Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stage 1 Remodel

Stage 1 Remodel: Side Wall and Siding Removal

After further investigation of structure, plans are now changed. Side panel was not salvaged due to the build. Once the siding was removed, you could clearly see the glued boards, and way the supports were placed. 

Next we removed the side panels in pieces, and this is the result. 

Now that the side panels are removed, I will be purchasing and cutting a piece of wood to fit the entire portion, cutting windows with a dremel (we have multiple parts to use for sanding and cutting). Interior will also be redone.

The interior will be decorated per room on each panel to match the room involved. The overall wall size that will be a large door is 20 inches by 24 inches and will fit snuggly into the space. Off to the store.....

Photos of the Handmade Dollhouse

The front and side views of the Dollhouse: 

 Side of Dollhouse:

The Roof and hand crafting that was so tedious. The scale is large, and this must have taken a very LONG time.

The Inside of the attic :
A few of the room views through the window. This was all handmade.

Yes, there are cobwebs internally. Those will be cleaned out once the panels are removed. This is what it looks like pre-dollhouse operation.

Finding a New Dollhouse

      After the initial child disappointment and whining was over, I promised to find an actual dollhouse to build or rehab. This promise was probably the biggest mistake, it created a rush to find one. I searched more on the local Craigslist, I searched hobbyists, I searched ebay, I searched.... Locally there is an antique store called Yesterdays Treasures about 7 blocks from my home. I walked into the antique store where a woman was sitting behind a desk watching soap operas. I asked if she had any wooden dollhouses or kits available anywhere in the store. The store was crammed full of items, and I did not expect to find one, but I did.

    She stood up from the desk and took me out a side door to an area covered with a tarp. I could see the siding from the dollhouse peeking through the bottom of the tarp and immediately began to feel hopeful. The question that I feared asked was, "How much are you asking for this Dollhouse?" I asked, I sealed my lips to not allow my mouth to fly open, and her answer was $40. SOLD!

    I probably should have looked at the dollhouse more thoroughly, but I didn't. The price was perfect, the house was sturdy and strong, and I needed to get this thing home to appease the children that have been driving me crazy. Here are some of the things that can be an issue with dollhouses that are pre-built by hand.

  • They could have no doors to open the actual house.
  • They are made from termite infested woods
  • They were hand built with nails/tacks/staples
     The dollhouse has NO doors, is handmade and weighs around 50lbs. Though it is HUGE (standing 4ft tall ) the only access are these strange windows. So I stared at it, I investigated it with a flashlight and a hammer. This could be an easy fix. Here is the picture I took from my telephone, so it is not the best. It will show the actual size of it....
The 1st plan::: 

  • Cut off both side panels and attic pieces. This would create 4 pieces, 2 attic triangular pieces and 2 rectangular pieces.
  • Trim off excess wood that would allow hinges and small clasps to close the doors. 
  • Purchase small piano hinges, finish the inside of door that will be hung, all 4 pieces
  • Add ribbon to the attic piece so when the door is opened downward, it will be secured and lay straight out from the doll house. 
  • Create moldings to hide all of the new hardware
  • Build a porch, decide on a door/window/etc. 
This is stage one of the rehab. We are taking the panels off today, once they are removed more pictures will be added, and a step by step on what we are doing to remodel this beast of a dollhouse.

The Nightmare

     Craigslist can be a friend or a complete enemy when purchasing things. It is user friendly, but sometimes you really have no idea what you are about to bring home. Recently I made a very cheap purchase from craigslist. A woman 3 streets over from me had a dollhouse in box that she was trying to find a new home for. She had no information on it, no paperwork, and had no idea what the kit actually contained. I figured, $5 is cheap. No matter what it is, $5 is not a big deal compared to the hundreds some of these dollhouse kits cost. So I picked it up.... and this is where the nightmare begins.

     I brought the dollhouse kit home and for some reason was terrified to look in the box. I am handy, I fix all of the things, but when it comes to these hobby kits.... I cannot really explain the hesitation I felt from opening the box and looking at the pieces. The kids were driving me crazy guessing what was in the box, what the kit could look like, what the kit could be, so I opened it. I took out all of the pieces. Now, let me explain that I may be handy and can fix all of the things, but when it comes to many pieces of wood that are bagged and taped, I must confess I am a mess. I was terrified of this kit, the pieces were everywhere and I had no idea where to start.

     After a week of online investigation, I confirmed that the kit I possessed was actually a General Store Kit made by a company that was out of business, and was created in the 1970's. I showed the kids the online photo of what it was... see below..

The kids were not happy with this. I heard a lot of moaning, groaning, whining, and crying about it. It isn't an actual dollhouse type house, it was a store. Not only is it a store, it is also very hard to find instructions and info on it. So, I began my search for a real dollhouse.  This is where we begin.