« Average Jane Goes Camping | Main | Average Jane Is Contrary »

September 08, 2009



This is cool. Johnson County real estate records are online but I don't know if you'll find what you need without checking out archives. Also JoCo history photo archives can be searched by street or just ask Dave @thedlc

zen zone chick

You go, Nancy Drew!


Glass doorknobs!? Lucky bugger. I had to pay 120.00 per door set to retrofit my 1950 house to look 1930's.

Love he hearth tile as well. Early century homes have SO much character.


The Square D panel in the basement is definitely newer than the house. Did you guys have the old round fuses for your panel or the new flip switch type? The old round ones are more indicative. I've often found that people wrote dates on the insides of window frames or door frames when they were put in. Of course, if they are painted over, no chance of finding it. Another trick? Do you have old toilets? Sometimes if you lift the toilet tank cover, you'll see it there. Whenever you rip apart a room or wall or floor, look for clues. Some builders or carpenters write the dates that things were built or remodeled on the wood. Also, inside cabinets or look around your basement. If you have exposed wood, you might find something. Have any old knob/tubing exposed anywhere from the old wiring? If so, look on the actual ceramic knobs. Dates are sometimes on there. We had them in our old home (even though no wiring was actually on them, but the knobs were still attached) and there were some dates stamped into the bottom-side of the knobs.

Another good resource is Architectural Salvage. Depending upon who you talk to, the place has some pretty knowledgeable people who know quite a bit about the building efforts and time periods of KC. Not to mention, you can find some pretty sweet retro-replacement items there.

Very fun project. You have to love fixing an old house - nothing is standard size and you'll never find replacement wood nearly as strong as the old stuff.


I love the character in older homes. We renovated our cottage which was originally built in the 60's....not old enough for me! Love the glass knobs and I would kill for a pocket door....but anyway, happy sleuthing and here's wishing you very few bandaids in your home improvement escapades!

Gary foster

Your house is probably much older than you think. Our house in Mission was built around 1916-17. It has glass door knobs too. When we removed two windows for remodel projects, the shim board was a mill marked stick part of the window crateing. (window by PMD, still in business) date on shim boards 1916. Another clue is the toilet tank lid. They can have a date on them. As a 4th generation builder/carpenter I am going to guess your house was built in the twenties. You can get an abstract from the courthouse that can provide clues.

The comments to this entry are closed.