Snake in rafters, mushrooms growing on floor. Another day at the JD Finch House.

This week’s torrential rains brought specifics of where the roof is leaking. We knew when we bought the house that there was water damage in two of the back rooms. But we found drips in three separate rooms and our measly two buckets we brought with us weren’t up to the task. We ran out to the store to buy more, and metal pans to catch the leaks on the front porch as well. Glad to know where the roof is leaking, and relieved that there are no surprises here.

With water leaks comes mold, and we’ve hired two workers to clear it out and remediate it. They are bringing out all the gross stuff under the crawl space, cutting metal pipe, and scraping off the mold encapsulant Scott sprayed two weeks ago.

In the back entry room, we peeled back paneling and linoleum wall covering to find the original house boards – still intact, painted green, and original roofline of the 1911 house. Solid, in good shape.

We also found rotting boards from the addition which enclosed the porch and made it into a room. Ripped them out. While exploring the rafters, by the dim light of the window and one flashlight Scott spotted what he thought was a towel wrapped around a rafter board. He swatted it with a broom handle and down plopped a snake – coiled, dessicated, and long dead. It came down intact – a nice Halloween surprise for us.


In the downstairs bathroom, right beside the only interior house leak, on the rotting floorboards were two mushrooms, stretching their white bulbous heads toward the mantel. Toward the mantel – in a bathroom? Yes, another oddity of this house.

Thankfully, we also just approved the plans of our architect, David Maurer, to change this odd bathroom into a downstairs master bedroom. He’s drawn plans to reconfigure the entire back area from a weird laundry room – mudroom, tremendously large bathroom, into a four room area with master bedroom, two bathrooms, laundry, pantry and walk in closet.

Though I loved the house before, I struggled to picture myself living in it. Now with Maurer’s plans, it will be perfect for us. Demolition of the back area is beginning.

While the guys were tearing out ceilings and old insulation, I kept busy by “undecorating” the entry way. Blonde wood paneling – gone. Ocean mural wallpaper – gone. Yes, I’ve done two days of stripping paper and paneling, and now only beadboard under the molding and plaster clear up to 12 foot ceilings show!

In the “mushroom bathroom” most of the country wallpaper is down too. Little hearts and geese are off the wall in the trash. Square mirror and wooden towel bars – gone. They weren’t original and now that I’ve gotten rid of the tacky 1980s décor, we’re ready to deconstruct this odd bathroom. I left the mushrooms for now. I wonder how big they’ll be next week?


Leaky back room   


Original house ended here


Front entrance hall with mural & paneling


 After – Wallpaper down, original beadboard

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