Rotten No More : Exterior Restoration Part 3

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The bulk of the painting was done at this point, and now the process of re-building the turret and the balcony was going to begin. Rot was the problem with both – the turret was rotted through on the back third of the turret, going up all three stories. The posts on the balcony were rotted through as well (which was a blessing for the house, if not the purse strings, because they were not handsome columns). But, let’s first look at some of the completed painting on the non-rotted parts of the house!

The back elevation of the house.
The former back entry, which is now just a small outdoor area for rakes and such. We moved the back door to accommodate the kitchen design. I’m convinced we have the only “shed” with a stained-glass window anywhere.

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We were given permission by the historical society to make two windows in the kitchen smaller. We needed to raise them to allow for cabinetry. I was only slightly worried that the outside of the house would look strange after the change, but you would never, ever be able to tell it’s not original. Its amazing.

Window in the kitchen, after being shortened.
Front of the house. Again, the porch wasn’t in the budget. Keep your fingers crossed that we can get it done this summer!
The painting that Cody did on the third story details is exquisite.
Our front screen door was re-built, and it is incredible.
As much of the original detail was saved, and wood that needed replacing was replaced. The only downside we’ve found, now that it’s winter, is that it’s so perfect, there there isn’t room under the door for a mat. So we may have to adjust the braces and trim the door in the future.

We had to send out for some of the moulding to be made to match the rest of the turret, which was both pricey and fantastic that was could match the original woodwork. The fish scale siding was able to be purchased on its own, but since the only fish scale that we could find was a centimeter bigger, the guys hand-cut each piece to match what was on the turret to begin with. What a job!

The replaced woodwork on the turret.
The turret, wrapped and sealed for protection each day.
The new wood was sealed and primed as it went up.
Sealing, priming, and repairing.
Beginning the paint scheme. I became worried that the purple and gray pattern was too bold. But then I warmed to it – very much.

The Front Porch was the Artist’s Paint Shop


Also during this time, a couple of cool things happened. First, the local paper did a story on the efforts for historic preservation in Franklin, and a small mention of our street, and the house was made. Also, this was about the same time that This Old House named Franklin one of the Best Old Neighborhoods in the Midwest. I wholeheartedly agree!!!

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Also, we met and became friends with a man who lived in our house in the 30s – 50s. His grandfather, Roy C. Bryant, was a local business man, prominent Indiana Architect and Builder, and Mayor of Franklin. The younger Mr. Bryant has been a valuable source of information on the house, including some things that have been changed over the years. I hope to do a full blog post on what I know about the history of the house sometime… The younger Mr. Bryant gifted us this amazing pen and ink drawing of the house done by an artist. It’s incredible.  We have so much enjoyed learning about the family who lived here the longest.


Color went up on the turret, and as I said earlier, I was really nervous that it was too much. But, I love it. So much.

I will say this – the red in the pictures is much brighter than in real life!

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The balcony was next. Forever, the door was boarded up, presumably so we couldn’t use it as a diving board to the driveway below. The day that the spindles went up, and I could go on the balcony for the first time, I was all smiles. SO HAPPY. The spindles were the original ones from the porch when we bought the house (not the original from 1902). But they were in great shape, so we were thrilled to save them. The railing was leftover from another house’s renovation project. The posts are new, and came from Century Porch Posts, which specializes in authentic and hand-crafted reproductions.

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The balcony shaping up was very exciting, as it was the last part of this phase of the project. We plan to use the same balcony posts when we get to the front porch restoration.

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So exciting! Next time, I’ll show you the end of Phase One. Next summer, hopefully will be Phase Two! If you missed the last blog post on the exterior renovation (which was about 3 months ago, sadly – I’m getting back into writing!), you can find it here!

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