KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A historic Old North Knoxville home is going to require more work to restore after it was found that the home had extensive termite damage.
Investors Sean Bolen and Alison Hardy knew when they purchased the home that it had some pre-existing water and termite damage that would need to be fixed. However, recently their permit was approved to begin working on the home and more extensive termite damage was found behind parts of the plaster ceilings and outside walls.
Bolen said it seems that the continual water infiltration paired with blow in insulation and sealed up walls likely lead to the thriving termite colony that may have thrived unchecked for decades.
The damage in some cases went from the basement all the way up to the attic, according to Bolen. The workmanship of the home is evidence as the house does not seem to be structurally changed despite the termite and water damage that was uncovered.
Notably, a four-by-four corner support that held up the roof could easily have been shredded in one hand, but the roof that was held up has not sagged. The main staircase landing is still solid and doesn’t even creak when stepped on, but one side is completely unsupported.
The good news, Bolen said, is that everything can be fixed, and the cost for the repairs was mostly included in their original estimate to restore the house. Work to reframe the damaged areas will begin soon, and Bolen said it should be complete in the three weeks to a month.
Staying true to the desire to restore the home to it’s original beauty, Bolen said there are some aspects that will be coming from areas around the community instead of purchasing all of the materials brand new. The plans for reframing include using several joists removed from the porch of a 120-year-old home on Scott Avenue donated by Matt and Katie Williams, and some other wood will be coming from a tree that Bolen cut down in his own yard a few blocks away. While some new materials will still need to be used, Bolen said, the small inclusions from the community are what will make the home a beautiful amalgamation.
Eventually, plumbing, air conditioning, gas, and electricity will be installed, walls will be put up, and the trim and doors that were delicately removed will be put back. Although the house seems to be in rough shape, Bolen said it will slowly transform into a stunningly vibrant home.