The "new" addition #1: Demolishing the old

Blog entry by vulpes posted 11-05-2012 05:08 PM 2966 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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As my first blog post series here at homerefurbers I will describe renovating a room in our little centenarian old farm house in Hungary.

When my wife and I purchased the house, I had little experience with the stone and brick house construction methods often found there. The house was livable, but in need of renovation and repair if additional damage to the structure was to be avoided. While I have contracted out some of the renovation work, others I have endeavored to try my own hand at improvements.

The first task I attempted was to renew the “back room” which was a more “recent” 30 year old communistic period addition made of brick. This part of the house has some of the hallmarks of inferior construction one may expect of the period, including a vast variety and style of brick being used in its construction. Giving the hint that the construction was of “found” parts. So serious consideration was fist given to replacing the entire room. But in the end, and with some overview from an engineer, it was determined to be worthy of being fixed.

Some renovations, such as a new roof, I have contracted out. But I wanted to do the interior project on my own, so I started the process by removing the decaying plaster and demolishing the inner walls. The room had been used as a kitchen (you can see the old wood stove in the pictures below), with two small storage rooms which we did not want. These walls were quickly removed as the bricks in the walls appeared to have been build with little more than wet sand a teaspoon of cement.

In the process of wall removal:

And after the walls were removed:

After removing the wall plaster, new electrical was installed (you can also see in this photo spaces between the bricks, which were later filled laboriously with new cement):

New energy efficient windows were to be installed, but the old window size was “non-standard” and rather than have custom windows made to fit the space, the space was adjusted to fit a standard commercial window size:

The next task was to remove the ceiling plaster. This was for two reasons, first because it was in poor shape and second because I wanted to insert reflective insulation into the ceiling.

The process was quite dusty:

And then the drywall went up. The photo below shows the new windows and ceiling insulation in place amongst some construction inventory as the room was also being used as storage for other work at that time. I used drywall for the walls, rather than troweling on plaster as at the time I did this work I did not think my plastering skills were up to the challenge (they have improved since then). The wall on the right is the wall of the main stone house, which was not demolished as it was still in good shape (the quality difference for pre-communistic construction):

Till the next post.

-- All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. -Benjamin Franklin

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13 posts in 1351 days

Renovating a stone house in Hungary, and trying not to bend too many nails in that process.

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3 comments so far

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


448 posts in 1471 days

posted 11-06-2012 04:03 AM

You have definitely got your work cut out for you! Wow! Good Window. Sheetrock looks good.Very interesting assortment of stone. Thanks very much for sharing. I can’t wait to see where you take this.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

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13 posts in 1351 days

posted 11-06-2012 05:35 PM

Stone and brick is certainly a new material for me. There were stone houses in CA where I grew up, but never had to renovate one before. In the last picture on the right you can see the plaster patching over the new electrical lines in the upper part of the stone wall (the one without the sheetrock). Required a diamond disk with an angle grinder to cut the path for the wire casing. That was an “interesting” task.

-- All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. -Benjamin Franklin

View Raju55's profile


1 post in 20 days

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