Conley House Restoration 1999

Here are a few photos of my house, taken between the time of our January 7, 1998 fire and the end of 1999. Here are some photos from 1998, when we weren't really sure what would become of our home:

The front, with boarded up windows and the bedroom carpet on the front steps. Servicemaster left it there for days.

Tearing off the old family room, which was the only part of the house to have actual fire damage.

The day the front room furniture, Christmas tree, dining room chairs, and grandmother's rocker were thrown out. Servicemaster and our demolition crew blamed each other. One of my worst days.  I was very disappointed with Servicemaster, after hearing good things about them from friends who had suffered through fires. The crew we had spent weeks washing down old and smoky wallpaper, told us they could clean items they didn't or couldn't, and seldom spent a full day at work, after we had waited on them to give us their undivided attention. They stopped working before I even got done with tax season, so I never got a chance to work with them.  I spent weeks in the summer of 1999 (after the insurance finally settled) sorting items they randomly packed, and never found most of my china, which apparently was thrown away the last day they were at my home.

This batch was taken July 9 and 10, 1999.

The house from the back. See all the salvaged lumber which will be used in the house.

The library/dining room. Most of the stuff in the room are salvaged materials to be used in the rehab.

The front stairs and stair chair, which was for sale.

The front room, used for an office. The blue wood is from the house in Albion.

The kitchen with the old textured ceiling out. Those old cabinets need a lot of work. The room will have a beaded board ceiling from lumber milled by my grandfather and great-grandfather at Savages' Mill.

These were taken in early August:

No more stair chair and uncomfortable fake stairs and fake railings.

The parlor with most of the wallpaper stripped off.

These were taken in late August:

Framing up the new back rooms. The blue truck is owned by my contractor, Rick Stein, who specializes in rehabilitation.

The back part will have a bathroom (generally to ADA standards), a storage room, a cat room with the corner windows, and closet and storage space.

These were taken in early September:

Rick working late into the night on the new floor.

Walls up and the shower in place. Rick stopped on the new part for a while to scrape and paint the old part, and it looks great. I need to take a formal portrait of the outside.

These were taken in early Late September:

The wonderful lift machine that turns my house into a one story paint job.

Its good for trim and detail work. Rick rented it but ended up purchasing one. It has an engine for moving around town, and they recently purchased a pickup and trailer for longer moves.

Rick also purchased a scraping machine specifically made for exterior surfaces.

Work on the back in October and November:

Bringing the siding onto the back of the addition.

The back door and frame were all saved from the house in Albion.

This siding was originally used on the exterior of my kitchen, and had been covered by subsequent remodelings, probably between 1910 and 1930. Its being attached with square cut nails from Albion, which are maybe 150 years old.

Pictures from December 1999

Rick installing the new roof in back. They are actually making shingles out of long rolls of tin and soldering them to the roof! Its almost too pretty to paint.

 A Christmas view--see the new paint shine!


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Last updated 5/11/2000. Please send corrections and comments to All images of my house are owned by me and should not be used without my permission. Thanks for visiting.