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Save the Steam! Our Old Home Renovation Project!

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  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,639
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    Piping above the water line usually only corrodes through where the boiler has been throwing water up in to the mains for a long time in the parts that that water is getting thrown in to.
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,203
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    @Waldman86, Just so you know, the condensate in steam returns becomes acidic and that's why the wet returns corrode as quickly as they do. They still do last several generations, usually.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
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    As I think you've discovered -- and your wife! That's just wonderful! -- @Waldman86 , you've hit a group of people here on the Wall who really are enthusiastic about getting things to work well -- and, perhaps more to the point, are really top notch people in various aspects of this game. We'll help all we can!

    And I, for one, applaud loudly what you are aiming for in working on your project. The whole job -- not just the heating, but all the aspects of it, can be so satisfying, particularly where you have history on your side and are willing to take time to do it right Any thing we can do to help! (for what it's worth, by the way, the primary place I care for -- Cedric's home -- is also a family home, only in our case my granddaughters will be the 8the generation working this land and living here!)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • vhauk
    vhauk Member Posts: 84
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    To your question about heating water, we have a peerless boiler feeding a one pipe system that had a hot water tank heated by a heat exchanger in the boiler. I never liked this system because the boiler would have to operate in the summer to provide hot water. Years ago I started using tankless natural gas water heaters manufactured by Rinnai. When our hot water storage tank started leaking, the tankless heater went in. I can’t say enough good thinks about these water heaters. I am not a fan of electric tankless water heaters. 
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
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    We see lots of these Hofmann systems since we are in Chicago. My general recommendations are to pipe the returns with gravity, fix the cross over traps, install a vaporstat to keep the pressure low enough so water does not back up into the returns, eliminate the differential loop and install a large main vent ( or a couple depending on the size of the system) on the return line of the system with a low cracking pressure ball check for each vent ( no spring). This will allow the system to operate in a vacuum most of the time due to the collapsing steam at the end of a heating cycle. Fit the radiators with supply valve orifices to virtually resize the radiators to the current heating needs and gut or remove the traps. Now you will have a system sized to the current peak heat loss, so the heating plant can be sized to the heat loss. If the system is big enough, you can stage two boilers with a two stage thermostat or an outdoor thermostat, or install a modulating steam boiler with the burner modulated based on outdoor temperature. On some systems you may need to bring the boiler firing rate up to prime the system when the system goes through an off cycle and then drop it back to the outdoor reset curve.
    Systems we've set up this way have cut fuel usage 28% to 50% over the previous on/ off oversized boiler systems. These savings where achieved with no improvements to the building envelope. You also have much more steady heating since the steam is on for much longer cycles. On outdoor reset systems it may almost never shut off except in warm weather.
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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
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    Eliminating the Differential Loop seems to be an odd way to reduce the problem of water backing up into the returns -- since the whole purpose of the Differential Loop is to keep exactly that from happening. That's why it's there, and it will do exactly that with no moving parts or maintenance -- provided that there are no other vents on the system other than the main vents on the returns at, or very near (like a foot or two) from the Loop. The crossover traps then vent the mains as needed.

    Low cracking pressure checks, to encourage a vacuum, are fine -- but it might be pointed out that the Hoffman #76 main vent has that functionality built in, if it is desired.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
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    What I have seen on systems with a differential loop is that if the boiler maintains about 10 oz pressure or higher it will cause steam to continuously flow through the differential loop causing the system to lock up because air can no longer escape ( the main vent is closed on the loop) and there is no longer any pressure difference between the supply and return. This is why they really don't seem to serve much purpose.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    Long Beach Ed
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
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    Quite correct, @The Steam Whisperer . The Hoffman Differential Loop is designed, quite deliberately, to send steam into the dry returns at 8 ounces per square inch, plus or minus and ounce, between the boiler pressure and the dry return pressure. This prevents excess boiler pressure from forcing water up into the dry returns (hence the slogan "Watchman of the waterline"). It also prevents an excessive pressure differential from occurring across the crossover traps, the radiator traps (if used) and the metering valves on the radiators.

    This will, indeed, lock up the system for a time, but since the Hoffman Equipped Systems are intended to operate on about a 4 ounce pressure differential, this is not a problem, as the loop is never activated.

    This, of course, assumes that there is a vapourstat, not pressuretrol, for control, and that it is set correctly.

    If the boiler is not equipped with a vapourstat, and there is adequate elevation above the boiler waterline to accommodate the pressure differential, and the system is equipped with traps which are all operating, then the Loop should be disabled or removed. The only real downside will be much shorter life for the traps (note that the crossover traps on a properly calibrated system operate once, and only once, and stay closed per heating cycle, and the radiator traps never close. Nor does the main vent or vents)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
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    To consider for the future:

    As @Steam Whisperer said about using inlet orifices in the supply valves, this would

    allow you to use your oversized CI rads without overheating.

    You could eliminate the need for steam traps at the rads. And also cut down on the need for TRV's.

    Once you have the pressure operating range of the system, you add the orifice to the valve. The drill size is determined by the amount of heat needed at your pressure.

    Orifices are about 1/5 the price of a new trap element and never wear out.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,924
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    On ALL Vapor systems I'm using a Vaporstat at the lowest cut out pressure I can get away with, often under a pound. With this low setting and proper main vents, there is no worry about condensate being pushed back and upward. The idea of orifices is great IF you don't mind the plain column radiators' aesthetic. That's what I had in my house (all but one, scrolled radiator that I sandblasted with the others) when I bought it. I really like ALL Cast Iron Radiators but the fancy, ornate and scrolled ones I LOVE! Mad Dog
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
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    I left a more complete discussion of the Hoffman Differential Loop in another thread, if anyone is interfested.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    PC7060mattmia2
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,159
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    I left a more complete discussion of the Hoffman Differential Loop in another thread, if anyone is interested.
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/190905/hoffman-differential-loop-a-commentary
  • Lance
    Lance Member Posts: 270
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    As I scanned the comments, I am reminded that building analysis is a factor that can change everything. Old houses properly sealed and insulated will greatly reduce the comfort loads. In some ways sealing all those air leaks save more than new windows, but new windows also seal their leaks too. This change will require a review of how much radiation and boiler capacity you will need. In some cases, I have removed 35% or more radiation to adapt the now oversized system due to the improvements which saved the most.
  • Adk1guy
    Adk1guy Member Posts: 62
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    I have never liked prefab insulated chimneys on boilers or furnaces because they were flashy meaning little or no draft on start up, okay once heated but cooled off fast. I would prefer a masonry chimney for function and appearance. Every building I ever owned with a brick chimney needed the chimney rebuilt from the roof up. Yours is a real tower. . Codes call for the chimney to be 2' higher than anything within 10 feet. That applies for a prefab too requiring brackets for stability. Are you going to like that on your historic restoration?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
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    One of the things which bothers me about approaches to restoration is the handling of windows. Somehoe the window sales people have convinced a lot of folks that a replacement window will solve all their druaght problems, and that old windows can't be repaired. This indeed may be true -- for windows built and installed since about 1950 to the present day. It is emphatically not true about earlier windows. A halfway decent carpenter can take an old window -- whether it is from 1710 or 1910 -- and make it draught free (chain or cord counterbalance windows from about 1880 on are the hardest, but even they can be done). It isn't hard. It does require attention to detail. Now it is perfectly true that those old windows are all single pane, and thus their insulating value is rather poor. But -- there is such a thing as storm windows, and there the modern developments are astonishing, both in terms of outside storms (including modern triple tracks) and interior storms, which have really come a long way. A tight single pane window plus a storm has the same or better performance than all but the very very best modern windows, assuming that the latter are properly installed.

    And I also completely agree with @Adk1guy on chimneys. The only valid excuse -- and it is one -- for the metal chimney, whether exposed or put inside a nice fake box, is that they are cheap. I'll happily grant that building or repairing a masonry chimney is not cheap.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2Long Beach Ed
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 627
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    @Jamie Hall 100% spot on with the windows. I bought a 1880-ish house and the first thing I did was replace all the old single pane windows with double pane Low-E insulated ones. Basically builder grade windows with a few options. The single pane windows weren't original but they were pretty solid and I wish I kept them.

    I didn't know better and regret it to this day. I live on a busy road and with the old windows you didn't hear much noise or traffic. Basically you heard a deep barely audible muffled tone when a car went by. With the new windows it lets all the high frequency sounds in. Every car that passes by I hear a "whoooooooshhhhhhhh". I'm constantly thinking a window is open somewhere.

    If I could do it all over again I would install quality exterior storm windows and maybe even interior ones too! Now I'm in the position where I'm going to be replacing the new windows with something more soundproof so I can stop looking for the open window that isn't open!
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,639
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    If I could do it all over again I would install quality exterior storm windows and maybe even interior ones too! Now I'm in the position where I'm going to be replacing the new windows with something more soundproof so I can stop looking for the open window that isn't open!

    Maybe put storms on your crappy new windows to dampen the sound?
    Long Beach Ed
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 627
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    @mattmia2 Oh I've thought about it! The best option for me now is to make my own interior storm window inserts. Basically like the commercially available ones but I can make them myself. Thicker plastics for less money. Someday....
  • gmcinnes
    gmcinnes Member Posts: 118
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    I have little to add in terms of technical advice about steam, but I'm working through a similar project here.

    Just chiming in to say:

    1) This site and it's community are amazing
    2) @Waldman86 You're doing God's work by restoring a multi generational family home.
    3) With a little one, for the love of all that's good, be aware of the hazards of lead paint on your worksite. It's good that you're living offsite. Don't let the kid out of your arms on the site. Wash before you go home. Keep onsite clothes and offsite clothes and change before you go home. Buy some 3M testing kits and test the floors, doors, outside walls, windowsills etc. You might guess why I'm paranoid about this :#
  • Waldman86
    Waldman86 Member Posts: 9
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    @gmcinnes thanks for the advice, I hadn't considered the testing kits. Our daughter will be crawling withing a month or two and she's already trying to put whatever she can grab in her mouth.

    As far as the windows go... Unfortunately, my father-in-law took all of the original windows out and installed cheap replacement windows years ago, so we don't have a whole lot of choice but to buy new. The type and style of course will be based on budget and quality.
    .
    And then there's the Chimney. This house has three Chimneys actually. The one depicted, another much larger beautiful brick fireplace chimney, and a third Block chimney for a furnace in the addition that isn't in service anymore. We'd like to remove the block furnace chimney to under the roof line and cover the hole because it's an eye soar. The fireplace chimney has a few loose bricks but it's in generally good shape. The chimney in the picture appears to be in need of a rebuild at minimum. After talking it over with my wife we'll seek a professional's opinion before we make any final decision.
  • gmcinnes
    gmcinnes Member Posts: 118
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    @AdmiralYoda I have mostly original 1840's double hung 6 over 6 windows, and wooden storms were added in the 1950's. But my wife's grandma replaced 7 second story windows with builder grade simulated 6 x 6 windows.

    I live by a highway and have the same experience as you. The sound transmission of the new windows is massively worse than the older ones.

    And given the large air gap between the storms and the windows, I'd be willing to bet that the U value of the old window assemblies rivaled the replacements even when they were new. And the seals are blown on half of them now.

    Save America's Steam! But also Save America's Windows! (With apologies to John Leeke :)
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
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    Sad about your windows -- but it happens. Don't cheap out on replacement windows. They are going to be expensive, but there really is a world of difference between the cheap or even mid-range ones and the top end ones. Also, be sure the installer is really good -- poor installation (sounds like heating systems!) can make even a top end window perform poorly.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    gmcinnes
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 755
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    Removing the heat discussion for a moment ..... why are you gutting the house?

    I am serial remodeler (it's a sickness) and a lover of old houses (another sickness) .. OCD geek. Need I say more? I was lucky that when transferred to Philadelphia after grad school that I bought a really old house in center city that needed more than I thought. This was in the later 80's and finding a relatively untouched old house was not hard. The first thought was what can I rip out w/ the idea of improving. The roof had leaked and it had various poor fixes over the years ... much of what I thought needed replacing a only needed cosmetic fixes after removing the poor fixes -- it was the roof/ plumbing/ chimney and electric that were issues. Not very glamorous. I learned that old floors and walls can be fixed -- trim, doors and other details restored .... these are the things that make an old house.

    If you are truly gutting the house -- replacing the siding etc. There is no point in putting back the steam w/ a full ducted system in place. That's a multi speed heat pump with propane back up. The steam will be way oversized .... plus you will be out of money and 50 years old.

    gmcinnes
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,924
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    We put in 30 or so Marvins 20 years ago and glad we did. They also have great warranty and after the warranty period factory-trained repair techs. Fast, Professional, not a fortune. Mad Dog
    gmcinnes
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,834
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    TAG said:

    .............If you are truly gutting the house -- replacing the siding etc. There is no point in putting back the steam w/ a full ducted system in place. That's a multi speed heat pump with propane back up. The steam will be way oversized .... plus you will be out of money and 50 years old.

    Superior comfort is all the reason you need. No ducted system will ever equal the comfort of a well-operating steam system. And this is a Vapor steam system- the Cadillac of heating in its day, and still one of the best out there now.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Long Beach Ed
  • vhauk
    vhauk Member Posts: 84
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    we have an have an 1880s beach cottage in Ct. the windows all original. The steel storm windows died from rust. We are reglazing our windows and installing brass weatherstripping on each window. We use inside storm inserts in winter. I don’t know of a window made today that would last 140+ years. And the wavy glass kinda grows on you. 
    Long Beach Edgmcinnes
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 755
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    Steamhead said:

    TAG said:

    .............If you are truly gutting the house -- replacing the siding etc. There is no point in putting back the steam w/ a full ducted system in place. That's a multi speed heat pump with propane back up. The steam will be way oversized .... plus you will be out of money and 50 years old.

    Superior comfort is all the reason you need. No ducted system will ever equal the comfort of a well-operating steam system. And this is a Vapor steam system- the Cadillac of heating in its day, and still one of the best out there now.
    I'm not sure how you can size it (the old steam to the new load) ..... in an old house I can see a two pipe or steam. Not once you get a tight house of normal size.

    I have had big old stone houses with lots of glass -- nothing matches big old radiators except maybe radiant. The air infiltration in those old places needs that constant heat being given off by the radiation. In a tight house modern variable speed equipment can match the load even better than ODR or radiators IMO.

    My last project was a 1870's church and I went with radiant as well as ducted because I did not want to risk it -- even with 4k plus sf and the cold temps we had at Christmas in PA ... the ducted was very cozy while we waited for the radiant to come up to temp.

    Just to add. 20 years ago if you were doing over an old farmhouse (or even building new) radiant was the premium way to upgrade in my neck of the woods ..... now it's modulating equipment in the ducted system. Spray foam w/ good windows and doors -- the loads are low with very low infiltration ...makes radiant dificult to size and the cost are so high

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,834
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    TAG said:

    I'm not sure how you can size it (the old steam to the new load) .....

    Orifices. @The Steam Whisperer has posted about this numerous times.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    JUGHNE
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
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    I think it's important, @TAG , to keep in mind the distinction between restoration and rehabilitation. They are often of very nearly equal cost, if the latter is done with high quality work, but they have very different objectives. Rehabilitation is intended to take an existing envelope and bring it up to some current standard of architecture and, often, building code. It usually entails a pretty thorough "gut" job, and that allows for current standards is insulation and such like, often changing parititions, often adding reinforcement to joists and other beams, new interior wall coverings (e.g. drywall in place of plaster) -- and so on. It also usually involves new windows and doors. It also involves a new and often very different heating system. The end result is a nice current standard structure which happens to live in an old skin.

    It has no other historic value.

    A restoration, on the other hand, is just what it says: a conscious effort to restore -- that is, make like new (as of the period of the structure and any additions, with an eye to replicating to the extent possible the original, where the original does, in fact, need replacement. This often involves some real trade-offs (one of the more common is what to do about exterior walls -- do I rip out the interior plaster so I can do a proper job of current standard insulation, or do I live with what's there and accept the additional heat loss? Not an obvious decision -- as restoring those interior wall surfaces will be much more expensive, if indeed you can find a craftsman who can even do it).

    However, the end result is a structure with considerable historical value.

    It's a matter of clear thinking as to your objectives.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Long Beach Edgmcinnesdabrakeman
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,356
    edited January 2023
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    I think it's important, @TAG , to keep in mind the distinction between restoration and rehabilitation. They are often of very nearly equal cost, if the latter is done with high quality work, but they have very different objectives. Rehabilitation is intended to take an existing envelope and bring it up to some current standard of architecture and, often, building code. It usually entails a pretty thorough "gut" job, and that allows for current standards is insulation and such like, often changing parititions, often adding reinforcement to joists and other beams, new interior wall coverings (e.g. drywall in place of plaster) -- and so on. It also usually involves new windows and doors. It also involves a new and often very different heating system. The end result is a nice current standard structure which happens to live in an old skin. It has no other historic value. A restoration, on the other hand, is just what it says: a conscious effort to restore -- that is, make like new (as of the period of the structure and any additions, with an eye to replicating to the extent possible the original, where the original does, in fact, need replacement. This often involves some real trade-offs (one of the more common is what to do about exterior walls -- do I rip out the interior plaster so I can do a proper job of current standard insulation, or do I live with what's there and accept the additional heat loss? Not an obvious decision -- as restoring those interior wall surfaces will be much more expensive, if indeed you can find a craftsman who can even do it). However, the end result is a structure with considerable historical value. It's a matter of clear thinking as to your objectives.
    I sit somewhere between the two. Old houses are great, restoring old houses is rewarding and fun. But.... For a house to be a home it has to serve the needs of those who live in it. An early 20th century kitchen and bath, for example, just doesn't cut it for today's family. Take my house for example. It isn't even 100 yrs old yet, close tho. It had one bath upstairs. Kind of small too. And it only had a claw foot bathtub. At some point it was upgraded in the 60's with a more modern tub but still no shower. I added a shower with one of those shower curtain rings and exposed shower riser years ago just for the utility. But some day in the not to distant future that room will be getting a full gut to the studs and joists. It needs new electric, plumbing and the fixtures need to be moved to a more sensible place. Right now the door will actually hit the toilet if you try to open it more than 80 degrees. This all means it will lose those nice plaster walls, but the k&t wiring shared with the other bedrooms, and the 95 year old plumbing just doesn't cut it.
    WMno57
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,924
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    I love that old glass look. When we picked out our cabinets 20 yrs ago for our country Victorian kitchen, we picked out "antique German" glass,   Apparently an architect-Designer term.  People notice it.  Mad 🐕 Dog

    gmcinnes
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,924
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    When we gutted our 1899-1900 Country Victorian Farmhouse in 2000-2003, we re-made it more Victorian than it originally was
    Adding a few more antique leaded glass transom windows in the hallways, a brand new from Scratch Vapor system with scrolled radiators.  The house was built with one pipe counterflow with plain radiators-except the dining room, which we sandblasted and  reused.  We added horse hitching posts in front and side entrances.
    A huge 18" square hand hewn beam went up in the kitchen over the table.  That is where a Revolutionary War Musket hangs. We added wide plank wood floors in the kitchen.  We also added a Widow's Walk/ Large Cupola you can sit up it and read a book, sip scotch or smoke a stogie while you strum a 🎸 guitar.  But at the same time, we added a bathroom with Large Jacuzzi, , did central AC, a Copper Fire Sprinkler system throughout, Large Kitchen, My father in law hand made all the fancy crown moldings that replaced very simple plain ones.  Everything was done in period and tastefully down to the NOT CHEAP Benjamin Moore Historical Collection Paint! Now, almost a quarter century in ti The 21st, we hope its sill going strong for the 22nd century 💪.  We certainly rebuilt it that way.  Mad 🐕 Dog 
    JakeCKLong Beach Ed
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
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    I rather agree with @JakeCK up there. Sometimes. There are certain spaces which, to make a restoration truly usable as a current home, simply have to be brought up to current standards -- the bathrooms, for instance, and particularly the kitchen and laundry areas. That said, it can usually be done without violating the "look and feel" of the original, or at most minor changes. Example: all the lavatories that I redo get single handle Kohler faucets. If I redo a tub, it gets Victorian or Edwardian style plumbing as appropriate-- but with modern quarter turn ceramic disc faucets and controls. But -- if I have to tear out walls or ceilings for new piping or new electrics (particularly the kitchen for that!) it gets replaced with plaster, not drywall (the plaster goes on metal lathe, however -- not wood). And so on. The projects I work on don't have enough money to replace original windows with adequate replacements -- for a given level of performance, it is always cheaper to restore the original windows and add storms.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JakeCKgmcinnes
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,356
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    So @Jamie Hall there is that weird time period where there was a transition to gypsum board from plaster and lathe. For example the Sears Goodwall sheet plaster with a rough coat of plaster followed by a fine smooth coat. Still hard as concrete(don't punch the walls in my house, they punch back) but a bit easier to work with, less mess. But it begs the question what is the correct way to patch that?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
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    JakeCK said:

    So @Jamie Hall there is that weird time period where there was a transition to gypsum board from plaster and lathe. For example the Sears Goodwall sheet plaster with a rough coat of plaster followed by a fine smooth coat. Still hard as concrete(don't punch the walls in my house, they punch back) but a bit easier to work with, less mess. But it begs the question what is the correct way to patch that?

    Yeah. I've hit that (more or less literally!). That stuff isn't called "sheetrock" for nothing. My own preference for that would be to patch it with real plaster if you had to get into it (and good luck with that), as except for the fact that it came in sheets it has most of the properties of a plaster wall, and very unlike drywall. That is, if it were a small or smallish area (such as might be cut out for installing new pipes or wiring. It might take some ingenuity to support the lathe (I'd use metal), depending on the geometry of the patched area. However, if it were a large area -- say approaching a complete panel -- I might be very tempted to use heavy drywall -- 5/8 -- well braced, and put a skim coat of plaster or even drywall compound on top to match the finish.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    gmcinnes
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,924
    edited January 2023
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    As a first year Apprentice I worked in a Luxury Park Avenue home renovation.  They had a Really cool 70yr old bald Master Plasterer with the coolest handle bar mustache in his all white get up.  He was repairing and recreating the Plaster ornamental moldings and pilasters throughout the apartment.  Hand carving them. What a treat.  I remember talking about a bear 🐻 hunt he recently went on Great Rock shows he went to ,  Whiskey.   The guy was a Renaissance Man. What a treat to see that. Mad Dog 🐕 
    Long Beach Edvhauk
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 627
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    @gmcinnes 100% the quality of installation is as important as the quality of the window. My wife and I were in our 20's and my father-in-law who installs windows and siding on the side put new windows in as housewarming present. This was about 15 years ago now.

    It was a kind gesture but in retrospect I wish he didn't do the work. If I installed some storm windows instead my house would probably be silent. I am always trying to find the open window...but they are all shut, just loud.

    We have Harvey's builder grade windows if that makes a difference. Going forward I'll be replacing the new windows with higher quality windows and doing the work myself and using sound proofing caulk as well.

    Does anyone even make storm windows anymore? A quick google search makes it seem like the typical manufacturers have dropped them from the catalog...probably so they can sell more cheap replacement windows.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
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    I don't want to derail this thread, but did want to relay some info for the restoration/rehab discussions being had.

    I'm not a fan of window replacement, so I fix my old windows and REMOVE the storm windows. Yes I said remove. With proper, updated weather stripping the old windows can be quite good even without storms.

    I came across this company a number of years ago and have used almost all their products. I'm not a fan of their glazing, so I still use the normal glazing compound. The other products however are truly amazing. The repair epoxy I have used extensively and it is the most incredible wood repair product I have ever used, by a long shot. The secret seems to be the 2 step process of applying a liquid epoxy first that soaks into the grain of the wood, then following up with the actual filler, this is done before the liquid portion dries. I have used it indoors, outdoors, all over and it works, doesn't crack, pop, or fail in any way. Some of it is going on 15 years now. I have windows that the sash literally fell apart and I put it back together with this epoxy, and it is holding up beautifully.

    The weather stripping kits for the windows are quite good, and much better than the spring bronze stuff that so many like, I've used that and it's absolute garbage compared to this kit.

    I have zero connection to the company, but believe when a product is this good, people need to hear about it.

    main site
    http://www.advancedrepair.com/index.html

    weather strip kits
    http://www.advancedrepair.com/weather_stripping_intro.html
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,283
    Options
    On storm windows -- I'm not sure where outdoor storms can be found. However, at the cost of a little more work in spring and fall, there are several companies which make inner storm windows which slip into the window openings and are removed in the summer -- and leave no trace. I use this outfit, but there are others: https://stormwindows.com/
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    vhauk
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,203
    edited January 2023
    Options
    Outside aluminum storm windows are priced the same or higher than contractor-quality replacement vinyl windows. So the market for them is small.

    I have a small wood shop and have made many wood storm sashes for my own house, which I like to keep somewhat original. Hardware for wood sashes and screens, along with bronze screening, which lasts forever here by the ocean is still available.
    gmcinnes