State of the House

The Farm House is in remarkably good shape for a 111-year-old house that has received no maintenance to speak of for perhaps 30 years. The only real structural issue is the foundation: the house sits on wood cripple walls that themselves sit directly on the ground, with masonry piers at each corner.

Despite all the wood-to-earth contact, there is negligible rot or insect damage in the main structure, because it is framed in redwood. The veranda, utility room, and first-floor bathroom were not, and thus they all do have terminal dry rot.

Typical door and casingThe roof is shot, and appears to have been leaking for some time. As a result of this and the many years of earth movement, the plaster walls are all completely beyond repair, as is most of the flooring in the second story. The flooring downstairs shows a great deal of wear, but is otherwise fine: no squeaks, groans or sags.

The chimneys are unsalvageable, because the mortar has failed so completely that one can easily pull individual bricks out by hand. They certainly would have fallen down years ago were they not contained within the walls of the house.

The woodwork is mostly in near-mint condition. Most of it on the first floor still bears what appears to be its original stained-and-oiled finish. All the windows save a few on the second floor are still in perfect working order. All the interior doors are present, and all but one are in perfect shape and swing freely. All the locksets but one, unfortunately, have been removed. One of the mantelpieces is also missing.

With the exception of the veranda, utility room and bathroom addition, the exterior of the house is in inexplicably excellent shape. There is no broken, split nor splintered wood, and no obviously missing pieces besides the south bargeboard. The paint is dirty, well-oxidized, and just starting to crack in a few places, but it isn't peeling anywhere. You know, they just don't make paint like that anymore.

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