Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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Looking Back: Older Homes in a Small Texas Town

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Schulenburg has some wonderful examples of old houses, and there is a furniture museum there.

There are times when I feel that we are loosing our regional uniqueness for different parts of our country. You travel around, and you see subdivisions that are oddly familiar from town to town. What we eat seems to be congealing into one national cuisine too. However, we are seeing a resurgence in people focusing on local products and styles. It never really went away, but it may have been harder to see.

I happened to end up in Schulenburg when they were having their annual festival, and it was an enjoyable time to be there. Although I have been in this small town on several occasions, I had never really taken a look at the older town center. I was going to Wolters Park to look at the log cabin that they keep on the grounds, but the festival made that a little difficult. After spending time in the park, I walked and drove through the town. I wanted to share these pictures, because these homes caught my eye.


The nice thing about porches is that they can become quite usable spaces which also shade the walls of the home. A porch on the east side of the home catches the morning sun, but allows for a cool place to sit in the evening. The stained glass is a wonderful splash of color on these houses, and in the case of these homes serves the same function that we get by a solatube: adding light to a dark space. Metal roofs seem to be more common on residential buildings in smaller towns than in a larger city. On the roof pictured, you will find the type of metal roof which inspires complaints. The bolts holding the roof down are exposed, which allows them to rust causing leaks. Newer metal roof technologies address this issue with a system that covers these bolts with interlocking panels. It was also nice to see that some homeowners chose colors which are more contemporary. Many homes were a standard white, and I wonder if this was really the case in the much older homes. Schulenburg was founded during the Victorian period, when brightly colored elements were common, but white became the norm when the homes had to be repainted. I know in other Texas German communities, bright, varied colors were used on Sunday houses. White paint was cheap though, and it might be that finding other colors may have been hard. I would love to scrape off layers of paint to see what these homes may have looked like.

I also stopped by a Lutheran church. The Catholic churches may be more colorful. If you are not familiar with this region, the German and Czech immigrants built these little gems. They are referred to as Painted Churches, because the settlers used paint to produce fantastic decorations on the interior walls. The faux finishes were meant to recreate the look of the churches that they left behind in Europe. If you have time, you may want to visit these churches, which are centered around Fayette County.

Take the time to travel a back road. Drive around the town. You may discover a home or garden that inspires you. According to my guide book, the museum was supposed to be opened, but it was not. They are said to have a good collection of objects that show what life was like in 19th century Texas. I would be interested in seeing the furniture from Anglo and German families.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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