Old Stone House

Guest Post: Refinishing the claw foot tub

May 3, 2010

Filed under: Day to Day @ 1:58 pm

This ‘guest post’ is actually a comment left by Russel – he was good enough to relay his experiences about refinishing his own claw foot tub. It seemed a shame to hide such excellent advice deep in the blog, so I’ve decided to promote it.  (Thanks Russel!)


I think having any tub “re-porcelain-ed” is a mistake. If you can live with the pits and imperfections (and I bet you can) just leave it. We have 3 tubs in our 110 year old home. 2 of them have been refinished AT LEAST twice over the years. The refinishing coats have begun to crack—one of them severely. This has happened primarily around the drains but there are also large “splotches” on the tubs’ interior-bottoms where the finish has flaked. (more agony and joy…)

Talking on Twitter…

October 14, 2009

Filed under: Day to Day @ 3:45 pm

crowThings have been very quiet here for the last few months.

All is well – the summer was a whirlwind of activity and holiday and it feels like we spent more away then home. We sacrificed a lot last summer when we entertained moving and vowed that this summer we would do a better job of enjoying the warm weather.

It was worth it…

However, with fall winds come the itch to return to the house and we have a number of maintenance issues that need to be dealt with (not to mention our wish list) I believe we will be focusing on making the house more energy efficient – and if some cosmetics get upgraded in the process so be it!

In the meantime I wanted to extend an invitation to those users who are on twitter to join in on the conversation @oldstonehouse. I’ve been using Twitter for 2+ years and have found it a very useful service.  Likewise, those interested in the day-to-day story at oldstonehouse can get a glimpse of what happens between blog posts.

Tweet me…

New Old Lights

May 27, 2009

Filed under: Day to Day @ 12:21 pm

light1_smallA few weeks ago we happened upon a pair of old lights at one of our regular antique haunts. They’re in fairly good condition, needing only a good scrubbing and a wiring upgrade. We always are on the lookout for old lights such as these, but we rarely find any for a decent price – $30. (They typically sell for $100+)

So here’s a question: should we repaint them?

The finish on the lights is rough and needs to be re-done. We had intended on replacing two of those ugly dome lights in the bedrooms with these new lights, so we’ve considered painting the lights white. (more agony and joy…)

Water Heater Woes

May 19, 2009

Filed under: Day to Day,Energy Savings @ 4:20 pm

Last weekend our water heater sprang a leak. Not a big leak, but a leak none the less. The water heater was a rental so we phoned the utility company. They dispatched a local representative who came out to the house in a matter of hours, assessed the problem, and informed us that they would replace the unit – scheduling an appointment for the next morning. The rep. was good enough to note that the venting on old water heater would no longer meet code for a new unit, and it would need to be replaced. He explained that ‘his guys’ would replace the venting – and charge me dearly for it – or I could replace it myself. I told him I would do it myself, and thanked him for the heads-up.

I visited the DIY store that same day and purchased some lengths of 636 pipe and assorted fittings, and spent the rest of the afternoon ripping out the old vent and replacing it with the new. (more agony and joy…)

Plans for the new year.

January 18, 2009

Filed under: Day to Day,Energy Savings @ 2:18 pm

trim.jpegInspiration can sometimes come from the most unlikely sources. We decided to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon cleaning up our Christmas ephemera, and as per usual, we took it as an opportunity to do some puttering. Nothing major, a little bit of putty here, a touch of paint there – those ‘touch-ups’ that help keep the house maintained.

One such chore was to clean out the closet under the stairs. We keep a good deal of seasonal stuff – decorations, old coats etc in this closet, but have never really liked it. The closet is in the centre of the house and therefore always inconvenient to use – you simply don’t step in from inside and hang up your coat. Second, the closet appears to be an afterthought in the house – not one of the original features, as the door is cheap and the trim isn’t a perfect match. As well the door opens into our dining room, for a grand door-total of four doors and one passageway. Needless to say, we’ve never really liked it. (more agony and joy…)

Lamenting the Lost

October 20, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 2:39 pm

I’ve decided it is time to clean up this website – no, I’m not drastically changing the design. I’m happy enough with the way things look and I’m not going to spend the effort making huge changes when they’re not necessary. Will I update the site? You betcha – This design is going to be 3+ years old soon and I’m tired of it – as well as I’m pretty sure I can improve on it – just like me house.

Anyway, I upgraded the blogging platform, cleaned out some useless plugins and reviewed my unpublished drafts and links list. The link-list has been very poorly maintained. As I use Google reader for all my blog subscriptions, and upload posts to this blog via platforms such as ScribeFire – I rarely visit my own blog – and thus I lost track of the state of my links list. (more agony and joy…)

Blog Action Day 2008 – Poverty

October 14, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 1:51 pm

2008 has been the bastion for economic uncertainty. One year ago people were recording record house sale profits and the economy ‘appeared’ to be steaming along without issue. However as well all know, economic times were not a good as once thought and now North America is gripped by financial instability.

People are losing their houses, their savings, and their hope…

…so does anybody want to talk about poverty? (more agony and joy…)

Buckets and Gutters

October 13, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 2:49 pm

bucket1.jpgA long time ago my father taught me that one of the best ‘toolboxes’ is an old drywall compound bucket. My father had a bucket for plumbing, an electrical bucket, a drywalling bucket, and the general use bucket. Simple, sturdy, and free. (more agony and joy…)

Of Autumn Winds and Hindsight

October 5, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day,Ugly Addition @ 9:14 am

justlivingsmall.jpgI can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post! Where has the time gone?

I’m happy to report that nothing extraordinary has happened since my last writing – and I’m grateful for that! It would seem that our little experiment with the housing market did us a world of good – allowing us to prioritize our needs, be thankful for what we have, and avoid possible economic disaster. (more agony and joy…)

The deal is off

August 4, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 10:07 am

Long story short: We’re NOT moving.

After 8 weeks of valiantly trying to sell our house, we came to the conclusion that this was not meant to be, and pulled our house off the market. In the last few days we’ve had a number of very interested buyers come through the house – each prepared to make an offer – but ALL wanting to wait until after the holiday weekend.  In the meantime, our offer on the other house (Brant) had expired and we needed a firm offer on our house before we could make any deals. If all that wasn’t frustrating enough, our agent was suggesting that we should drop our price as contractors were prepared to make an offer on Brant (they were looking to flip the property!) and we needed to make our move NOW.  All the while, Brant had developed a bad mold problem in the basement. (more agony and joy…)