Time flies and blog posts don’t happen when you finally start a renovation project. The only reason I’m writing now is because it’s 7 am and too early to be at the house, banging on the pink plaster meringue in the living room with a sledge hammer. Three weeks ago this Tuesday we became the proud owners of 112 and right away, the demolition on the ceilings began. By that Wednesday night, the drop ceilings in the kitchen were history, the basement was cleaned out and Jeff and I were covered with dirt from head toe. The next thing we knew, our trusty crew arrived and started tearing away at the layers of acoustic tiles, tin, plaster and lath.
In our bedroom upstairs, the peaks of ceiling plaster and faux beams came out and the guy you see in the photo, below, groaned when he saw what was behind it: tin over plaster.
In the boys’ room next door, an acoustic drop ceiling hid old plaster and lath – all to come down. In the photo below, their ceiling is now gone (no tin here thank goodness) and you can see the roof of the house above the ceiling joists. As old as it is, we were thrilled to discover it to be in excellent condition with little to no water or bug damage. We joked our house has a great foundation and roof – it’s all the stuff in between that needs replaced.
The other thing you might notice in the ceiling above is the complete lack of any insulation. That’s not beacause we took it out – there wasn’t any to begin with. None. Not in any of the walls or ceilings. It’s one of the main reasons we’re doing all this so the house will be snug and stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
So two and a half weeks in, our amazingly good natured contractor’s favorite line is now, “So only three ceilings, yes?” followed by a smile and a chuckle. Our ‘quick’ redo of just the bedroom and living room ceilings has morphed into something MUCH larger, but then we kind of knew it would and so did he. Three ceilings became all the walls, new electrical throughout, 21st century cable and data lines in each room (no more painted over stuff running everywhere across walls and moldings = a happy Jeff), a new bathroom and now, as of this week, leveling the floors in the downstairs which in the kitchen alone, involved tearing out six glued down, nailed together layers chronicling 150 years of flooring fashion.
We estimate the weight of the extra walls and floors taken out to be in the tons and imagine the house breathing a huge bariatric sigh of relief as it sheds the excess pounds. Today, the old sub floor started to come up and we’re eager to right the sag that in some places measures 2-3″ and to not having to ‘climb’ the kitchen floor instead of cross it to get something out of the frig. Although it may sound extreme, it’s not so unexpected. After all, if you think about it, you’d be sagging a bit in the middle too if you were born in 1865.