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Carley Brook Farm

Carley Brook Farm

Votes: 1
Site: Carley Brook Farm
Project: Victorian Farmhouse Restoration
Medium: Blog
About: Carley Brook Farm is a restoration project that involves retaining as many original features as possible, undoing what previous owners have done, and uncovering hidden surprises. Some of the not-so-pleasant tasks like replacing old knob and tube wiring and removing painted wallpaper are counter-balanced by the excitement of discovering the original maple floors in the kitchen and the beautiful condition of the original plaster walls beneath the wallpaper. This particular restorer goes the extra mile by preparing plaster the old-fashioned way (recipe to be included!) and where original elements are missing or they are beyond saving, he’s using vintage-look replacements. Modern conveniences will also be incorporated, but they’ll be camouflaged behind a period façade.

From gathering horse hair for his plaster recipe, to restoring vintage appliances for use in the new ‘old’ kitchen, this is a man who doesn’t take short cuts. When something requires immediate attention it goes to the top of the ‘to do’ list and is addressed immediately, such as the frozen and subsequently burst water pipes in March 2007. And before a fix it or restoration project is attempted, he will do the research, learn the steps involved and with infinite patience, take the time required to do the job right. Reminiscent of older times, when not completely comfortable with a specific task or when needing a little extra help, he resorts to bartering to get the job done.

History Lessons

Carley Brook Farm was built in the early 1820’s and interesting discoveries along the road to restoration have lead to lessons in its history. An old window was found under a pile of insulation in the attic. After its discovery, the homeowner took a trip to the local plumbing supply company, which bears the same name as the original owner of the farm. Receiving confirmation that the found window was the original gable window for the farmhouse was exciting news, but he was also directed to a cousin (the historian of the family) who walked him through the family tree and promised to send him copies of any photos that showed the interior or exterior of the farmhouse.

Another discovery that was made while removing sections of plaster on the walls and ceilings for running new electrical was that the only nails used in the construction of the house were for attaching the lath to the studs. The structure was completely timber frame with mortise and tenon joinery.

For Further Inspiration

Carley Brook Farm should be considered a source of inspiration for all who wish to venture into the world of old house renovation and restoration. Take a guided tour of this farmhouse by viewing the video from the August 23, 2006 post.

Watch for the completion of the downstairs plaster, the installation of the tin ceiling in the kitchen and the inevitable porch repair. These are just a few of the items still to be completed. We’re looking forward to the biggie – the removal of the siding and the reveal of the original clapboard!

As if restoring Carly Brook Farm isn’t enough, when he’s not spending time here, this hardworking gentleman can be found applying his restoration skills at Bearfort Lodge – another entrant in the RemodelingMySpace.com Remodel, Blog and Win online contest.

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