What style is this house?
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mattyo



Joined: 22 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: What style is this house? Reply with quote

Any ideas? circa 1810.


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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have been told that the house is a federal style farmhouse, any input on this?


"Federal" is a period of history, not a style of house. Your house does look like it could have been built in the late federal period, perhaps around 1800. The gable end of the roof and if that is the front door at the gable end, that makes it look later to me, perhaps during the first quarter of the 19th century. Done any deed or historical research to pin down the construction date?

OK, "circa 1810" fits my guess.

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mattyo



Joined: 22 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am still digging up information, but it is supposed to be built in 1810. It is on every old map that I have looked at for the town I live in as early as 1825.

I am trying to correctly identify it so I can look up information on it.

I have read many books on the subject of old houses. I always felt that they classified the house in the timeframe it was built, i.e. the Federal I keep refering to. So hearing otherwise is news to me, thanks. But, that doesn't put me any closer to identification.

I am scouring the internet for all information I can so I can make the most educated choice in my repair/replacement techniques. However, the rate that I am getting information is much slower than the pace at which I am to do repairs. This makes me nervous as I do not want to ruin features of the house with the best intentions. I am trying to get a game plan so I don't waste time/money by doing things twice.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am trying to get a game plan so I don't waste time/money by doing things twice.


Slow down.

Live in the place for a few years before you make major changes. I did a survey of all my homeowner clients during the 1990s. One question was, "What single thing lead most directly to your success?" 49% said it was the fact that it was a few years before they could afford to do much and in that time what they wanted to do changed a lot. 20% lamented that they did not achieve success. The most common reason mentioned was the mistake of doing too much too soon. I think their message is clear.

This is now one of my mottoes:

Less is More

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many houses were built in a 'transition' period and style.

If your house was built in 1810, the main massing (over all shape and size), and gable end with entry, looks forward what became common in the following decades for Greek Revival style houses. It looks backward to the Federal period in details, like small 9/9 windows, front door trim, narrow eaves, little fan light.

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mattyo



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The windows are actuallt 12 over 12. Does that have a huge bearing on age? I mean, I know as technology got better, glass got bigger, but fromn 12 lights to 9 lights does not seem like a huge difference.

I am not trying to rush everything, but the sills were shot, and the roof is shot. So, I started replacing the sills (level off the house before I rebuild the roof). While taking siding off to anchor my jacking beams I noticed it was all rotted wood under fresh paint. So I am resheathing the house and wrapping it.

I am using my 1st time home buyer credit to re-slate/repair the roof. That will happen next spring/summer. (somone repaired it in the past by nailing all the slates right in the center and tarring over the nail.) Most of the slates are ruined.

Here are some pictures during my work.

I reworked the stone foundation.

The house is actually 2 post frames, accomodating 2 differect ceiling heights. You can see the double post, the sill and the new foundation in one picture.

Another picture shows the cool markings that were used during assembly. These are all over the timber pieces.


Lastly, this was the last jack to be removed. This side of the house is still being sheathed and re-insulated as I find time. I will try to do another chunk of it tomorrow.


It's good to be able to share with you guys.



Basically, one thing has lead to another. It is a bit overwhelming at times because I am doing the work myself. I am not making any real major changes. Just real major repairs. Sills/Roof/Siding/etc.



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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, looks like you are on the right track.

You've got that nice split-board lath for the plaster.

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greg V



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
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Location: Northeast CT

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, over a year old thread. Wodering how this job is coming along.
As far as those markings that carved into the timbers and any other wood planks, those are mill order marks and are importaint to document as they most likely have the initials of the person whom the the was built.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marks like that were also used by the carpenters to indicate the locations of the various timber parts in the structure.
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greg V



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, but maybe not in this case. I'm maybe being too specific, but the scribing shown in these pictures are from the sawmill. Most likely what we use today as 'work orders' They can be found on "sawn' boards and studs throughout the structure. The picture of the scribed corner brace above has nothing to do with the 'building' of this house. It has to do with the order from the mill.
The marks you are referring to are 'joiner's' marks and become rarer throughout the structure during the late 18th and early 19th century. I might bet that in a house like this that they are only found in the ridge pole and rafters at their mortise and tenon locations. Usually only found on hewn lumber and usually scribed freehand with 'V" groove chisel. The saw mill marks are made with a special tool, though of course still by hand.

Finding sawmill markings on ones home can help confirm who the house was built for. So always photograph them and document them.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it could be sawmill order marks (which I had not heard of before), particularly if the same mark is found in several places throughout a building.
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greg V



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, you will find them throughout the building. The top board of each milld log would have these scribes. Among other situations Here are a couple examples from one house. Note the board which was used for the split lath has the same first letters as the interior (stair wall) sheathing board. Also fun to note that the "N" is backwards and the "g" was reversed on one board. No reason but for the guy scribing did not know his letters so well back in 1800.
Finding these helped confirm (though I still am doing more to do so) that the house was built for Nathan Gennings

I will also try and find a picture of the tool that was used to scribe at the sawmills. :-)




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Stonewall_Greyfox



Joined: 20 Oct 2011
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Location: Hanover, VA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reminds me of an old home I often drueled over in Bridgewater, PA.

Paul B.
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Conservator



Joined: 29 Nov 2010
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Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I saw your house driving 'round the countryside, I'd say "what a lovely gable to the street Federal". To me, given the mass of the house, it calls back more to the Georgian rather than forward to the Greek Revival. And look at the girth of those chimneys! What a honey.

Whatever people tell you to call it, love it. Looks to be wonderfully intact from the one architecturally representative photo you've posted. It's charming and you are obviously the right person to steward it. I admit to being a trifle jealous in the most benign way.

All the best, Conservator
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