In August 2003, we began repointing the 3-story front wall on the north side (street side) of the house.
- The entire north-facing wall of the house, from the foundation to the roofline, was repointed.
- To match the original color, dimension, and vintage of any bricks needed for replacement on the front wall, we used bricks that were salvaged in September, 2001 from the demolition of the Old Lee County Jail and Sheriff's Home, 711 Avenue F, Fort Madison.
- Two severely cracked lintels were replaced in the front wall above each large front window.
- By the end of 2003, approximately 90% of all broken and missing panes of glass had been replaced to prevent loss of heat and infiltration of rainwater. Many boarded up windows were unboarded and reglazed.
- In 2004, our house (the "historic side," 716) was opened to the public as a house tour for a local charitable event, and more than 200 people were welcomed into the house.
- Finally, by 2005, permanent power and heating sources have been installed to help maintain a stable interior temperature. An 800-amp 5-meter electric service was installed in the summer of 2002 to eventually service the entire house, and a high-efficiency hot water boiler system was installed in the west-side residence (718 Ave. F), which now feeds radiant heat to all three floors in the west side of the building.
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In August 2005, we began work on the 05-024 grant, reconstructing the four exterior porches. The east side front porch was repaired and the west side front porch was returned to its original design before the American Legion post renovated it's appearance in the 1920s.
But, first, we had to create 2 phases of the project: one phase to repoint the adjacent brick walls, and one phase to actually repair and/or reconstruct the porches.
Below are details of the repointing phase of the house.
- The exterior wall on the west side was crumbling in places and lacked enough mortar that workers could tell us the color of interior walls by looking through the spaces between bricks!
- The roof rafter pockets for the long-missing rear second floor porch roofs would be opened up when the porches were constructed in 2006.
- The entire west side wall was repointed and now looks marvelous.
- Next, the inappropriate red concrete block foundation of the rear porch on 718 Ave. F was masked with wonderful cream limestone blocks, custom stained by our mason, Paul Peterman.
- Finally, the window spaces of the rear porch foundation were cut bigger to match the window sizes in the rest of the foundation. The window lintels are 100-year old beams salvaged from a mill that was demolished in the area. Doesn't the whole new foundation look spectacular?!
Below are details of the porch rebuilding phase of the house.
- First, we sought the advice of Douglas Steinmetz, an architect qualified to advise on historic properties, so we could properly re-establish the long-missing second floor rear porches.
- Next, Eipert Construction removed the ugly simulated brick siding from the 718 rear porch.
- Then, the first floor rear porch roofs were deconstructed to expose the (hopefully) original framing and to repair and reinforce the structure.
We found a HUGE wasp nest between the ceiling and roof of the rear porch of 716.
- The roofs were then resurfaced with new wood, sheets of ice guard, and box gutters (which were original and discovered during roof demolition) were lined with copper-faced ice guard.
- The resurfaced roofs were topped with a polymer-coated, crimped standing-seam metal layer.
- Next, the rafter pockets were opened up and the second floor roof system was constructed.
- Finally, the second floor roof was topped with ice guard (with copper flashing beneath the outer edges), and a soldered terne metal roof.
- The reconstructed two-story porches seem to bring a much needed sense of balance and proportion to the whole house!