Foundation Salvation (1980s Restoration: Part 2)

The 1980s restoration by the Beidler Family continues by moving to the foundation in 1982 – a pretty good place to start, after making sure the pigeons have been evicted, and you’ve sealed up the holes to keep them from coming back. The foundation on the shed of the house had eroded, and was in desperate need of repair. If you’ve been to our house, you might be thinking – “Wait – you don’t have a shed!” Nope.

Here’s the back of the house in the middle of our construction, in 2013. The lower floor of the house, that is one story runs along the entire back of the house – this is now our kitchen and laundry room.


In 1982, it was a shed that you couldn’t access from inside the house, and it wasn’t nearly as wide. As you can see here, it’s about 2/3 of the current width.

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When we demo’d the inside of the kitchen in 2012, we could tell that the addition had happened in two parts. You can see in these pictures from 2012 the old wood, and the new wood. Pretty neat!


On this picture, you can even see that the newest part of the addition still contains the old exterior siding!


The widening of the now-kitchen did not happen with the Beidler family – we now are guessing that it happened in the 1990s.

In these pictures from 2012, when we first looked at the house with a realtor, you can see a vertical teal band between the two downstairs windows – that’s where the addition was added. We never knew that until now!



And on the far left of this picture, you can see a doorway. We didn’t even notice that door until about our third visit to the home – we called it the “door to nowhere” because it didn’t exist inside the house. It’s gone now, but that clearly was an entrance to the shed at one point in time.


Okay – now that we know WHERE we are…. the shed had MAJOR foundation issues. This was a giant step to tackle.

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I mean, literally – there is no foundation.

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And all of this wood is rotten. I can’t imagine tackling an exterior job this big on my own – but they did!

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They dug holes to begin rebuilding, large enough for a 5-year-old to hang out in (I’m assuming that’s how old Randy is, since when he wrote on the bedroom wall two years later, he said he was 7). Also, the pictures aren’t super clear, but I’m pretty sure Randy has on a super rad Star Wars T-Shirt. He and I are the same age, but I wasn’t nearly this cool when I was 5.

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Here is Mike, installing new lentils under the shed.

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Seriously. So much rot and destruction!!! I’m overwhelmed just looking at these pictures.

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Here’s David and his concrete mixer. WHO HAS THEIR OWN CONCRETE MIXER? This guy. I’m completely jealous.

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More foundation salvation.

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Here is putting the foundation down, which really means it’s being built up. Also of note is Mike’s caption on the back of this picture, that this portion of the house was scraped and painted before this foundation work happened. We always thought that the siding on our house – if it wasn’t completely rotted – was in remarkably good shape. Now we know why!

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Here’s the house being scrapped and sanded. It’s unusual to have a house of this age without multiple layers of paint built up on the sides. That’s because Mike did all the hard work before we came along. “You don’t even want to know how much lead paint ended up on the ground.” Nope. Probably not.

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The balcony. Ugh. It looked this bad when we moved in, too.

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I’m currently working on stripping two doors – TWO DOORS – using a heat gun. I cannot fathom using one on the entire house. I’m continually floored by these pictures.

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Because it was such a monstrous project, one of the neighbor’s sons was enlisted to help. Here’s Joe using the heat gun on the turret. If you notice, the windows behind him are NOT stained glass. We always assumed – again, incorrectly – that the stained glass in the turret was original.

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See the stained glass up at the top of the turret in the picture below? I used it as part of my inspiration for the color scheme. Mike said that the curved glass was busted, and he figured if he learned how to lead glass, he could make smaller pieces fit into a curve himself, and avoid the cost of buying a new single pane of curved glass, which would have be astronomical.

Seriously. That’s a hero genius move right there. And he used all antique glass. I always have said that the best compliment is when people ask me if the marble floors in the kitchen are original, because I want this home to FEEL authentic. These windows to me perfectly showcase that. I absolutely thought by the age of the glass that they were original. And to think, such a breathtaking feature was added to SAVE MONEY. Mike actually said to me, “They aren’t original, so if you decide you don’t like them and want to take them out, you don’t have to feel guilty about it.” Now that I know how they came to be there, they actually mean MORE to me than if they had been original.


Here is the turret roof. I just love this picture. No lightning rod at this time.

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The soffit and gutter work is just remarkable.

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This is the rebuilt cornice on the tower. They made much of the exterior trim pieces, purchasing an old used radial arm saw, with many different moulding blades (add that to our wish list of tools!).

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More pictures showing the extent of scraping and painting! You can see new siding interlaced with the old siding on the bottom of the bump out. Mike would walk down to the end of the street to the lumber yard / hardware store, Central L&M Lumber, and buy whatever they had in stock. The original siding was poplar, but cedar and rosewood worked their way in, as well.

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Another shot of the weaved-in new lumber siding, including reclaimed white clapboard.

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Historic Martin Place 74Speaking of L&M Lumber – guess who used to own it? Roy C. Bryant. He was a builder, and owned the lumber yard down the street.

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And, if you missed my post from yesterday, check it out. Here is a picture of two of Roy’s sons – Mark, and I believe Robert, and Robert’s wife outside Central L&M Lumber. I’d love to find the owners of this picture!

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This is a good shot which shows the brick foundation (which is now under the porch), and new boards at the bottom of the siding.

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And the front door! Original, and still there. I’m still forever hateful towards the foreclosure company that just destroyed part of this door changing locks – but it’s just another battle scar from the history of this house. Since you can’t get to the front door, the family used the back door for over two years during construction.

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We have central air now, so it’s odd to see the house with window units. I’m not sure when the air conditioning was added to the home.

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This is Chris Hext, a good friend of Mike’s, and also a co-Founder of Franklin Heritage. They both worked extensively on the restorations of both of their houses.

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This picture is a bit clearer to show the footprint of the house with the shed. So, with this configuration, the kitchen for this monstrous house was in the footprint of our current Butler’s Pantry. Small!

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Mike, surrounded by reclaimed brick from the property. These bricks were from the original front porch foundation! Get this – when the porch was removed, to make way for the concrete stoops, these bricks were used AS FILL in the sand under the concrete caps on the replacement stoops. They were re-used on the new porch. Thank Goodness.

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Like the cornices, much of the decorative trim needed replaced, as well. Mike replaced the rotted fish scale pieces by jigsawing standard cedar shingles to match.

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The brackets currently on the house are a blend of original, new from the 80s, and new from 2012 / 2013.


Mike replaced many of these in the 80s that had rotted. He made new ones by jig-sawing 2 sides of 1x and a center of 2x, and nailing them together.

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The entrance to the apartments on the second floor, with the concrete stoop. There were still tenants while all this work was going on!

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The trusty $100 ’69 Chevy “Resto-Truck” hard at work.

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So much more to go! I hope you’re finding this as fascinating as I am!!!


  1. I can imagine how utterly AGOG you are learning so much about your house!

    It is all really interesting, and it is not even my house!

  2. Thank you for this peek back into history. So much hard work has gone into this painted lady. Thank you for all your hard work and the hard work of those people before you.

  3. Amy, I absolutely love all the old pictures of former residents of your home as well as all the old pictures of the home itself. You are so fortunate to have them. I know that future residents of this home will appreciate all of your new pictures as well as the stories of your journey. Again, thanks for sharing all of these stories and pictures with the rest of us! Hope you are having a great summer!


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