Torrential Downpour

During the torrential downpour last week I decided it would be a good idea to look around my basement and make sure it was dry. It’s a good thing I did because I found some water coming in at the base of the basement door and at the back corner of the utility room. Looks like I need to make some repairs. First I need to replace the old door sill and threshold with some pressure treated wood and sealant. Second I need to patch the leak in the brick in the utility room.

Fixing a Leaky Claw Foot Tub

After moving all of our stuff into the house I was in dire need of a hot shower. I turned on the faucet to my claw foot tub to find two disparaging facts. One there is no hot water and two my tub is leaking. The hot water issue I was able to deal with by getting Washington Gas to turn my gas back on (not sure why they shut it off and neither are they). The leaky tub issue was mitigated with a drip pan until I was able to get over to the hardware store and pick up some plumbers tape. Turns out the plumber that installed the tub didn’t use any tape to secure the connections. Now the water is hot and the bathroom floor is bone dry.

Washington History - House Reports

So I haven’t made it over to the Recorder of Deeds or the Office of the Surveyor yet, but I did contact Kelsey & Associates, Inc. for a free estimate. The company produces a historical report of your house which includes information about the construction, the architect, the block and the neighborhood. I submitted their online form and provided them with the information I currently have (the names of the last three owners). The house was just renovated and flipped to me, but the owner before that bought the place in 1975 and owned it until it was foreclosed on in February of 2009. I also know the name of the owner that sold the house in 1975, but not when they purchased the home.

After looking at the free sample histories on their site I was interested to find out how much it all cost. The samples looked really great and thorough.

Sample House Histories
712 East Capitol Street, N.E., Washington, DC (2 mb)
2436 Eutaw Place, Reservoir Hill, Baltimore City (6 mb)

I just received a response from Kelsey & Associates, Inc.:

“I know your block well, and believe there is much to uncover. We complete the extensive research phase using deeds, census, city directories permits, and other sources to compose the written history, fully cited. One of our latest abilities is to attempt to locate living relatives of the early owners - ones that usually have family photographs and stories about the house that rarely if ever make it into the public archives. It's quite amazing what level of detail is now available through various subscription services such as the Washington Post, etc.

We would be happy to research and write your house history for $600. It takes about 5-6 weeks for completion”.

I would love to get such a detailed history about my house and block, but I’m not sure I want to pay $600 right now. Maybe I can see how hard it is to do some of my own research first.

One Project Closer - $100 HD Giveaway

One Project Closer is at it again with another giveaway. Go check it out if you’re still trying to figure out what to get dear old dad for father's day. This time it’s a $100 gift certificate for HD. We all know we can easily spend a hundred bucks at the big orange depot.