Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Jackson, NY, house: the windows and the frame , 3 of 6 posts

Dismantling a house is always exciting.

Renovation reveals parts of the frame, the foundation, the joinery of an old house. But taking it down carefully shows us all of it.

So even though  it was 10*F with a stiff wind, I have been there - for the past week. My fingers froze, my camera refused to work. The timber framers said their battery operated power tools were likewise not inclined to cooperate.  

The newer windows were shorter than the originals.The hole above was filled in with 2 short lengths of clapboard.   

Last week with the clapboard removed, The original window frames were obvious.

Inside the frame was exposed; the rough window opening visible.
Still the 'window' we saw was not the original.

At the top of the opening we could see a new stud scabbed against the old, wider stud. The wider stud stopped at the top of the original window.
 Note the white smudge marks on the sheathing - they are made by the un-fired brick that was used for insulation - nogging - and fire stopping. 

 Bottom of the same window - more white marks on the side of the frame where the brick was under the original window. One of the timber framers, who saw this first, is measuring as I take notes.

I had not expected to see the bottom -  the sill - of the original window higher than the newer one but the evidence was right there. At some windows the cut stud was newer lumber as well.

The newer windows sat a little lower than the old. The height of the old matched the height of the front door.

The posts on each side of the window have the 2nd floor joists mortised into them. These bents - front to back down the length of the house, one each side of each window - frame the house. 

This is how Dutch houses in the Colonies were framed 2 generations before this house was built.  

The picture of the southwest corner shows the post on the left side of the front corner window running from floor to roof, the beam mortised into the post, brick nogging, and cross bracing.

Note: in the picture of the window (above) an intermediate joist is visible  - centered above the window. It is not mortised into a post. It sits on the plate. There are regular intermediate joists in the floor frame of the 2nd floor.

The link to  the men who took down and repaired this house, Green Mountain Timber Frames: .


Anonymous said...

As always, your posts are both relevant and revealing.

Jane said...

thank you for reading.

1812Quilts said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
1812Quilts said...

Just spent the evening reading all your blog posts. Thank you for the education! My region on the other side of the Adirondacks was settled in 1800 and I always enjoy looking for and trying to figure out the design symmetry/proportions that the master builder's utilized.

Jane said...

Lynette Lundy-Beck:
Thank you for posting - I deleted your duplicate comment.
What kind of symmetry/proportions do you see?
This side of the Adirondacks was settled by people from eastern New England, the seacoast and downstate NY, Pennsylvania, Europe... Of course they brought their own framing systems with them. The barns I posted abut were all in the same community, all used different geometries.
Settlers saw how their neighbors built. Biddle, Asher Benjamin and Lefever published popular pattern books. And people traveled, saw what people back home were doing. Lots of cross-fertilization.
Do you see this too, perhaps caused by the War of 1812?

This little house is Georgian Federal on the outside, but Dutch framed inside. I'm about to post about that.

Stephanie Aude said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jane said...

Hi Stephanie,

I remember you and your house with pleasure.

Yes, "context, proportion and modesty"!

I have sent you an e-mail.

Preservationist said...

Superb house. Well done. There are those who believe it was ripped down indiscriminately:

Just so you know:

Jane said...

Thank you for the notice. I left a post for Bedlam Farm about the house.

I did this recording gratis. I had planned to research the deeds and maps for names and dates of the original farmer, perhaps even the date when someone felt wealthy enough to add this wing facing the road.
From the foundation of the original house I would expect it to be before 1750. I was ready to delve into the records! However within the next month I had paying work. I have not been able to add the final chapter.The drawings and dimensions sit on my desk.

The Dutch framing technique, used in a Federal house, has brought comments from quite a number of historians. How many other similarly appearing houses on Rte 22 are also Federal in style, Dutch framed?