45

You hire a chimney sweep to inspect (and clean) it. In some cases it may need to be completely rebuilt - in others, it may simply need cleaned and inspected, or it may need something in the middle. At that age, you may well find that you'll face relining to make use of it under modern conceptions of what's safe - it will have deteriorated with age and ...


35

The difference appears to be about 1/4" to 3/8". If so, I'd fur it out with some 1/4" plywood strips or some 3/8" lath strips.


31

That is a balloon bird repellent device. It is designed to mimic the appearance of an owl to scare away smaller birds and prevent them from building nests in the eaves, or to prevent them from flying into windows. See https://www.amazon.com/Balloon-Bird-Repellent-Effective-Solution/dp/B01DAFTNEU


22

Another thing to consider with a chimney that old is the distinct possibility that the bricks were laid up with a mixture of sand, horse hair and a bit of lime mixed in. It is not uncommon for a chimney like that to have the external weather at the roof line and above erode away some of or all of the sand leaving the bricks literally free stacked with spaces ...


14

In a basement, galvanized pipe like that could have been a pipe feeding oil from an underground tank to an oil heater that has long ago been removed and replaced with something else. I had one like that and figured it out by looking at where an old chimney had been removed by looking at the sub-floor structures made to accommodate it. I didn't know exactly ...


12

The process is simple, but actually doing these things may take equipment and expertise that you lack. Find out WHY the floors are sagging. Is it due to improper foundation/footings? Is it due to failed or failing materials? Is the structure just inadequately design to support itself? Come up with a remediation plan to fix the issue(s) you identified. Do ...


11

This could be: water waste gas oil for furnace radon system remnants (unlikely) but the earlier ones used metal pipes other The picture is pretty clear, this pipe was installed when they poured the foundation. It does something. You are going to have to open that cap and smell and possibly stick something in there so you can see whats further in. ...


9

Those are the nails that fasten the box to the framing. I'd slide them free with a locking pliers, remove the box, and install modern "remodeler" boxes with flyout mounting tabs. If you trim your plaster/drywall very carefully you'll never know it was done. You may also be able to find more compact GFCI outlets that are designed for such boxes.


8

If someone offers to modernise your chimney by putting some sort of metal tube or liner inside, make sure the chimney is cleaned first and all soot is removed. If this is not done properly, you risk having a fire in the space between the tube and the chimney, which you (or the fire brigade) won't be able to reach to put out.


8

I have galvanized natural gas pipe in my 1950 Metro Detroit house. If it's not oil, it could be gas going to the original furnace location. I can see a bright spot in the floor where something stood for a while. It's common to have the furnace in the middle of the house so the heat is distributed evenly. Removing the cap and smelling is probably your best ...


7

Roof construction varies depending on where you live. In the north you need to build to contend with a heavy snow load so roof trusses are more numerous and stronger. Sothern climes, not so much. Further, the roof cladding makes a difference. Many roofs in Europe are covered with tile or slate, which is heavy and needs the extra support. All buildings ...


6

1st off, make sure all structural elements are sound before closing. And it's a good idea to clean up the patchwork up there. It's actually very easy to level. Use a lazer level adjusted to your lowest point. Sister any joists to that line. This image shows how with T-bar drop ceilings but the concept is exactly the same. This one shows how to do it using ...


6

I would check with the city. The previous owner may have taken out a building permit for that work and the local building inspector may have blueprints of it.


5

The closeup looks like cement based backer board used to hold tile in wet/damp locations. If so, that is not original. It would be very hard to restore to lathe/plaster throughout, especially if sections are missing. The transition points for repairs tend to crack and show lines. Also, wire mesh is used more than wood lath today. Finding a skilled plasterer ...


5

Old houses that had interior plaster as a finish had what they called a plaster stop to control depth of the plaster. This was usually a strip of 3/4 wood at bottom of wall and around doors and windows. It looks like this strip was removed but normally it was always left in as a nailing strip for the baseboard. Your application of the foam is good idea.


5

In a word--money. Wood frame stud construction has been the norm in the US for mass housing for a long time, and I am given to understand that newer houses in the UK are being built this way. It is much cheaper than the heavy timber and 'stone built' constructions which have been the standard construction techniques in Europe for centuries. Stud wall ...


5

Years ago, my wife and I moved into a condo that had a faint weird smell. I put charcoal into a net bag like the ones potatoes come in, and set it into the cold air return ducting at the furnace. I then set the fan to run continuously. We also put the same netted bags in some of the other rooms. After a few weeks the smells were gone. The charcoal absorbed ...


5

First, there is such a thing as a multi-wire branch circuit (MWBC), in which two hots intentionally and consensually shate a neutral. They are placed on opposite poles of service, which means only differential current flows through the neutral. This works for 2 hots in single (split) phase service, and up to 3 hots in 3-phase (208V) service which you will ...


5

tear it all down, replace with regular sheetrock / drwywall.


4

Honestly the pictured bar just looks like NM cable clamp, and there are two in the box. Those clamps are needed. What you have here is a more common problem: A shallow box. Or to be more precise, not a deep box. A great many boxes are too shallow for GFCI. I tried fitting an older GFCI into a common 2x2x4 1-gang metal box, and it wouldn't fit. They ...


4

The short answer is call in a structural engineer to get a grasp of the problem and the scope of work necessary to fix it. I have a similar situation with a 170 year old home. The 1st floor foundation work was done by a licensed foundation company from the area. The 2nd floor sagging issues are being tackled by a licensed general contractor with a background ...


4

Why not consider a rim lock. This is a surface mounted lock and door latch that was typical in 19th century houses. It is mounted on the inside surface and requires only two small holes drilled through the door - one for the knob spindle and one for the key. There are old ones around, but you can find reproductions that work the same way. Images and links ...


4

It seems that the manufacture does not suggest to reuse the connectors. For instance, this document here states "Do not reuse" in the "product specifications & measurements" section.


4

If it has a 3/4 inch diameter like you say it's most likely a natural gas line. Don't cut it or gas will fill the basement!! best to turn off the gas and then remove the cap and smell for gas.. You can also have a buddy quickly turn on and off the gas while the cap is off and you can easily confirm that it's a gas line that way.


4

Depending upon the spacing, you could just go ahead and drywall over the old studs, or fur out the new studs (add a 1/2" or so) to the new studs if they are too far from existing studs. The entire wall will need to be in the same plane. As others suggested, be sure to pay special attention to keeping the drywall flush with the door jamb and well supported ...


4

The furring strips are fine but usually a pain to get right and could have some long-term issues. If someone tries to hang something and they don't hit the furring strip they will make the drywall concave and possibly deform. I am thinking the older 2x4s were actually 2" by 4". Easiest thing to do is double up your drywall in that spot. You may ...


3

Pre-demolition, this could have been a "double floor" or "double framed floor". If you look up the wikipedia article on floor joists(I would link directly, but I don't have enough rep), it gives you a bit more context. The intention being one set is for the ceiling, and the other is for the floor above. Alternatively, with century homes ...


3

With the old outlet wired in the two black wires were basically directly connected. Likewise the two white wires were connected. Since you mention that there are lights, and who knows what all else, connected downstream from the outlet that you are replacing I think that you should modify the way you are attempting to connect the GFI outlet. Rather than ...


3

OK first of all you cannot determine whether the box is properly grounded just using a multimeter. The fact that it reads "0V" does not mean it is properly grounded. The only way to determine that would be to confirm that there is a proper ground wire all the way back to the panel, or to confirm that grounded armored cable is used. In your case I would just ...


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