Comments (40)
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Karen Sherrill

We are excited to be in the middle of renovating 2 1940's bungalows! Both were built for the mill city, Lupton City, on the north side of Chattanooga, TN.

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Dan Delano
We are in the middle of a gut rehab of our 1923 Chicago Bungalow. We never wanted to do a complete gut rehab, but after a flooding, we were left with no choice. The home was built by the commander of vice for the Chicago PD during Prohibition. My wife's grandparents purchased the home in 1940. The phrase "They don't build them like they used to" has emerged many times while working on this house with some good benefits and some bad problems to address. The walls of a Chicago bungalow are in some cases 3 brick courses thick. You would spend a small fortune to do that now. They were built shortly after the Chicago Fire and bricks were extremely cheap.

Be careful if you are only addressing cosmetic issues. We lived in the house for a decade before the flooding and remodeled just about everything in the house from the kitchen to the bath, all floors, windows and more.
Everything "looked" great... But only the flooding and removal of all the lathe and plaster revealed the ancient cloth wiring electrical system and undersized joists for the second floor. Seeing the junction boxes where the cloth wiring was pushed back stuffed with newspaper and then plastered made it evidently clear that without the removal of the plaster walls we could not address these dangerous structural issues. With a new baby girl safety is of greatest concern. The disappointment of losing the original interior building components is far outweighed by knowing the house is safe and up to code. Original walls were plaster on lathe on furring strips with no insulation. Chicago code requires a R-19 for insulation and 2x6 walls. We have kept all the doors to repurpose them and will reuse the 7 stained glass windows.
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I'm now just reading your post, you are probably done by now, I would hope if not just for your sanity. Lol. I'm assuming your talking about knob and tube wiring? Yes it can be dangerous if there is wall insulation put on it. We were able to replace ours with out tearing out any plaster and lath, in the 80s there a was insulation blown in from the out side of the house through small holes I think the house was lucky not to have burnt down, it's different work but it can be done with out demolishing but I think it could be easier for the contractor to do it your way. I just wanted any one who reads your post to know that there are other options. Would love to see your after shots!

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