At Stonyford

Stony Ford Tour: Third Floor

Name 'the creepy floor' for a good reason. Our biggest renovation project yet.

// October 21, 2014

Everyone loves a good make over. The third floor of this house, now dubbed the creepy floor, will be the ultimate make over. Back in the day, we think these rooms were the sleeping rooms for the guests. Since the social rooms were on the second floor, this would make sense. In most old homes the servant quarters are on the third floor, but we hear there were separate buildings on the property. Maybe one day, we’ll solve that mystery. This floor also gets the award for most unknown noises and creepiness in general. If we ever look at each other and say, “Did you hear that?,” the noise probably came from the third floor. Ghost central: send in ghost busters.

Part of the third floor was removed during the 1930s and what’s left are five modestly sized bedrooms, and three bathrooms, plus a small storage closet. Each room and two of the bathrooms has a window, which provides plenty of natural light. I like the third floor, it’s quiet and the light is the Vermeer style side light, that’s naturally moody and beautiful. Our challenge in renovating this space is many. First, most rooms have no electricity. Yupp, this is true in 2014. Most rooms also have no heat. I know, shocker. There are lots of old radiators laying around though. There is piping for an old stove, and we could even put in a pellet stove. The electrical work won’t be that bad either, because there is easy access through the attic. So lots of technical renovation type stuff to do up here. There is one bathroom with the original sink and toilet, and a bathtub on it’s side. Lot’s of potential. We’d eventually like to move our office up here in one of the darker rooms (less sunlight is better for retouching on screens), make a non-working bathroom into a prop closet and convert the remaining rooms to bedrooms, that honestly would never be used unless we had the occasional guest. This is bonus space for us. I’d love to eventually make the bedroom on the east front of the house the room we shoot in for the blog. I love the light and it would make a great mini studio.

Right now the third floor reminds me of an Anthropology set with the original 1930s wall paper still up and the paster needing some work. I don’t think this floor has been seriously renovated since the 1930s. We found out recently there was a fire on the roof on the 50s, hence the water streaked walls. Lightening struck a tree close to the house and jumped to the roof. Scary! It will be a project, but when it’s done, it will be amazing.

If you haven’t see the first and second floor tours be sure to check them out!

Bathroom

Thanks for joining us on the Stony Ford tour of the third floor.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Lillian April 20, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I know this might be a sort of personal question, but did you have to buy this home with cash? I’m just curious because I know we had difficulty with conventional financing based on inspections for our older home, which was no where near as old as this beauty. I’m wondering if it differs state to state, based on what is common for the area. I know you did a post on things to know before buying an old house, and this is something I think most people don’t think about. Also, were you able to get home insurance? I ask because we are looking to find another old home to work on, and I’d like to go older than our current 1940.

    • Reply Susan Brinson April 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Banks and financing for older homes can be a bit tricky because of valuation. If you buy a trashed house for 50,000, but when you get it all fixed up it will be worth 200,000, the bank will only give you financing for the 50,000. Because that’s what the house is valued at. There are special renovation loans that we looked at for another property, but they were very complicated to get. The bank has to see the house as a sound investment. Financing shouldn’t have anything to do with the age of the house, but the condition of the house. A well restored Victorian could have more value than an uncared for Mid Century home. If you put yourself in the banks shoes, if they had to sell the house because something went wrong (which is known as risk, but life happens), they need to know they will not take a loss. Home owners insurance was easy to get – that was not a problem at all! There are plenty of older homes in America and they are insured. Good luck in purchasing an old home! They are really fun, and very rewarding to restore. 🙂

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