Tennessee Farmhouse

Started by dave423, June 21, 2006, 07:35:27 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


[size=14]My wife and I had originally planned to build a shed in the Cherokee National Forest on some land our family has owned for about 40 years, but with changing job situations, it looks like we may have to put our energy in a different direction.  

My Mom also owns an old farmhouse, free and clear,  in Beautiful East Tennessee that my brothers and I converted into three, two bedroom apartments back about 1982.  For years we rented them out with no trouble, and then Mom got tender hearted about some people who seemed to be down on their luck and let them move in.  They were down on their luck for a reason.  They were deadbeats.  They trashed the place, skipped on the rent, ran up a big power bill and left for parts unknown, taking with them some of the appliances.  Then one of my brothers said he had some workers who could live there and fix the place up in exchange for rent.  They lived there, but no fixing up.  They cut a hole in the mechanical room door so their dogs would have a place to sleep, broke out the windows, and when they left, again with large utility bills unpaid, they even stole the copper and the meter bases from the electric service

I didn't live in that town at the time, and couldn't do the repairs, but I may be relocating due to a job change.  One of my brothers is a contractor and another is a trim carpenter, and they live nearby.  I was a radio announcer for about 30 years, have a tech degree in electronics and have a  B.S. degree in Math.  Guess who's going to be fixing the place up, whether we move there or not.

The city contacted Mom about the junk and unmown yard, so my wife Suzie and I are trying to get the place cleaned up, and get the least damaged apartment, which we call the Townhouse, into shape for us to move into.   Here's what we're starting with.

This is the rear corner of the Townhouse showing where some of the siding has been broken away, and my hardworking Suzie working the mower.

The downstairs and upstairs apts with missing windows and AC unit.

Front Door of the Townhouse.

View across the front yard.

Our first priority is to get the tall grass and brush under control, so we can see where all the junk is.  This weekend we have a truck supplied by the city to load with junk for them to haul off.  When we get this done, then we have to get any water leaks stopped, then there's oh so much other stuff to do.

I worked on this in the '80s, did some maintenence in the '90s when I returned to college, and now in "06, we're at it again.  This should be a challenge.  In the next few months, we hope to get the Townhouse liveable, so we can move in.  I don't want try to rehab the place while we live there.  (Been There, Done That, Won't Do It Again.)  Then, we'll work on restoring the other two apts, and then maybe we get to work in the mountains.  

I'll keep you informed and will post pictures when there is something to show you.  I'll need a lot of advice, so please feel free to hop right in with suggestions.  I put this all in large type because it was easier for me to read with my bifocals, by the way.




Know what? I fell in love with this house! I love a challenge and almost envy you although I understand how you could feel discouraged by all that's happened. Your Mom must have a heart of gold and I'm sure we've all been burned a time or two.

This house has so much character! Did you grow up there? It will be beautiful when you're finished.

Be sure to post pictures and I hope you don't find too much additional damage. Think of it as good practice for your country cabin!


No, we grew up just a few miles away.  Dad bought it as an investment.  He bought a bunch of land for investment.  Turns out he really knew what he was doing.  


Wow! Easy to see the appeal/potential in this one, even if it is in need of a lot of TLC.

Good luck!


[size=14]Well, we spent the weekend working on the farmhouse.  I don't know about you, but I like posts with lots of pictures.  If I'm putting in too many and using up too much bandwidth, let me know, but here goes with the latest update.  

Here's the front of the farmhouse.

Also from the front, with the dump truck in place. Notice the arched window.
It's in the master bedroom, and it faces almost due east.

Here's the view from the bedroom window.

This is the bedroom window of the upstairs apartment.

The whole place has been trashed. Here are some pictures of the damage, and some before and after pics.

Junk in the mechanical room.  Nasty, Nasty stuff. YUK! Clothes, kids toys, Christmas decorations, lots of old computers and monitors, sinks, toilets, yard sale items, bedding, foam rubber, fiberglass insulation the dogs ripped from the walls, wet moldy drywall, all mixed liberally with doggy doo.  May you never have to face anything like it.

And after the weekend.  I removed the water heaters so I'll be able to get to the damaged floor and joists, and also to keep them from being stolen.  Someone had started to drain them, and instead of running the hose outside, they let them drain into the junk in there, so all of that mess was wet and smelly.  You can still see the moisture on the plywood in the foreground of the last picture.

And here's a pic of the side porch.  More junk.

The trusty dump truck after loading.

Here's the side yard before Suzie worked on it.

And after

It's been a hard weekend.  We had some help on Saturday.  My brother and his girlfriend came over and really pitched in, literally.  I'm going to do some more work on Wednesday, trying to liberate a peppermint dogwood from the clutches of locust brush.  And after that, I don't know when the next weekend will be.  I'll have some time off over the 4th of July, so that may be the next big work session.
I'll keep you posted.



 Dave you've got some major issues ahead , what a mess :'(

That siding looks like Transite siding  which may have , I won't say it,  but yes it might .

  Just google transite you'll get hits , hope I'm wrong ;)

 That's a nice old house worth saving ??   I'd really check out the foundation , check for bugs , powder post bettles , termite's etc . Make sure the place is structural sound before you put to much time in the front end .

 And don't think I'm against remodeling / restoring I'm not I do it all most daily , 85% of my work is remo.  But look close at structural issues before proceeding with interior clean up . The yard go for it , but if she's not sound structurally a track hoe can clean up the mess just as well , easier really.

Good Luck my man , we're pullin for ya  :)


It's the shadow of its former glory.  Oh Dave, that's a j-o-b, job!

I grew up in Appalachia, and I used to hear people say, "You can be poor, but you don't have to be dirty!"


Are others having the problem of people stealing copper to sell-usually to support their meth addiction?