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RANDALL HOUSE REPORTS
Randall House Museum, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
Historic Randall House
Floor Plans (Source)
WOLFVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA
CONSERVATION REPORT FOR THE
WOLFVILLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
PREPARED BY H. JOST
JOST ARCHITECTS LTD.
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, NS
CONSERVATION REPORT - RANDALL HOUSE - FILE # 9462
TABLE OF CONTENTS
------ UNDER CONSTRUCTION -----
B . BACKGROUND
1. Exterior Site
D. CONDITION REPORT
North west room 303
North [Sic: South] west room 302
Attic area 301
B. SECOND FLOOR
North East Bedroom 201
South East Bedroom 203
Centre hall 205
North West Bedroom 207
South West Bedroom 206
C. MAIN FLOOR
Dining Room 101
Back Porch 105
Main Hall 107
E . EXTERIOR
2 . Site
F. FLOOR PLANS
This report is prepared for the Wolfville Historical Society with funding assistance from the Heritage Unit of the Nova Scotia Department of Municipal Affairs. The enclosed condition report is based on site inspections held on the 16th of February, 1995 and the 30th of September, 1995.
Background and information was supplied to the author by members of the Wolfville Historical Society including Mr. Robbins Elliot, President, Heather Davidson, Jim Doig, Henry Bradford. Mr. Wayde Brown of the Heritage unit provided assistance and direction to comply with Heritage Unit requirements.
The intent of the report is to provide the Wolfville Historical Society with the results of a visual assessment of the physical condition of the Randall House and offer general commentary, priority, and budget to the general physical conditions observed. No testing was done and observations are those limited to areas of the building normally visible. The report is not intended as a definitive restoration or conservation program but rather a working document to allow the Society a framework for the continuing protection of their physical plan.
This report was prepared by Jost Architects Ltd. for the account of the Wolfville Historical Society. The material in it reflects our best judgement in light of the information available at the time of preparation. Any use which a third party makes of this report, or any reliance on or decisions to be based on it are solely the responsibility of such third parties. Jost Architects Ltd. accepts no responsibility for damages, if any, suffered by any third party as a result of decisions made or actions based on this report.
"A History of the Randall House" by Heather Davidson gives the possible construction date as in the early 1800's, possibly 1809. The style and construction of the house would be in keeping with this date. The house was acquired by the Province of Nova Scotia in 1947 and leased to the Wolfville Historical Society until 1973 when the title was turned over to the Wolfville Historical Society. The Society has borne the responsibility of operations and maintenance for almost 50 years.
1. Exterior Site
The Randall House is situated on a dominant corner lot on Main Street in Wolfville. A review of property lines was not a part of the mandate of this study but by eye the lines to the south (rear) of the building are clear. The dividing line between the park to the west and the museum property is not quite so obvious. No on site parking is provided and the site is generally grassed with some trees and shrubs. The street corner is dominated by a large sign identifying the Randall House Museum. The style of the house and indeed the sign itself detracts from the building but provides the important aspect of identification.
Some grading and drainage problems are noted in my site condition report. In general the site appears to be receiving good care. The site finish and presentation is very much of a 20th century site while the building is early 19th century building.
The condition report for the building is based primarily on an inspection performed on September 30, 1995. It was performed by Harry Jost and Dr. Barry Moody. The report considers issues observed during the course of this inspection and the subsequent recommendations are based on our evaluation of the findings.
The inspection commenced at the west end of the attic and worked generally clockwise down through the house including the basement finishing with an inspection of the exterior.
The building was found to be in generally good condition. There are areas of concern, primarily focused on moisture damage which in some cases has been previously repaired. Much of the moisture damage may be alleviated with some low tech intervention and preventative maintenance. Issues of settlement and cracking may be best addressed by careful observation to determine if the problems are increasing and if so the rate of increase.
Some of the modern interventions as improvements or maintenance work have either created new problems or not served to alleviate difficulties they were intended to address. These include some work on the sills of the back ell and the south side of the house and replacement of framing under the kitchen. The sills have continued to deteriorate because of the adjacent grading. A minor amount of completion work needs to be done on the framing under the existing kitchen. It is noted that where repair work has taken place often times there have been changes in the detail, however slight, which over time change the character and finish of the building. All of these problems are common to a building such as this.
Those of us managing historic properties on a voluntary basis with limited time and funding are forced to make decisions and take action that has these eventual consequences. The philosophic approach and detail of the care of heritage properties varies as much as the number of participants. The Society's efforts over the past 50 years are to be lauded in maintaining the building in relatively good shape.
D. CONDITION REPORT
DATE: 30TH SEPTEMBER, 1995
PROJECT: THE RANDALL HOUSE
WOLFVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA
OUR FILE 9462
IN ATTENDANCE: H. Jost
PREPARED BY: Harry Jost
North west room 303
There is a finished plastered room in the north west corner. The floors are pine boards running north-south one layer thicker than the adjacent open attic space. The six over six window appears to have both a new sash and frame. Stress cracks are visible on the south wall. The floor slopes towards the chimney. Adjacent to the chimney some plaster has fallen from the ceiling (Fig. 1) . There is water damage on the plaster where it has been applied to the side of the chimney. This water damage does not appear to be current.
North [Sic: South] west room 302
There is another room in the south west corner which is unfinished. There is a considerable amount of dust on the floor from the crumbling chimney. The chimney has been rebuilt from about 4' above floor level through the roof, including new brick work.
Attic area 301
The west chimney (east face) is crumbling badly (Fig. 2). Although previously patched below the new top with parching [sic: parging], it is possible to look into the flue. This is apparently the operating flue for the furnace.
The roof has been completely re-sheathed and new rafters have been introduced between the original framing giving total framing at approximately 20" centres. The collar tie on the south frame on the east side is twisting and pulling away. Both the new framing and the old framing have been scabbed on the north face for what appears to be an attempt to provide a level plane (Fig. 3). For the new sheathing this is not the case on the south face, although some scabbing occurs but intermittently. The remnants of a painted finished room exist (Fig. 4) in the north east [sic: west] corner stretching to the north side of the chimney. On the north face of the east wall there is evidence of a former window or vent and this has been clapboarded over with no sheathing. Daylight is visible under the clapboards. It is also possible in the north east corner to see through the sheathing and through the clapboard. It can be observed from the outside that some of the clapboard has warped pulling away from the clapboard beneath. New window sashes have also been installed at this level.
B. SECOND FLOOR
In general paint is spalling and chipping around the perimeter of the painted floors (Fig. 5). It appears to be older paint applied outside the edge of runs or oil cloth. There are numerous cracks on ceilings at this level generally running north-south. There is one in the north west bedroom 207 (Fig. 6) running east-west.
North East Bedroom 201
Old water damage on both the plaster and paper is visible on the chimney face (Fig. 7). Ongoing deterioration is observable in the fire place. Piles of brick powder, mortar, and ash from the chimney are in the fire box. The infill panel beneath the east window appears to have moved more than other panels within the building possibly indicating some moisture (Fig. 8). The floors slope away from the chimney on the north and south sides. This appears to have occurred some time ago. The ceiling is cracked as previously noted (Fig. 9).
There is considerable alligatoring in the paint on the door to the attic (Fig. 10) and in the bedroom door, particularly at the top of the kitchen stairs. The paint is also deteriorating on the wood panel wall dividing the stairwell from the north east bedroom (Fig. 11).
South East Bedroom 203
There is water damage on the west wall from leaks from the roof of the back ell. (Note: the ceiling in the kitchen below has been repaired). There is moisture damage below the [east?] window in [next to?] the closet. The paper is peeling and the paint is peeling.
There is a significant north-south crack in the ceiling of the bathroom.
Centre hall 205
There is evidence on the west wall of what may have been a door through to the closet next to the chimney and indications of a wall running north-south at the top of the stairs enclosing the hallway back around the rail. There are two old mortice cuts into the floor from an earlier newel post or rail support. The balusters on the guard rail at the second level are turned balusters with squared ends whereas the balusters on the stairway are cylindrical. [sic: Fig. 12] There is evidence at the north end of the stair of the floor boards lifting. The paint marking on the side indicated this may have happened some time ago.
North West Bedroom 207
There is a significant horizontal crack at the head of the fireplace opening with the stucco coating spalling along the lintel and horizontal cracks at either side (Fig. 13). There are also north-south cracks in the ceiling particularly inside the hallway door and over the bed.
South West Bedroom 206
Significant deterioration on the face of the fireplace and water damage evident in the flue hole above the chimney. The panel under the west window appears to be moving (Fig. 14, Fig. 15).
C. MAIN FLOOR
Dining Room 101
There are some cracks in the head frame of the doors leading to the kitchen, these appear to be settlement cracks (Fig. 16). The ceiling is twisted but appears to be stable with slight flaking on the skim coat or undercoating. [Sic: Fig. 17] The paint on the floors is peeling particularly badly in the south east corner. Paint is chipping at the wind rail of the door to the hall indicating that the door is binding (Fig. 18).
The floor is boarded in 3" wide boards running north-south. The floor has a considerable spring. (Note: from the basement the new floor joists do not support the floor properly). Cracking in the ceiling in the kitchen runs north-south (Fig. 19) and this is a new ceiling where the dining room is an early plastered ceiling. There is earlier water damage at the door to the basement which may be as a consequence of split piping for the plumbing servicing the upstairs bathroom. The east wall of the kitchen has been moved into the back ell and there is a very noticeable rise at the line of the original foundation. There is exposed wiring for a plug located at the south wall. This apparently has been disconnected. A patch over the pantry door at the ceiling shows no signs of further deterioration although this was presumably installed to repair water damage from leaks at the roof of the back ell. In the fireplace there is staining indicating water leaking through the pipe hole (Fig. 20). The rest of the fireplace has been newly bricked. The flue is plugged. The flue plug in the pantry [sic: passageway] 102 between the kitchen and dining room is loose.
Back Porch 105
The bottom [wall?] boards have been replaced possibly as a consequence of grade problems on the exterior which are noted on the exterior report. Floor boards in the back hall are new[,] running east-west. [Editors Note: Some confusion here regarding the back hall: Is this a reference to Room 107, Rear Hall, shown in Fig. 21. The problem here is that the boards run north-south.]
Main Hall 107
The floor is finished in hardwood running east-west (Fig. 21) . [Editors Note: Some confusion here: The picture (figure 21) is of the rear hall (room 107) and it shows wide flooring boards running north-south. Possibly the picture should have been of the front hall (room 110) though here, its narrow hardwood flooring also ran north-south).]
The chair rail housing is of different profiles on the west and south wall (Fig. 22).
There is a severe east-west crack just forward of the chimney (Fig. 23). The plaster, however, appears to be relatively solid. Two odd jogs are located in the south west and south east corners (Fig. 24) of the parlour and these jogs measuring approximately 3" in the east-west and 23" north-south do not line up with the face of the chimney. They sound hollow.
Stairs to the basement have been replaced with new pine boards. The basement floor has been covered in crushed stone over sheet polyethylene. All the vertical framing in the basement has been replaced with new wood posts and new concrete piers poured under the posts. A new beam has been introduced running east-west under the dining room and the parlour splitting the original span. Remedial work has been done under the kitchen. New 2" X 8" floor joists have been installed between the original joists. These are approximately 30" on centre and they are supported by a 6" X 6" beam spanning approximately 10' between two steel lally columns. Strapping has been introduced on top of the floor joists and it appears to have been installed this way when the new joists were installed. The new rafters now are not fully supporting the floor. In many cases it is possible to stick your fingers between the framing and the flooring. Some of the floor boards have been replaced including those in the back hall.
The south east [sic: west] portion of the foundation has five large pieces of sandstone which appear to fill in a window or some other opening and are clearly evident on the exterior. The rest of the top of the foundation has been finished in brick. Both the east and the west walls are bowing towards the centre, bowing horizontally visible from the exterior, and bowing vertically when viewing from the basement. The hearth on the parlour fireplace collapsed approximately one year ago and remedial work has been done to re support this but it requires some upgrading.
A finished room at one time existed including a plastered ceiling on split lathe in the north west corner of the basement. Sand plaster, lime plaster and whitewash were applied to complete this space.
The north or main street facade (Fig. 25).
The roofing was replaced in 1994. The paint is chipping and peeling particularly at the eaves and fascia. Some debris is noticeable in the gutters. The portico appears relatively new and in good shape although the pipe rails are inappropriate to the period of the building (Fig. 25 Sic: Fig. 26). The exterior of the brick foundation has been stucco coated. The west pilaster (Fig. 26 Sic: Fig. 27 ) illustrates many of the subtle changes. The west face is newer. The trims such as back bands do not match those on the north face. The frieze board has been replaced, the downspout has been cut into [the] far trim. Paint peeling on the soffit and apparent deterioration may be as a result of overflow from the gutter. [Editor: Not sure what the author is referring to here. The pilasters at the north-west and north-east corners of the house are identical, each with a capital consisting of a frieze, back-band and shelf; however, the pilasters at the south-west and south-east corners are missing completely their capitals]
The west wall (Fig. 28) shows some peeling paint particularly in the northern half. Some of the clapboard, although not as badly as the east wall, have sprung loose and warped (Fig. 28, Fig. 28A). The sand stone infill on the foundation is clearly visible on the exterior including smaller blocks to the north (Fig. 29, Fig. 29A). There is a horizontal bow of approximately 2" to the centre of the foundation and inward at the north end there is a split indicating a horizontal shift of about 1/2" where the foundation may have been mortared at one time. [Sic: Fig. 30]
South Facade. (Fig. 31)
The bell cast of the roof has been taken out on the east [south?] face explaining the scabs on the roof rafters (Fig. 29A) . The south wall is shingled while the other faces are clapboards. The grade surrounding the building is above the top of the foundation in many locations and has already deteriorated the sills on both the back ell and the original building (Fig. 31). Standing approximately 10' south of the back ell the grade is a minimum of 18" higher than it should be (Fig. 32). The slopes are such that the rain water leader on the west of the back ell is draining onto the ground and then into the basement and the rainwater leader on the east side is draining right back under the back ell (Fig. 33).
East Facade. (Fig. 34)
Repair work has been done on the south east corner post [sic: Fig. 36] and possibly for more of the corner board as the crown mouldings do not match those of the front (Fig. 35). They do match those of the west end. It is possible to see up through the clapboard where daylight could be seen from the inside of the attic. The paint is deteriorating and has badly alligatored in many locations. By eye the south east corner of the foundation appears to have settled and the water table is cut and lapped with an unmatching piece in the middle of the building (Fig 36 [sic: Fig. 37]). The south east [sic: north east] downspout has been lead through a pipe to exit on the sidewalk (Fig. 37 [sic: Fig. 38]).
Maintenance records are of prime importance for any building. They are even more important for historic buildings to chronicle every alteration which may change the detail or intent of the original works. The building should be treated as an artifact. Clear documentation is required on when and why things have been adjusted. A maintenance log providing a chronological record of problems identified, and action taken, giving the Society a record to review when assessing newly identified problems. Many building problems are recurrent and the previous intervention has not solved the problem completely. Better records for historic buildings would give us a clear understanding of what has been removed, added or altered and identify when and for what purpose. A simple photographic record of before, during, and after, would give the Society a resource base to tell the continuing story of the Randall House. Continuing issues such as painting should be recorded including such items as; what type of paint, by manufacturer, and chemistry, the colour, who installed it and when. Compatibility between manufacturers and paint types varies and failures can often be traced to using the wrong product.
This record would also give the Society an idea of life cycle costing for maintenance purposes. Colour chips and samples can more easily be matched. This philosophy extended to all maintenance and capital works provides some continuity to the Society's successors to provide proper care for the building.
The property committee appears to be doing a fine job in looking after the property. I suggest that they make at least two regular tours top to bottom, one during off season and one during the summer to review the condition of the building. A report mechanism for guides and other occupants to identify and quantify any operational problems will give the building committee a clearer understanding of problems. Often when discussing issues with the boards and committees, it is clear that the observation of an issue such as a leak cannot be clearly be quantified nor identified as to date of first observation or length of continuation. The end users are in the best position to provide this commentary.
The commissioning of reports such as this will give the Board and Building Committee a framework to proceed with alterations. Resource people within the community such as contractors and suppliers may give freely of their time for opinions and suggestions as to their feeling how best to accomplish certain tasks if they have a framework to work within. A word of caution or perhaps encouragement all products necessary for the maintenance and preservation of a building such as this are available in some form. Often they must be custom fabricated but they are often no more expensive than mass run material. They are not however available on an instantaneous basis and must be ordered in time to allow manufacture.
It appears that much of the repair work completed in the basement and in the back ell is as a result of moisture damage. Much of this damage can be attributed to the poor grading at the south of the building. Therefore regrading to provide better surface drainage should alleviate much of this problem. The moisture is further exacerbated by high grades around the sills particularly to the south which hold moisture too close to the wood surfaces causing them to deteriorate. The Nova Scotia climate is such that often rain falls when the ground is frozen. There being no absorption, water is directed by gravity and by wind. High wind conditions generally associated with all rain storms cause water to get into crevices and holes as a result of pressure differentials which are not common in the west part of the country.
The grade to the south should be lowered providing a minimum of 8 inches vertical clearance to any adjacent wood and where possible to slope away from the building. The surrounding grades are such that a swale could be developed at the southern end of the property with the high point at the centre of the building and water directed both easterly and westerly.
Site boundaries should be reviewed. If a deed or other document defining the properties is available this should be checked to ensure it conforms with the apparent property lines. The Society should be confident of the property bounds.
The Society may wish to re evaluate its intent for the site. The current landscaping and site treatment are very much 20th Century for a 19th Century building. The Society may wish to revisit its mandate for site display and interpretation. If the Museum is the primary focus and it is displaying relevant to the history of the house in Wolfville to the present day, the site may be fully appropriate. If there is an intent to display the building in its earlier context, you may wish to revisit and study the site more thoroughly.
It is of obvious importance that the Randall House be identified both by title and as its function as a museum. The quandary then lies with how to accomplish this. The current sign although performing well for identification is by style not appropriate to the period of the building. Indeed the possibility of a sign associated with the building at all in it's history is limited. This dichotomy can be addressed and I encourage the museum to review it's signage requirements and details.
The front porch and front walk fall into the same context as the sign. The front porch is a recent addition. The history of the Randall House alludes to work required in 1947. The current situation is not in keeping with this 19th Century building.
F. Building Exterior - North Facade.
The north facade appears to be in generally good condition. Peeling paint is indicative of problems which may be associated only with the paint itself. As previously referenced compatibility between types of paint and manufacturers varies and paint failures are often due to incompatibility rather than complete failure. Properly applied paint in this climate should last 6-10 years and much of this is dependant on the exposure. South and west faces tend to be more weather beaten and require intervention sooner than other faces of a building. Detailed investigation for original colours may be of interest to the Society. I did not take any samples during the course of my investigation but sampling services are available where the original colours can be determined and modern colour matches provided. The incompatibility of the style of the front porch and steps although not a maintenance problem at the moment is a philosophic issue to review as a part of any conservation program.
G. West Facade.
The detail on the trim at the corner boards and raking has been changed. As repairs have been made the detailing of the wood trim has been altered losing some of the fine profile of the early 19th Century.
The foundation is bowed inward as much as 2-3 inches in the centre of the wall. This has been apparently repaired in the past as there is one large crack mortared to the north of sandstone infill. I could not detect any signs of continuing movement. This should be monitored on an annual basis using a reference line struck from front to rear corner posts and measuring the wall offset. Any evidence of movement inward may require shoring on the interior to prevent the collapse of the foundation wall. There is no clear evidence why the sandstone infill at the south end of the foundation wall was installed.
H. South Wall
The sills and water table have been repaired along here in the past. The repairs on the back ell include installation of plywood as a finish on the exterior of the sills. Firstly, the grade should be lowered and this done in consort with regrading as previously mentioned for the site. The lowering of the grade will remove most of the continuing dampness and allow the remaining wood to dry out. An assessment can then be made to determine the amount of repair work, if any required. The plywood on the face of the back ell should be removed and replaced with shingles to provide continuity appropriate to the structure.
I. East Facade
It is possible to see up under the clapboard at a number of locations on the east facade. As noted in the interior inspection at the attic level one can see through the boarding and clapboard to the exterior. Re securing of the clapboard may be all that is necessary to rectify this problem.
The downspouts, particularly from the back ell, are now disgorging water on the adjacent ground surface which is then flowing back under the ell or up against the main sill of the building. Regrading may alleviate this problem and failing the regrading the downspouts must be extended away from the building so that their eventual outflow is carried away by grade.
The first concern at the attic level is the condition of the active chimney at the west end of the building. The brick work has deteriorated to the point where the flue is open to the attic. This is apparently the operating flue for the furnace although we could not confirm this. Members of the building committee were notified at the September inspection of this problem and it was suggested that they consult with their furnace personnel and a mason to ensure no safety problems exist. The remaining face of the chimney is spalling and should be monitored for continuing deterioration. The difficulty then lies with maintaining current safety standards and historical accuracy. The tops of both the north [sic: west] and south [sic|: east] chimneys have already been replaced. These replacements are constructed of high fire brick which has a different face and patina than the original material. The new chimney caps do not match the original. The portions outside the roof have further been stuccoed, another alteration from the original. Insurers now often require liners even for fuel fired devices and chimneys built to current standards require liners. The safety of the building must be maintained but this may be in conflict with preserving the heritage aspects of the property, There are several ways to satisfy both but first it is necessary to identify the insurers' requirements.
The collar tie just outside the west rooms which has twisted and come loose from the rafter on the west side of the roof should be re secured. It appears to have twisted to the extent it cannot be reinstated in the dovetail joint so a bracket or scab may be necessary to positively connect these two together.
The clapboard at the east end is addressed in the exterior report but should be secured to provide better weather protection.
B. Second Floor
Cracks are visible on the ceiling of the second floor. Some of these are visible although work has been recently completed on the ceilings. In general they appear to be as a result of overstressing the plaster and drywall with the loads now experienced in the attic. The use of the attic as display space including both the visitors and the displays may be causing the floor joists to bend enough to crack the plaster. Buildings of this date do not meet current requirements for stiffness to prevent cracking of plaster. These cracks should be monitored and limits put on the number of people in any space in the building at any one time.
The spalling and chipping of floor paint will be an ongoing issue. I note in the areas observed that the floor colours have been changed numerous times and the chipping may be a result of incompatible paints. I know of no way to eliminate this problem other than to remove the failing paint and to start again. My opinion is that it would be better to treat this as an ongoing maintenance problem (if it is considered to be a problem by the Society) and to upgrade the paint as required. Eventually all the failing sections will be replaced. No further damage should occur as a result of this and the stripping of the wood by mechanical or chemical means could do considerable damage.
Failing paints on the doors and other surfaces that are alligatoring and other signs of failure do not require any intervention other than for cosmetic purposes. I think as well it is important to display buildings with some sense of use and wear rather than a pristine condition if we are attempting to display buildings in anything approximating a lived in condition.
Throughout the building there are interior panels beneath the windows. These are not common to all rooms but those room that have the panelling appear to have an insert covering up the detail work. In the northeast bedroom on the second floor this panel is particularly loose and warped and it may be as a result of moisture in behind the face panel. It is recommended that this face panel be carefully removed to observe what may be occurring beneath it and as well to determine if there is more finished panelling. The Society may want to expose the more finished work if some is available and in any case should monitor the situation to ensure there is no leakage at any of the windows.
The slope of the floor in this room is quite severe. There is no evidence of current settlement but this along. with evidence of settlement in other parts of the building should be monitored. Any jacking or intervention should be approached cautiously as the results of the jacking often cause more damage than the settlement itself. Settlement may be indicative of other than normal conditions (most buildings are continuously settling) and this is usually exhibited by unusual conditions in one area, ie. [sic] cracking, popping, or rolling.
The balusters and guardrail around the main stair have been altered. Changes at this level as well include removal of the door from in the hallway to the closet between rooms 207 and 206. There is also evidence on the floor of a partition that has been removed. The Society may wish to do further research to see if it desires replacement of any of these conditions.
There is evidence of water damage in the southeast bedroom 203 along the south window and wall associated with the back ell. If you look at the roof of the back ell (figure. 31) there is little clearance between the roof and the window and no room for flashing. A combination of snow on the roof, spring rains, and lack of flashing probably is the cause of this damage. The building was inspected in September there was no current evidence of leakage. Again as with other leaks this situation should be monitored.
C. Main Floor
The door between the main hall and the dining room show signs of binding. Paint is chipped on the dining room side on both the frame and door itself. The door may require resetting or some minor planing prior to the next painting.
The floor in the kitchen has been repaired at the basement level previously. Recommendations for this work follow in the basement section.
Various locations are damaged from what appear to be plumbing leaks. These appear to require no further work other than for cosmetic purposes.
The kitchen fireplace shows water staining although the flue is plugged. Although both chimneys are capped there is evidence in most of the open fireboxes of water getting into the flues and traces of ash and soot drawn down by the water are visible in the boxes. There is also spalling and clay dust from the brick itself . I know of no easy solution for this continuing problem. The damage caused is not immediate but rather long term. A complete sealing of the chimney cap may reduce or eliminate the water infiltration but may have some consequences in terms of condensation. The cap on the flue plug in the pantry [sic: passageway 102] is loose and should be secured.
Bottom wall boards of the back ell have already been replaced and as indicated in the exterior report this will continue to a maintenance and long term problem because of the grading.
Much of the framing in the basement has already been replaced. A new vapour barrier and gravel has been installed on the floor and most of the wood posts have been replaced. New beams have been introduced at the front and under the kitchen. Work is required to complete the work under the kitchen. The new framing is not secured to one another and there is a space between the new joists and floorboards which accounts for the spring in the kitchen floor. A skilled craftsperson should be engaged to complete all the connections between the joists, beams and columns throughout the basement and ensure positive continuous support underneath the floorboards. This person should also check the sill along the south wall of the kitchen which has a pronounced hump for signs of movement or deterioration.
It is my understanding that the hearth in the parlour collapsed and shoring and new support work have been provided to temporarily support the repaired hearth. This work requires final cleanup and the installation of more permanent supports. As a part of the ongoing monitoring which include the cracks in the ceiling and masonry work on the two levels above this situation should be closely monitored by the building committee for signs of further deterioration.
PHOTOGRAPHS (H. JOST 1995)
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