Old Town Home

Old Town Home is a blog dedicated to chronicling the successes and failures of an Historic Old Town Alexandria couple as they live in the charming historic district while attempting to completely renovate and appropriately restore an 1880s Victorian row house...almost entirely on their own.

We've Got Some Major HVAC and Plumbing Pro-Gress to Report

Authors: Alex

So we're completely exhausted.

No really, both of us, just completely exhausted. I know a lot of people say it a lot, but we're running on fumes.

Lately work has been absolutely crazy for both Wendy and me. I'm talking 80-100 hour weeks crazy. Couple that with the extremely stressful endeavor of trying to oversee a major overhaul to...

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The Scrap Metal Cash Out - Turning Your Trash into Cash

Authors: Alex

Last week I experienced something for the first time in my history of DIY -- The scrap yard cash out.

Over the years we've adventured to garbage dumps, salvage yards, antique stores, yard sales, dumpster dives, and countless old houses, all in the name of projects. But until last week, I'd not yet ventured out to a full fledged scrap...

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Cheating My Way to an Integrated Cabinet Bead

Authors: Alex

Our bathroom cabinets are really becoming something!

While we're busy bouncing from project to project, the time and effort I've been putting in on the two large cabinets that will flank our bathroom vanity are slowly transforming them into something cool.

We left off on the base cabinet build with two basic cabinet boxes. Though...

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Creating a Summer Gift Basket: The Ultimate Hostess Gift

Authors: Wendy

Summertime is a wonderful season, filled with sunshine, warm weather, and my personal favorite, casual and relaxed outdoor entertaining. I'm not one to show up to a party empty handed, and while I love to bring a homemade treat or bottle of wine, there are times when I like to do something a little more fun. Which brings me to gift...

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Considering Waterlox to Refinish Our Heart Pine Flooring

Authors: Alex

In fun news, we're considering our many options on how we want to refinish our antique heart pine floors!

However, this is not an easy decision, and not one to be taken lightly. We're fortunate in our new home to have beautiful 110 year "random width" heart pine throughout all three floors. Best of all, it's all in relatively good...

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Geothermal Ground Loop Install = A Giant Dirty Mess

Authors: Alex

The past week we've violently oscillated between outright angst over work being done on our house and utter exhaustion from the work we're doing.

The work on our house's HVAC and plumbing repairs has been progressing, and we've been trying to stay ahead of the contractors with our responsibilities.

Since the price tag for new...

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You're Hired!

Authors: Wendy

Well, we certainly can't claim to complete any house projects at world record speed, whether it's a 12+ year renovation of our 15' wide townhouse, or even completing our master bathroom renovation in less than five years. But when outsourcing work, I thought we could count on hired pros to turn things around a little more quickly.

For...

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Old Town Alexandria Welcomes French Tall Ship Hermione

Authors: Alex

July 2, 1779, a 22 year old Frenchman by the name of Johannes (Jean) Claudius Schledorn enrolls in the legion of Lauzun and engages as a light horse soldier in Lauzun's 1st squad of Hussars.

The adventure and duty that follows brings the calvary soldier to North American to fight with George Washington and the American rebel forces...

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Old Look with a Modern Twist - The LED Edison Bulb

Authors: Alex

Historic home renovation of any sort is a delicate balance between old and new.

Whether you're patching a hole in a 100 plus year old plaster wall or looking for period hardware or accessories that are both functional and appropriate in an old home, you have to weigh the character of the old against the function of the new. This has...

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Building the Base on Custom Bathroom Cabinets

Authors: Alex

Much like War and Peace, Gone with the Wind, or The Academy Awards, our bathroom renovation is running long.

As the years have progressed and our patience runs thin, the bathroom has slowly progressed. Rather than drawing comparisons to various epically lengthy novels or movies, let's instead use The Little Engine that Could as our...

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