Langham House

Langham House

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday May 9, 2011

I've waited for almost a month for the electrician to finish his job. After awhile, I had almost given up. Tonight he says they will try to finish this week. I'm grateful. Very grateful. I'd like to start seeing some sheetrock and paint go up. I'm read to see progress again.

Jess has been working on painting - he's not feeling well - so the work is slow. I'm not complaining. Once again, I'm grateful.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Yesterday we picked up a new/old table for the dining room - took it to Earl Wilcox to strip and restain it for us. It is a tiger oak round pedlestal base.

Yesterday we got 3 doors painted - the house is over 90% painted - we have danish and rails left to do.

Electricians start back on Monday - I'm told by next Sunday we should have electricity. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Darlene with Beaumont Heritage Society came by to see Langham House and the "new found" jib window that had been covered with ply-wood. She complimented us on the work that had been done and the progress. Thanks for coming by Darlene! We enjoyed the visit.

April 20, 2011

Attention City of Beaumont:

Question - considering the age of this house - do we still according to the "rules" have to install a ventilation blower in the bathroom? That will mean cutting into 100+ year old wood that we weren't going to molest and using it as the ceiling. My house is old and doesn't have any. Need to know something, as you know Mr. Bennett pulled the permit yesterday, and if it doesn't have to be cut into I prefer not to have one in there. It's not a rent house. It's historical and should fall under a different structure I would think.

Thanks for your help Steve - as always - I appreciate you. (May not agree with you, but I appreciate you! LOL)

Sent VIA email.

The city has come out with some new rules that I hate to see apply to Langham House. I REALLY hate seeing it apply. I will conform if I have to - but I really do not want to cut up that wood in the ceiling of the bathroom!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday April 12, 2011

Darrell and me will continue painting tomorrow - and once we get her painted - depending on funds - we will see about an electrical contractor. I'm not happy with the City of Beaumont - and if I could I would pack this ol' house up on a barge - and take it up to East Texas. I'm just really fed up.

On the bright side - the house is looking real good. I will continue to paint it and at least make the outside look good. As for the inside, I have no idea how long that will take me.

Hopefully there'll be a funding angel come along - or someone who would be willing to come and do the electrical for us as a gift/donation.

Until that time - we will finish the painting and get the outside looking good -

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We started painting today - it'll be tedious work - but in the end - I believe it will be well worth it. I'm loving the colors we're putting on her. I'll try to download a picture tomorrow.

I've started taking picture of folks who stop by to see the old house. I plan to use them in a collage of pictures in the back of the book These Two Old Houses (yes I know that is suppose to be underlined, but haven't figure out the computer yet). Trying to get as many "visitors'" pictures as possible. Rumor has it WL Pate and Gethrel Williams-Wright with the City Council are coming out next week.

We removed the old blue tarp that was up there - WHAT A JOKE! Not a shingle amiss! Yes it does look strange 2 different colors - but for now - that's the way it'll have to be until more funds come in.

We located the man, Wes, who tore down the Polk House here in Beaumont. He has a lot of the materials that we need to replace or repair.

We also removed the enclosed area where there was a closet and a bathroom and reverted the porch back to being a porch. It sure opened it up and made a difference.

Speaking of opening things up. As you walked up the make-shift steps - to the front door - there was a boarded up area on the left. I woke up Saturday morning and asked Jess for us to open it up and let's see what was behind the wood.

OH MY! I had the most awesome surprise of a hidden treasure! Another jib window that just needed 3 panes replaced had been boarded up! I was SO excited!! The window now offers wonderful natural lighting into what will be "the parlor".

Today I chose colors for the parlor and kitchen while we were at Home Depot. (Oh and I hear the paint department and a few others from Home Depot are going to come out and have their picture made with "this ol' house"! )

We are slowly but suredly moving along. Thanks for coming on the journey with us.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


The guys finally cut a hole so I could get up in the attic - if you will recall there were reports from the previous owner and Shaw Engineering that there were roof leaks. From the pictures I hope you can see my view - the decking appears to basically be new. No rotten rafters - no holes - no dampness from previous rains - no water holding any spots - NO roof problems as was reported.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday - April 1st

This isn't an April Fool's joke - we are down to one side of pressure washing and the fun begins! I'm SO glad I purchased the pressure washer instead of renting one.

Neighbors and folks passing by stopped this evening in the middle of the road or sidewalk telling us what a wonderful job we were doing with the old house. Many were curious as to what color paint we were using, when were we going to get finished, it was sure looking good, we are doing such a wonderful job, "where's all that rotten wood that supposedly was on this house?", it's "looking really good!" - the compliments went on and on. When we got this place, I figured it was something just we were concerned about.

It amazes me the strangers who've stopped and said, "We've been watching ya'll and are real proud of what you are doing with this old house, it's a shame the City is tearing so many of these places down instead of letting folks know who might could purchase the houses and fix them up." I think they are right. I do think the City is tearing down too many houses which could be fixed up. I think they look at bad paint and a run down look and give up on places too easily.

So, once again, I'm convinced that this project is worthwhile - not only for me - but for my neighbors who are anxious for this area to be brought back to life.

We are down to one more side that has to be pressure washed. A coat of primer then April 9th we will be having ourselves a painting party - several friends are coming and one family is coming to cook our catfish and crawfish for the workers. I love my friends - I don't think you can say that enough!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 23

Today there is a new bathroom flooring - it is by far much stronger and better than the other ever thought of being. We are going to remove all the wall covering and replace it with hardi-plank - I'll put hardi-plank on the floor as well. The flooring is going to be slate tile and I will come up the wall 3/4 way with the tile as well. Sheetrock in the ceiling and there's a new light for over the sink and for hanging in the bathroom. Hint: It's Texas themed!

There's enough done now that Jess starts Monday pressure washing the outside. Then comes the scraping, then comes the painting. I can hardly wait for that paint to get on there and the outside finished! I will be jumping for joy.

Also on the 1st we are renting a ditch-witch deal and will dig out the sewer lines and water lines, as well as making the fence chain wall. I'm going up with cinder blocks. I'm tired of living in a fish bowl. And, it stops no later than 4-10. Thank you to my workers ya'll have been awesome and I truly appreciate you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22

What a sight for that ugly back wall to be down. I just cannot imagine anyone closing this beautiful veranda off. Yes, I know she needs a little work - and that's what is happening today. Rome wasn't built in a day - and neither shall the refurbishments of this wonderful old place!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21 - Community Service

This fella is doing community service work - removing the boards from around the foundation pads that we had built - for skipping school and not having doctors excuses for his school absences. I think after a week working with us - he will be more than happy for Spring Break to be over with! He's a cutie - but - he needs an education!

March 21

The previous owner had said the house was leaking in several places. We knew from previous rains that it wasn't. Today Jess replaced the eaves that were rotten - and sat all over that "rotten roof" (that's true sarcasm) and never fell through.
Porch is being prepared for painting.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday March 15 - The Ides of March

The guys have worked real hard today replacing rotten boards, etc.

We were shocked to find the reason the porch was so rickety was because the previous owner had cut the beams out from under it to put in a washer, dryer and water heater and instead of reinforcing those areas - chose to leave them under the strain of the weight.

We've ordered the proper porch decking. We are going to reinforce the porches with 3/4" marine grade plywood and come back over that with 1 x 4" tongue and groove flooring (treated of course) to give the place a more "original" look.

We still have to discern the boards for the ceiling part of the porches. I'll be taking a picture and sending it to Parker Lumber in Port Arthur who has been AWESOME at assisting me!

We also made another decision today. Someone had originally enclosed part of the porch to make a bathroom and closet. We are opening that back up. I'll need to find windows to fit the opening where a window used to be.

We once again crawled through the attic part of the house and found no leaks. None. But we will probably put the same colored roofing over the entire house instead of the multi-color that it is now.

New facia boards are replacing the rotten ones. Once all of the rotten is replaced, we will start pressure washing and painting the outside.

I firmly believe we'd have been much farther along had it not been for the movers and for the rainy weather we have had.

I'm grateful for sunshine and my guys today - and the work that they've gotten done.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Afternoon.

Jess is clearing a path so that the workers don't have to go in and out of my den to get to the tools. Materials are ordered. Martin will be here for 8am. Replacing the 1 x 2 x 12's tomorrow and the last of the beams that we couldn't get to because of the mover's beams.

I'm ready for a fence to go back up as I feel like I am in a fish bowl right now.

Hoping that painting begins next weekend. I'm ready.

We've checked and rechecked and there are no leaks with the roof. I may end up putting a metal roof on her - as what she probably had to begin with. I'm not sure yet. What I am sure of is that the roof needs to be all one color. It looks a little "weird" tri-colored. We'll see how far this $$ goes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday March 9

TODAY - she now sits on her own laurels!!! The house movers came - took care of their business - and are gone. No more dealing with them. And, no I wouldn't recommend them to anyone either. This has been 4 months plus of delays and unnecessary anxiety!

Raul and the guys did great on the piers - she looks real level. We have a few beams yet to replace (about 5 - 8 footers) then her under carriage is complete.

Now the work begins on getting her ready to paint! OH HAPPY DAY!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Termite thingies get put on today. Then, once again, we wait on Burkart to come and lower her down. Once his beams are out we need to replace a few more bad spots on beams. By the weekend, we will have scaffolding and a pressure washer. House gets pressure washed this weekend, next week we scrape, and hopefully by the 18-19th we are painting. I have my folks lined up to paint.

It's almost time for additional permits. I'm so looking forward to dealing with the City again (yes that is true sarcasim!) I wish I didn't feel that way - but I do. Maybe something will happen to adjust my attitude!

Anyway - we are progressing like a turtle in a vat full of chunky peanut butter with molasses on a very cold day. I am ready to see things rocking and rolling.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Darryl has been in and out of my neighborhood for a long time. We've had our "ups and downs"; he'd get mad at me or I'd get upset with him - but he always knows if I have work - especially painting work - it's his.

It may be months before I see Darryl. He has had his own personal demons to deal with and for a mid-40 year old man, he is old. He looks old. Darryl used to drink a lot. His drinking never interfered in his vast ability to be a perfect painter. He's done time in prison for drugs, he's married divorced a few times. No matter what his problems have been - I like Darryl - and there's something about him that let's me know when the work is available he is the man for painting.

I haven't seen Darryl in a long time, when he showed up at my back door this afternoon. He smelled as if he hadn't bathed in weeks. But, he wanted work.

We agreed he could come to work after the house was set down. We agreed on a price per hour and the hours that we all work. Before he left, Darryl turns and says, "Ann (no that isn't my name but he has always called me Ann), I need a favor from you."

"Darryl you always need a favor from me."

"No I'm serious. I got a ticket riding my bike at night without lights and I need you to pay it like you did my other one. I need you to take care of my ticket with what I earn. I'm not on paper no more, but you understand that stuff more than me."

"Okay Darryl, work good, be on time, and I will deduct it from your earnings."

"You a good friend Ann, you always been good to me."

I think having the Langham House is more than "my project". It is a project that is bringing my neighbors and friends together - to share, to laugh, to work and to fellowship.

Darryl had no sooner left, when I got a phone call from Manuel, "Senora, si tenemous trabajaho de la pintura?" (Ma'am do you have work in the painting?) I now have three extra hands to clean, scrub, and paint. I know they are going to do great work. I'm grateful and counting blessings.

Friday March 4

The piers and footings passed inspection this morning with flying colors. We were told we "did a great job." Not bad for a girl led crew I suppose.

We are on to painting - rather scraping the house to get ready for painting. Looking for scaffolds - for the upper regions. I'm so excited. Setting a goal for 3 weeks to have the place painted. With a new coat of paint, sitting on her laurels, she will look like a brand new place!

I'm buzzing! Doing the Happy Booty Bump (_/_)(_|_)(_\_)!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday March 2

Today has been an awesome work day. WE almost have all of the cinder blocks filled with concrete and their hurricane straps. It should be finished tomorrow - but that means I have to go under the house again! ;-(

I don't know if I wrote, but last time I went under the house a snake crawled up my shorts, I dropped them in the middle of the yard - luckily no one else was around - and it was a grass snake.

If we can get finished tomorrow, we can have Burkart come on Saturday or Sunday or Monday or whatever day he can come to sit her down.

Some of the rotten beams were replaced on the outside of the building so those are now taken care of. I'm SO ready to get her painted!

I'm real pleased with the progress.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

We didn't get near accomplished this last week that I would have liked to have had. We did get the footings in and those needed to "cure". Monday Jess and Martin will start setting the 3 cinder blocks, pouring concrete in them to stabilize them and adding the hurricane strap. That should pretty much finalize that except for adding the metal for termite protection. A lot of waste of money. So far, this expenditure has run me about $3000 extra dollars that I, nor the contractors and the Windstorm Engineers thinks is necessary at all. Sighh..... but that's what the City of Beaumont wants. Total for replacing 44 footings (which this house never had) the cinder blocks, concrete and more concrete, rebar and other materials is going to run real close to $4500. Just think how far $4500 would have taken us on repairing and refurbishing the house!

Jess and Martin will also replace the outer rotten wood that will sit down on the cinder blocks. They can't get to any more of it until after the mover comes back and sits her down on her Laurels. (We are thinking Thursday or Friday but knowing his work pattern of the past, I will believe it all when I see it.)

I've called Jefferson County probation department and will be working with probationers needing community service hours - they will start scraping the house and preparing her for painting. That is going to be my next step - getting her painted.

I will start getting the little bit of plumbing and electrical done - yes, I learned to do this when I refurbished my historical home! And, I want to also start pricing sheetrock.

There was a study done that said it would take $40,000 to bring the house back to code. I do not think so and I am making real certain that it doesn't. I am shooting for $15-20,000 maximum. Yes, that is a lot of money - but - it's all going to be worth it in the long run. I want to prove to these people that they lied to the US Government about the costs of refurbishing this house and I want to prove to FEMA that they lied to get this lady a new house.

Had she taken care of the house in the first place, it wouldn't be in the situation that it is in.

Bottom line, I love the house. I think it adds charm and beauty to my "compound" as it is referred. And, I think when she is finished, the walk ways and gardens are put together, this ol' place of mine is going to be an exclamation of "OH MY!" I want many generations to come to enjoy these houses. And, hopefully, the City of Beaumont will realize how important keeping these and other historical buildings within our City is.

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's been a roller coaster and I've not kept up with the blog the way I should. Darlene Chodzinski with Beaumont Heritage Society was here on Thursday for the big move. YES - she is moved. Watching her come down the street - the wrong way- so massive and with dignity - was just awesome. To say that I was jubilant when she hit my soil, is just a real mild understatement!

Today we ordered the rebar, over the weekend we built the forms so we can make the piers, I arranged for a Windstorm Inspector to come and check us out on Thursday - so looks like we will be pouring on Thursday - at least the piers.

Wednesday Jess goes and picks up 200 cinder blocks. And, the only thing left for me to find are the "boot chairs" for inside the concrete. Walthall concrete will be here to assist us with the concrete. Jane Walthall is a woman owned business - and I just sort of like doing business with her! She's a friend. And, I like that.

Ted Harp will be doing our inspection. And, Raul will be building things and doing the concrete work. Pictures on Facebook will be posted.

Today I had sort of a little "scare" - I was under the house counting any seals that may need replacing as we put the piers under. I felt something wriggling in my shorts. I jumped out from under the house and stripped down in the back yard - thank GOD no one but me was around! Out fell a grass snake - but it was a SNAKE! I peed my pants right there and then.

We are moving along - slowly - a lot more slowly than I had wanted. Tomorrow I am calling probation to see if they have 5-10 folks who need to do community service - I will have them scraping paint! And, depending on what all we have going - may can use them later on as well. If they work well, I will write a letter to probation AND to the Judge in favor of them - if they don't - that will be their bad!

I'm loving seeing her sit out my back window. I'm just hoping for more and more jobs so that the work can progress while I'm not here.

Keep up with our journey on Facebook - Langham House Author - and I will try to keep things up here as well!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I've been lame in my blog - so will repost what I posted on FB:

Langham House Well if it will stop raining - this is looking like a good week to get moved. Seems my owner needs to get back to work - since she's worked off and on and out of the house now waiting on my move. We have 2 contractors to interview about the piers tomorrow - then it's

17 minutes ago · · · Promote
    • Langham House a done deal. I'll sit for a little while - until her construction crew is off of another job - and then they will begin tearing out my rotten and replacing me. Her painters are eagerly waiting on the sidelines for the go ahead. By the first part of March - there should be some major changes to me..... isn't February such a sweet month?
      17 minutes ago ·
Langham House

Langham House Mr. House Mover just called, "will you be there in about 30 minutes." "of course - anything to expedite all of this" - I can hardly wait........ tapping my fingers in disgust.

Yesterday at 11:16am · · · Promote
    • Langham House OH - DO NOT SHOUT at me Mr. House Mover - "I'm sorry I didn't mean to" - and where is this extra $$ on the contract coming from? OH I didn't tell you - NO you didn't - We can either go with what you originally said - or the deal is off. OH OKAY - No problem - we are loading up on Monday - and will try to move Tuesday if you are here. OKAAAAYYYYYEEEE I will believe it when I see it.
      Yesterday at 12:20pm ·
    • Langham House He is a "crusty ol' fart" to say the least! And, I'm now taking deep deep breathes to regain my composure. I didn't snap at anyone - but goodness gracious - okay- that's all done - and on to the move.
      Yesterday at 12:35pm ·
    • Sharon Walker I think after he finally moves it, you should have a talk with BBB.
      Yesterday at 2:07pm · ·
    • Langham House Planning on it. Very good idea Sharon
      22 hours ago ·
Langham House

Langham House We will never use this mover again for anything. I will never recommend this mover. Slower than a turtle in a vat full of peanut butter with frozen molasses. Now we are into "next week" he has other plans.

Yesterday at 9:50am · · · Promote
    • Denise Garrett Can ya look for someone else at this late date?
      Yesterday at 10:40am · ·
    • Langham House already have tried - everyone else is booked up 3-6 months. LOTS of folks moving out!
      Yesterday at 11:15a

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday evening

No response from Entergy this afternoon - not a good thing - I love knowing the CEO of Entergy here in Beaumont - another phone call will be made tomorrow - this time I start at the top and let it roll down hill. This is 2 weeks that Entergy has held us up - what part of "time situation" don't they grasp? Just do your job! Good Grief!

Early PM January 20

Entergy yesterday afternoon 3pm: "I will call you first thing in the morning - I thought this was already done."
This morning - 11:45 Me: "Uhm I may have missed your call this morning, if I did I apologize."
Entergy: "No we are looking for the invoice."
ME: "Sir, you have screwed me out of 2 weeks of my 4 weeks to get this house move...See More
about a minute ago · ·
    • Langham House so this house can get moved? You are holding me up!"
      Entergy: "I will call you right after lunch."
      about a minute ago ·
    • Langham House We shall see. Otherwise, I'm going to call every 30 minutes starting at 2pm

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Evening January 19, 2011

Well the last few days have been sort of interesting in some manners.

We cleaned out all the paneling, the reset ceilings, the old cabinets - making several trips from Royal Street over to Irma - 2 blocks away. When we got back from our last load - immediately I noticed there were some locks missing. I was absolutely heart broke and sick to my stomach!

Before I could get back to my house to get my phone - Brenda - the lady who used to have it called the police to report there was a black truck over at "her old historical home" for the last few days and she needed the police to come check us out. I had to really do some talking to the officer for him to realize it was MY house!

Street people came by today and told me that they saw her over to the house yesterday afternoon but of course they won't talk to the "po-po". (aka police).

We removed all the locks last night.

Today a friend, Earl Wilcox came and helped. We took all the doors off their hinges and we removed the claw foot bathtub so I could take it to have it reglazed. Also we removed the cast iron sink that could easily be sold for scrap.

Having gotten all the paneling off the wall - I can see termite damages and we are going to repair them as quickly as the place gets moved.

I had contacted the City this morning to see if the mover's permits were in order - yes they were. I called another mover for a second price and was told well over $12,000. I almost fainted. These folks are PROUD of themselves and their work! WOW!

I then was given the phone number of the man from Entergy. He returned my call later in the afternoon - and I was able to tell him things that the mover had gotten confused. He thought the job had already been done - and will get with me tomorrow and expedite things for me. And, he is going to work at lowering the price because it is for a historical landmark.

I also went by Lloyd Franks' upholstery place today. He is the gentleman who reglazes the old tubs. He has done an excellent job on many - even doing one with the Harley Davidson colors and emblem. It was a beauty - but not as pretty as the red and black one that he had outside for a while before someone bought it!

I spoke with Darlene, Beaumont Heritage Society, today and gave her an update. She is still in my corner and I'm grateful for her. I believe I have a new friend.

I was disappointed to find the floors in the living room, hallway, kitchen and front bedroom had been replaced with plywood - I don't know who did it - but I am not happy with that look - so I will be needing to find flooring. Darlene furnished me with a man's name who handles salvage.

The cost factors may have gone up. But I do believe I can bring it to fruition and refurbishment for much less than what the Shaw Engineering folks said it would take. Of course, with us doing the majority of the work - will help as well.

The bathroom in the front will come out - as that is part of the original porch. I'll save the tub, sink, and commode for future use in my barn.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 13 - 10:35 Am

One step closer - Jess is pulling all of the "debris" from the previous owner out of the house and throwing it away - that should be an all day job - we tried to give "family" pictures back to the owner - she said "throw them in the trash". okay - I'm sure the City heavy trash people will earn their keep again this week. Best make them more cookies and hot chocolate this time. Once he gets debris out - we will start pulling the paneling and knocking out some "junk stuff" that was installed. Should have the insides cleared and cleaned within a few days. Still looking at a move tomorrow. Maybe. If not, I am finding someone else.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12 - afternoon

Wooohooo! Beaumont Main Street lady finally turned over the keys (have had my $$ for over a week) so I don't have to climb through the window with a ladder to get in any more! LOL Thanks Darlene @ Beaumont Heritage Society for handling this. It might have been another week before I got them!

January 12

Today is a really special day! Several reasons. 1. Beaumont Main Street finally signed their end of the papers and Darlene is bringing them to me; 2. My cousins, Sharon Kay & Jerry Edward Davis, came for lunch. During the course of talking about the Langham House Jerry Edward says, "The guy who got it in the historical thing is on my facebook"!
3. Having contacted Greg Riley - he has copies (that the City of Beaumont had lost) of the history on Langham House - and last but not least 4. The mover has called and made arrangements with Entergy to move the pole long enough for them to move the house then reset it - for $486 more dollars of course! Progress!! So, I am waiting on Darlene with the Beaumont Heritage Society - she has been SUCH a trooper in helping me through all of this!! I DO MEAN A HELPER! It wouldn't all be coming together without her help - I am sure of that!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11

A call this morning from the mover. "The city doesn't like your drawing and they want me to redraw it of how the house is going to sit."

"Alan, it is awfully strange that I've seen Steve Richardson almost every work day for a week and he has not said ONE thing to me. So why is the City telling YOU these things and not me? It's as if you do not believe me and double check everything that I say I've done or was told to me."

"No that's not true - I'll call them back and see what the deal is. Also I got ahold of Entergy and they will be out to move the pole." (Well that's good news on the Entergy side)

"Alan, I went before the Historical Land Commission just yesterday - if there was an issue in where and how I was putting the house - then Steve would have or should have told me something yesterday."

Newsflash for Mr. Mover: get it done or I will find someone else! This is the same man that wants "in labor" 4900.00 to put the pilings under the house - and "not sure how many" and the materials would run less than 2100. Now, go figure! He made close to $9000 from the first move of the house and my cost is right at $8000 - so I do believe the man has made a good chump money on this job. I'm hoping the folks using him for other moves takes note of this.