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Village Craftsmen

Beach170 Howard Street 
PO Box 248
Ocracoke Island, NC

The Homer & Aliph Howard Home

Click on photo below for an introduction to our rehabilitation project:

Miss Aliph's: 1932

A record of work done in September,  2004 (click on most photos to see a larger image):

September 01, 2004:

The month started off with rain, lots of rain.  The roof has not yet been shingled, although it is protected with weather shield and tarps.  Fortunately, There have been no leaks.  However, the rain has put a stop to work on the roof.

In the meantime, the carpenters are continuing to work on the two porches, and have been preparing the upstairs room for the addition of metal flitch plates to strengthen and stabilize the second story floor.  The floor joists there are old beams (most likely salvaged from a 19th century sailing vessel) that are fastened to the main upright beams at the front and back of the house by mortise & tennon joints and wooden pegs.  Because they are only 5" X 5" and laid about 32" apart they have sagged noticeably and the floor is very "springy."

Flooring has been removed to expose the existing floor joists:

(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

With great attention to detail, and commitment to preserving as much of the old house as possible, Mark, with Jim's crew, has spliced new wood to the bottom of the compromised original front porch posts.  He even fastened them with wooden pegs, like much of the original structure.

Spliced and pegged front porch post:

(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

September 02, 2004:

Jim & Mark work on the roof:

(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

September 03, 2004:

Putting up trim::

(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

September 14, 2004:

Progress was slower last week.  Weather and carpenters' other commitments (cleanup from recent storms, dental work, other jobs, etc.) conspired to keep work at a minimum.  

Nevertheless, by today quite a bit had actually been accomplished.  Among other things:

  • The roof is completely finished, 
  • Facia & frieze boards are installed,
  • Front porch has been jacked up and leveled,
  • Front porch posts have been repaired and re-installed,
  • Rear porch posts have been installed,
  • Floor joists for second story have been jacked up and leveled (these had bowed badly over the last 140 years) -- 1/2" steel plates will be bolted to each joist to keep them in place and prevent future sagging,
  • Period windows (of the same size and configuration as the deteriorated original windows) have been removed from another island home of the same vintage that has been scheduled for demolition, and will be used to replace rotted windows as necessary,
  • Floorboards from this same old island home (depending on their condition) may be removed for eventual repair of the upstairs floor.

The roof almost complete:

(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

Nina & Milon Williams' Home:
Nina & Milon's Home
(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

Above is the old island home from which we are salvaging original windows and floor boards.

September 21, 2004

Work is progressing well.  

Steel flitch plates have been bolted onto the second floor joists providing needed strength and support. 

The exterior siding on the southwest side of the house has been removed to expose the framing members.  Many of them show significant damage from termites and weather.  Thankfully, there are no active termites invading the house.  After adding new framing, insulation, & plywood Jim and his crew will be able to rebuild the exterior walls.  This will make the house weatherproof, sturdy and secure while retaining as much of the original structure of the house as possible.  

In addition, replacement window jambs are being constructed to accommodate the repaired and reconstructed wooden windows.  Furthermore, a portion of the upstairs floor is being rebuilt to allow the addition of an upstairs bathroom. 

The exposed southwest side of the house:
Open Side of House
(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

September 23, 2004:

Growing up I had heard that my grandmother, Aliph, always wanted the trim on the house painted red, but that my grandfather, Homer, refused to do it.  The trim was either white or "hunter" green.  My father also told me many times that one half of the rear section of the house had originally been an open porch, and that it had been closed in in the mid-1930's to accommodate a "modern" kitchen.  

Tuesday, when the exterior siding on the side wall was removed, we discovered one of the original corner porch posts.  When the porch was closed in, the carpenters simply left the post in place, and nailed siding to it.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that the original color of the post was red!  One more reason to paint the trim red after this rehabilitation.  

The old red corner post, exposed:
Red Porch Post
(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

Go here for links to ongoing rehabilitation work on the Homer & Aliph Howard home.

Check back periodically for additional photos and more information about the progress of this project.


Copyright 2000-2007, Village Craftsmen of Ocracoke, Inc.  All rights reserved.