About a year ago

New feature added to the right side menu bar. Between “118 Henry Street Information” and “Categories”, is an item called “About a year ago” that provides a direct jump to posts made, well, about a year ago.

Thanks to Ralf Thees.


Long time readers of 118 Henry Street know that this record of events, though largely chronological in order, is not a linear narrative. There has always been at least a half dozen projects going at once, not counting the planning/design phases.

The following series of pictures could be used to illustrate this temporal characteristic of our work on the house. Note the walls.

The most significant repair in the kitchen annex wasn’t the big plaster hole, as bad as it might have looked. The repair that took the most planning and the greatest per square foot effort was the horrible hole in the floor.

Courtesy of roof leaks and termites

The damage affected the floor, the subfloor, the floor framing and the end of the foundation sill on the left wall.

After debridement, it looked like this:

All the way to the dirt

Carole caught me considering the repair while staring into the naked void of the crawlspace.

Rodin in the rural South

There wasn’t much that could be done to the foundation sill except clean away the rotten wood. For the floor framing, we used steel framing hangers to build 3 short cross-joists between the sill and the first original floor joist, similar to blocking. One of the cross-joists supported the debrided end of the existing floorboards and subfloor.

A piece of 3/4” plywood covered by tar paper was the subfloor repair.

In progress


The challenge at this stage of the repair was to even out the ends of the existing floorboards with hammer and chisel. The boards needed to be clean and square while the pattern of cuts couldn’t be visually different from the rest of the floor.

The first attempt at the finish floor boards didn’t go so well. The grain of the antique pine we bought was very different from the existing floor.

Never could get the color to match either

We tore out the V1.0 patch, and, after much gnashing of teeth, cut up a random piece of SYP (southern yellow pine) to stain it with an off the shelf color.


Not quite perfect but much better

With 3 coats of oil modified polyurethane, the floor is looking pretty good. We are going to put on one more coat since this will be a high traffic area.

Obligatory “Before” picture

Equally required “After”

Mining for wood floor

Struck gold

Still to come, the last coat of poly, toe molding and paint touchup.

Mono No Aware

The huge, ancient grapevine at the back property line of 118 Henry Street is dead, an apparent victim of the severe drought last year.


Better times, 2003

Some of our history with the grapevine…