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.

Steaming Our Way Through the First Steps to Plaster Restoration

Authors: Alex

A little while ago we were weighing our options in restoring the uncovered plaster in the living room of our new house.

This all stemmed from the partial wall removal in that room where we realized the room's original plaster had been covered over by a layer of drywall. And when we removed the drywall, we learned that the vast majority...

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Boozing it Up Under the Big Old Tree

Authors: Wendy

The weather is finally warming up, and so are our moods. While we're still in the early stages of working our way through the insurance claim process to repair our damaged plumbing and heating at the new house (and still feel totally depressed and overwhelmed by both the magnitude of the project and all of the decisions we need to...

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How to Transfer Your Telephone Land Line to Google Voice

Authors: Alex

As of today we're saving $45 per month by using Google Voice and an OBi VoIP bridge for our home phone!

If that's not a infomercial sounding beginning to a blog post, I don't know what is. But we are, and it was really easy to setup. If you're like us and you still have a land line, and you've been interested in how you can use Google...

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How to Easily Build a DIY Paint Spray Booth

Authors: Alex

On Wednesday we shared the before & after of our antique store find buffet turned bathroom vanity.

This was a major moment of progress for our bathroom, and though we're not done yet, it went a long way to making our bathroom feel "complete." But in order to check this major step off of our list, it required something that's been...

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Before and After: A Buffet Turned Bathroom Vanity

Authors: Alex

Now this might come as a total shock, but Wendy and I have multiple ongoing projects.

No, no, I'm serious! Can you believe it?

While we may have a literal disaster when it comes to our heating and plumbing at our new house, and we're overwhelmed almost to the point of panic attacks (if they weren't so often interrupted by catatonic...

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Old Town Alexandria in the Snow

Authors: Alex

Old Town Alexandria in the snow is nothing short of magical. 

I don't care how many times we experience snow storms in Alexandria, the day of the storm and immediate aftermath never get old. Sure we're too far south, too much a warm climate for people in the area to act reasonably around snow. And the people of the area sure take...

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Can a Standby Generator Solve Some of our Power Concerns?

Authors: Alex

The weekend before our disaster at our new house Wendy and I spent very lovely Valentine's Day with friends at the very same house. It's amazing what a week can do to your general outlook.

While it was a bitterly cold Valentine's Day, and we couldn't really enjoy being outside, we figured a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of...

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A Whole House Catastrophe

Authors: Wendy

Boy last week really sucked. Alex and I had insanely crazy and stressful work weeks, and the only thing that was keeping us at all sane was the promise of a weekend at the new house. We looked forward to a couple days away, resting, relaxing, and of course DIY-ing. We were excited to devote a good chunk of time to the work in the...

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When Plaster Lurks Below the Surface

Authors: Alex

We've already reached a point in our new house where our over zealous preservationist ways have begun to impact our projects.

It's no real surprise in a house that's over 100 years old, but by the time we started the removal of the weird partial wall in the living room we already knew we had an issue on our hands. The walls of the...

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A Bear of a Task: Removing the Load Bearing Wall

Authors: Alex

A few weeks ago we reported on our efforts to remove the odd half wall in the living/entry area in our new house.

As much as I wanted to take on this major structural renovation work on my own, I knew the effort necessary and that it was likely best to let the pros handle this work.

With that in mind, we reached out to several...

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