Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I finished the paint job on the upper part of the front of our porch, so I was finally able to take the scaffolding down and let it be seen for real. All that woodwork is original (except for minor repairs), dating back to the 1880s. It has never been "tarted up" like this before, though. By San Francisco or Eureka Springs standards this color scheme is actually fairly mild for a Victorian, and in Colorado it would be middle of the road. But in these parts it is rather far left-of-center. Hey, we have the only surviving original 19th Century Carpenter Gothic porch in the entire county, and now no one who passes by is likely to miss it! Cars have already begun slowing noticeably.

Under the eaves are a series five of inscriptions. They are for the most part blessings and greetings. Each is a quotation in a different ancient or classical language, and each is written in an alphabet appropriate to the language. I did use some license on one script, though. In one case I used an alphabet that was designed to be highly flexible and adaptable, and I came up with my own modifications to make it into a more decorative script.

And how are everyone's ancient languages? Y'all can all read these, right?


At 3:19 AM, Blogger cyberthrush said...

I don't know about the others but I'm pretty certain that last inscription reads, "Ivorybills Live!"

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Bill Pulliam said...

That would be quite a trick considering those words were first written down more than 2000 years before the western world first became aware of the existence of such a beast...

At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we see this house in the next "Extreme Homes" on the HGTV show?


At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I'm not being too nosy, what have you done about insulation in your beautiful old home? Was there already some form of insulation in the attic and walls, as well as underneath the floorboards?

How do you heat and cool your home?
Are you still using the fireplaces?

I ask these questions as I am currently fixing up a circa 1920s heart-pine home in the country and could always use some pointers.

At 7:54 PM, Blogger Bill Pulliam said...

The house was essentially uninsulated. Some rock wool had been poured inside the walls but it had mostly settled to the bottom and was ineffective. The construction of the house made retrofiting insulation easier: "balloon framed," no sheathing between studs and siding, no sheathing under roof, just purlins. For the walls I took off about every 4th piece of siding and then slipped fiberglass bats in between the studs through the gaps. For the roof I put in fiberglass when I took off the old metal roof and replaced it with a new metal roof. A 1920's house probably can't be done this way; you'll probably have to cut holes, blow in loose insulation, then patch the holes. Which will probably take less time than the way I did it, actually!

You should read this posting of mine from a couple of years ago about insulating an old house:


It's a lot of work, and the payoff only really comes when you are almost finished with the job. But then the results are impressive.

We have woodstove inserts in the fireplaces. The stove pipe runs all the way to the top of the chimney, so the original chimneys just function as a decorative surround to hide the stove pipe now. And as nesting habitat for Chimney Swifts of course. We heat with wood and electric.


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