True Grit

A gut rehab of an 1891 homestead in Texas hill country brings out the beauty in an old farmstead.

Richard Laughlin of Laughlin Homes & Restoration in Fredericksburg, Texas, added little to the square footage of this ca. 1891 pioneer homestead in the Texas Hill Country. The owners wanted to restore the home and give it modern amenities while preserving its historic integrity.

The structure was still occupied by the fifth generation of the original owners.

Before the restoration, there was only a rudimentary kitchen, makeshift bathroom, no internal stairs or sewer treatment. Heat came from a freestanding gas stove in the central room.

Laughlin gutted the home leaving only the massive stone walls. This view is of the kitchen from the living room. Historic light fixtures, salvaged doors and lumber give the project a period feel.

Laughlin’s crew built arched openings into the stone walls to create space and allow in more light. They poured a new concrete slab to replace decomposed log sleepers and stabilize the foundation. The original flooring was salvaged, reinstalled, and refinished.

Timber and stone salvaged from a dilapidated barn on site was used to construct a new screen porch in back. The dilapidated front porch was dismantled, the stone foundation rebuilt, and framing restored. Shiplap salvaged from an old cotton warehouse is used as porch flooring and in the master bedroom ceiling.

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