Langham House

Langham House

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.

January 10

Had our little pow-wow down town at the Historical Land Commission meeting. Darlene Chodzinski, with Beaumont Heritage Society paved the way for a smooth meeting. Beaumont Main Street representation wasn't there which I was sort of disappointed in - but Darlene has handled things thus far very well - and I like working with her. So all is good.

Marty Craig & others thanked me for taking on this responsibility. I explained to them there are no water leaks in the roof, there are no electrical problems or plumbing problems. I also shared with them they paint that has been put over the windows or on the windows so that they didn't have to purchase curtains - paint colors of beige, black, red, pink. I told them this house needs a lot of love and elbow grease more than anything real material.

There was a discussion on the "cranberry red color" that I wanted to use around the windows and soffett. A compromise was made and I will still use the color - on the door - and on the windows and the soffett.

Unanimous vote - minus the one from the Heritage Society who had to recuse her vote because of her involvement.

Now to get her moved - which means dealing with the mover.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I spoke to the mover, I/my crew will be doing the "pilings" he wanted absolutely WAY too much $$ to do them according to code - I'm talking WAY! And, I think that he has over counted how many will actually be needed. So, me and my guys will start forming and building the piers according to Windstorm approval. And, of course, another twist in the deal is the City requires a
"Certified Windstorm Engineer to inspect and approve these piers for each house that is moved within the City." Another cost factor that no one has even considered. I laughed and said, "funny this house has sat on piers for over 100 years without having to be strapped down, now all of a sudden you want it strapped down." Personally I think it is another scam.

Anyway, the mover will start Tuesday lifting her up to get her moved. I've still not heard back from Entergy - and that'll be another cost factor.

Is this going to be worth it in the end? Oh beyond my wildest dreams I do believe so.

I can see the interior finished - and the furnishings in it. I can see the sidewalks from one area to another with potted plants all around. I can see the fruit trees which are planted growing and adding color and greenery to the area. YES - this is worth it!

So, I suppose come Tuesday - we'll start seeing action again!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Late Afternoon January 6

We got our bond! OMG - I am on fire with excitement!

Took the bond downtown. The girl says, "this isn't the form I gave you yesterday." I said, "There is no form for that bond. My contractor's bond has already been turned in this is a "special bond". Her:"I've never seen this kind of bond before this is weird." She shows it to one of the inspectors, Boyd Meir who says, "Yes that is what she needs." I looked at him and said "I'm moving the house ASAP." He didn't say a word - just shook his head in the affirmative!

Even the city worker didn't know what kind of bond that was - and had "never seen one before".

I've called Darlene and left her a message as well as I have called the house movers!

I'd prayed that if all this were meant to be that everything would fall into place. It has. God is good - all the time!

Afternoon January 6

A hysterical for the historical: Took the paint colors for exterior to the City for approval (since it's a historical) found the same colors they had but their samples were Sherwin Williams - mine is Behr - I have mine marked "house" "trim" "danish" "We don't understand which is which -can you go print a picture and color the windows and walls the colors you plan to make then - then bring it back to us?" Sure, I'll just jump right on that one!

The kick is the three colors are in their book. The other kick is my color tabs were marked as to what color goes where.

We did as they asked, came back to the office, printed a black & white version of the house - used map colors - marked the colors according to the chart - then took it back to City Hall - to be told, "we are going into a meeting, we'll get back with you tomorrow."

I found lots of humor in this!

January 6

It's done! I signed the papers this morning. I cannot thank Darlene Chodzinski with Beaumont Heritage Society nearly enough. Darlene was my first contact with the Langham House. She was the one I went to when it was first moved and she has been my main contact through all of this process. When I couldn't get answers from anyone else - Darlene and Beaumont Heritage Society have been there for me. Without her & Jim Broussard working together - this probably would not have come to be. Steve Richardson, with the City, bless his heart, has had to hear me whine, beg, plead and grumble. He has, as always, been a trooper in assisting.

Darlene, Jess and me did a walk through of the house. The house DOES NOT HAVE A ROOF issue. I would say, the City was duped and so was our government in building the lady a new house for free. But her not wanting this house - has been my treasure. I see lots of happy years ahead for me with this house.

Sheiree, my cousin, is researching window fixtures - for the house - I want it bright and airy! I'm researching furniture and decor.

I can already see the interior and what all is going to happen in there. I cannot even start to tell anyone what I feel right now. I can, in my minds eye, see the project completed.

I can see the colors on the walls. I can see the floors all shiny again. I can see the beautiful transims with stained glass - instead of the cardboard or paint that is over them now.

I can see the kitchen restored to what it probably was - I'm going to paint the kitchen a soft yellow. My paternal grandmother used to say that every kitchen needed a little yellow in it - because that's the first room in the morning that the family gathers - yellow is a sign of sunshine and happiness - and happiness begins in the kitchen.

Waiting on 2 more things - the bond - and the hearing on Monday afternoon. I believe I have family and friends who will be there to back me up.

And, I'm hoping for favor with the hearing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January 4

I've called eleven insurance companies today and no one knows what type of bond the city is requiring for me to have (a mere $5000 bond) to finalize getting this place rocking and rolling. One agent who said "on the QT this bond is designed to make the City money. They know that you can't get this house done in 90 days - so this way they can foreclose on the bond and collect money." Now isn't that a shame?

Tomorrow is another day - we'll see what happens. I'm not giving up hope and I'm still excited and looking forward to getting her over here. This IS a doable project! And, now the City has given me even MORE reason to work hard to "get 'er done"!

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3

Well the movers began - then they left. Seems I have to get a Performance Bond - a $5000 bond to insure the City that I will get the place done within 90 days. When I asked "could you do it in 90 days?" I was told "No" Well then why is GQ public expected to do it in 90 days?

This is just a bump in the road and I've hurdled it. I went to Gibbs Insurance, filled out the paperwork and hopefully tomorrow it will be in. Then I can go pay for it, take the piece of paper to the city and all will be well one more time.

I'm told I'm on the agenda for January 10. I'm curious as to what time. No one has informed me of that. I guess if I don't show up then I will be forfeited - so I'll just go hang at the City Hall all day.

I've still not signed the papers for the house. I don't know what the hold up is on that one. We shall see, as tomorrow is another day.

January 3

Lots going on this morning. Jess will cut the stumps a little more trying to get them way down so the movers won't puncture tires, then spray them real good with round-up. I have to call Entergy about getting a pole moved - temporarily - so the house can come up the one way street of Pennsylvania - the wrong way! I have to sign the papers this morning for the house - YEAH!!! And, I have to try to get my bonds taken care of today.

The movers should be out this morning or tomorrow - starting to get their beams and poles under the house.

I can't wait to get her on my property!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mr. Burkhart, our mover, just called. He is going to start re-situating the beams under her and gonna try to get her moved this week! OMG - my heart is beating so fast - I am SO excited! Let the party begin!

Requirements from the City: $5000 bond (which will be returned when I do the following): All new wood sills must be treated wood 4" x 6 half-lap spliced and properly nailed with two (2) treated wood splice plates. All joints must be supported by a pier with pad footing.

Pad footing is to dig down 12" add rebar and other elements to meet the height that I am going to put the house. This has to be inspected by a list furnished by the City of a Certified Hurricane Engineer (or someone who fits this bill - anyone know anyone?) It's called a "Windstorm Engineer". Then I have to paint. The wiring seems ok - it was replaced in 1995 and the plumbing does not appear to be anything of major substance. Also I have to get a $25,000 bond as the contractor. Never knew you had to bond yourself to work on your own property.

Standard Pier Design - Concrete shall have a minimum compressive strength of 2500 psi. Bottom of 8" x 24 x 24 concrete pad to be a minimum of 12" below grade. Pier notes: The cell containing the #3 dowel will be filled with concrete from footing to top, cell not containing #3 dowel will have top course only filled with concrete (use cavity cap to prevent concrete passage to lower blocks. and Pier strap to be embedded (minimum 10") in cell containing #3 dowel

I'm going to learn something new here!

I am going to attempt to keep a running journal of the refurbishment of an old house - The Langham House. The Langham family was a very prominent family in the City of Beaumont during it's early years. There is a connection to that house and the one I am living in and to the John J. French family. Steve Walker and I will be working together on a book - These Two Old Houses. We will try to chronologically put together the families, the life styles, and the journey to bringing these two old houses back to life. I hope you will enjoy taking this adventure with us...

October. I learned that a house was either going to be torn down or moved so that FEMA could come in and build the woman a new house. I was distraught thinking such a thing could happen to a historical house built in 1898. I was even more livid that she was having a FEMA house built on our tax dollars for someone who seems capable of working. I felt this was another "milking of the government"

December 7, They moved the house from where it was to a lot across the street. "Who's in charge of this?" I asked. A meek but beautiful woman, named Darlene said "I am" I asked, "How long are we going to have to look at this from my kitchen window?" "Until we find a buyer." "How much do you want for it?" "SOLD"

When I walked back home with Darlene in tow - the guys were shocked to learn - "just that quick" she bought that house!

December - Met with Steve Richardson, Boyd Meir, Carolyn Howard (Beaumont Main Street), Jim Broussard, Darlene and another lady from the Historical Society at City Hall. I have to come up with a "plan", furnish the city with a $5,000 bond to "certify that you will do the building correctly", find a "certified hurricane engineer" who will assist and tell me where to put the new "footings" and "hurricane straps" once the house is moved. (Excuse me, but this house has gone through HOW MANY hurricanes and not been hurt?) I also have to bond my construction company to be able to do the work within the City! Bawhahaha. You can't even work on your own properties without being "bonded". I see a lot of unnecessary red tape going on here. But, I shall play their game.

Because the City had to do an "economical study" to see if the house was with in "value" to move 2 blocks from where it was - this delayed the move. It is raining cats and dogs right now - so the move will not take place - the property has to be very dry - it's soft dirt over there and if we try to move it prior to the land being dry - it could damage the house or my property.

December 29, I email Steve Richardson the plans I have for the house. He emails back wanting to know what color I am going to paint it - I email back BRIGHT PURPLE with black trim. He emails back "It's too early in the morning. I had to pound my chest to get it started again." I figure there has to be humor in this adventure somewhere.

December 29, I phoned Darlene to tell her that the Beaumont Convention & Visitor's Center in downtown Beaumont had no idea who Carolyn Howard was nor what Beaumont Main Street was all about. We both chuckled in disbelief!

December 30, Steve Walker, an old friend, church member and ex-classmate of Brazoswood High School - Clute, TX - came and took lots of wonderful pictures. We are going to corroborate on a book "These Two Old Houses" - which will include my old house. Langham House has already been designated as a Historical Land Mark.

January 1 - Several friends have said on FaceBook they would like to come help refurbish the old place. I suppose I will post weekends that we are doing - what - and hopefully - they weren't just whistling Dixie and will come and help. I think that will make the refurbishment and bringing The Old Langham House back to life even more special!
January 2, 2011 - Went to Home Depot "paint looking". I have decided on the paint for all the outside of the house as well as all of the rooms inside except the bathroom. I'm stuck on it - just indecisive right now.

At least knowing the colors I can now start making quilts for the bedrooms - and drapes for all the rooms. I can begin working on those things even prior to getting the place moved.

I received the first piece of furniture from a friend today for the house. She had found a headboard and footboard about 10 years ago for a 3/4 bed. Those were popular in "the day". I will use it in the small bedroom off the bathroom. The size is perfect for a quilt I have already made and wanted to use in that room. I love getting "old things" to use in the house(s) from friends. That makes them a part of the refurbishment.