porch. I'm not really sure what it originally looked like, but none of this cabinetry is original to the house. I think this family remodeled when they bought the house in the late 1930s. When we can afford to remodel the house, we're going to entirely remove the kitchen, the breakfast porch cabinetry, and the abandoned brick chimney (covered over in plaster or sheetrock in this photo) and try and make one bigger space. We'll have to pay to have some structural work done, as more than likely the wall we'd like to remove is structural. It's gonna cost us! So, for now, we're going to live with this unfortunate kitchen. I'm already plotting the remodel though!

This is the scary downstairs bath. Ugh. I think this room is going to be our first try at DIYer remodeling. We're going to see if we can peel down the outer layers of tile and see what's underneath. If we're lucky, we'll find something nice at the bottom. If we're not, we'll put some marmoleum down in this room until we can do the downstairs remodel. Ultimately, we're hoping to make this bathroom at least slightly bigger when we remodel the kitchen; it's tiny!

This is the linen built-in at the top of the stairs. One day, I'd like to strip it down to the wood. But, in reality, the upstairs woodwork was normally painted in these old Craftsman homes, so that project will wait until we're done with the downstairs. I'm not sure these doors are original, as they match the old kitchen cabinetry. I wonder whether they replaced these doors when they remodeled in the late-1930s. Once we learn how to do woodworking, I'm hoping we'll make new panel doors for this built-in (from reclaimed wood).

This is the upstairs bathroom. We're planning to leave this room as is for quite a while. Someday we may remodel it and replace that tub with a clawfoot, but it's not a priority.

This is the upstairs master bedroom on the front of the house. It has an attached sleeping porch that is now closed-in with windows. As soon as we can afford to remodel, we're going to convert this sleeping porch into a small attached bath with an accessible shower for me.

The upstairs also has two bedrooms on the back of the house. One of them has a finished porch. We're going to remove that old chimney as it's no longer used and save the brick for some cosmetic work on the brick facade. I'm not really sure what we'll use this porch for; perhaps a plant room.

Here's where we'll need those spare bricks. Someone did a very poor remodel/repair of the brickwork on the porch. We're going to have to have all the brickwork on the front of the house repointed as much of it has bad mortar. We may have this work done right after we move in, as I suspect if we let it get too bad it will cost much more to repair.

This is a variety of pictures of the basement. Since you typically work from the top down when you remodel, it's going to be a long time before we get to the basement.

It's probably mostly going to be used for storage for quite a long time. We will be setting up our television down there. We'll be having the foundation and pest damage repair done right away; before we start to move in. We figure it will only get harder to get to the foundation walls once we're in, so we've decided that project is a priority. We're going to go ahead with the quote we already got for the inspection and just have the work done.

And to complete the tour, here is the attic. This will be getting insulated very soon!


  1. Ugg, what is with people and thier darn white paint? I know we've discussed that before, but it still baffles me!

    I'm so excited for you!

  2. My friend, Jean, lives in a 1920s bungalow and says they have the Joke Bathroom. As in, "My bathroom is so small..."
    "How small is it?" (ba-dum-bum)

  3. Congrads on the home purchase. Looks like you have a lot of work ahead, but I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end. I have the same issue with the white painted trim in our bungalow, but chose to keep it that way for now for lack of time and money to bring the woodwork back to original. From what I've heard stripping the wood can be very time consuming and not always come out as well as we'd like.