Archive | July, 2007

Why My Electricity Won’t Work

July 31, 2007

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I’ve run into some problems with the electricity in our house. Actually, we’ve had numerous problem with the electric here, for years. Only two of the four bedroom lights work. Various outlet receptacles are faulty. We’ve tolerated the situation for years, but I think we will have to do something drastic now. Quickly.

After we tried to replace a mouse-chewed wire, we lost half the electricity to our upstairs, all of our bathroom, 3/4 of the Kitchen, and the Laundry Room lights and outlet. I tried replacing the wire, but the circuit keeps shorting. So I am exploring why. I pulled down the Living Room ceiling today, and discovered a junction box with 100-year old wiring. That is still in use. And it’s in bad shape.

Here’s why our electricity won’t work:

Bad Knob Wiring 1

Here’s a close up of the handywork.

Close Up

More photos of the Living Room ceiling:

Bad Knob Wiring 3

Bad Knob Wiring 2

This is the moment I can either laugh or cry. I can be so very very happy I found this before a fire started. We have a lot of electronics in the house (and growing all the time). It is a miracle the house still stands after all these years.

I could cry because this means that, on top of redoing the Living Room, I have to rewire half the upstairs and the Kitchen, Dining Room, and Laundry Room now. And school and winter is coming. Ohhhh Lord….

Also, they had cut a substantial chunk out of a beam that had been (note the use of the phrase “had been”) supporting the upstairs bedroom flooring. The beam had failed to point of cracking and dropping. I will have to sister the beam to prevent more structural failure.

Of interest is today’s daily devotional by Dr. D. James Kennedy. I have it as my home page. Taking a break from my demolition, feeling a bit panicky about the situation, I took a break to check email. Today’s devotional is so fitting.

Have you ever faced a daunting task, one that looked not even remotely feasible? At times like this, God, who can do the impossible, wants us to have faith in His presence and in His ability to see us through.

…The ancient Israelites serve as an excellent example of what not to do under pressure. Faced with an overwhelming task, they failed to respond in faith.

…When circumstances overwhelm you and the task at hand is daunting, place your full faith in God and trust that He will deliver you into your promised land.

I’ll take this one step at a time, yes I will. For now, I am planning a new circuit map to restore electricity to the house. I think I’d better finish the Living Room first before attacking the Kitchen. The kids will need a station to do their schoolwork, and the Dining Room is pretty cramped now as it is.

One very positive note is that I will be removing that awful drop ceiling from the Kitchen!

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Oops

July 30, 2007

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I’m pulling out my hair in frustration and worry tonight. My husband and I decided to bite the bullet and remove that mouse-chewed wire we found in our Living Room wall. Oops. That wire powered about half the house: two outlets in the kitchen (and we only had three total in there anyway), the entire upstairs bathroom, one entire upstairs bedroom, half the girls’ bedroom, the Dining Room ceiling light, and the Laundry Room light. I can’t believe all that was on one circuit. This house is wired CRAZY. For example, another circuit has just the light bulb in the basement. As my grandfather used to say, “Idjuts” (“idiots”).

Well, I removed the old chewed line and replaced it with a new line. I even tied it into the service panel (not as scary as you’d think). Guess what? It doesn’t work. The breaker trips. I am freaking out in frustration. I did everything exactly as it had been done– everything. We have no idea what is happening. I am going to go to Home Depot when they open tomorrow and buy a new breaker; I sure hope the problem lies with the breaker.

I hate going to bed with large problems unsolved. Lord, help us!

~~ Today in church I was fretting about our electrical woes and the realization hit me that God made electricity. Duh, you think. Sounds funny, but He is actually “Lord of electricity”! There have been times that could have been close calls with the power around here. It is a miracle that the house still stands. I have opened up some of the walls and could faint over the sloppy and scorched electrical work. But we are still here. Lord of the electricity!

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Electrician Shock

July 28, 2007

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Yesterday I wired half the Living Room. One wall now has four– yes, folks, four— outlet receptacles! That was the total number of receptacles in the entire room before we started.

I am doing all the wiring myself. And, unless a reliable electrician enters our lives within the next week, I will probably be tying the wiring into the circuit breaker myself (don’t worry, I’ll study hard, get advice, follow all the safety rules, and go slowly). Trying to find an available, reliable electrician has been a nightmare. I’ve called over 10 businesses. Half dismissed me because they only “do commercial” now. One guy spent a half hour looking over our electrical needs, and never called me back with his estimate. Another guy– a referral from a co-worker– said he’d be here on a certain day, but never showed up. I’ve called him back a dozen times and he refuses to call me back! The only real response I got was from a local company who would send out a small team for the stifling price of $1000.

So let’s just say I am not doing the wiring because I love electricity. I have to do the wiring. The guys at the codes department now know me by my telephone voice, since I call them nearly every day to pepper them with my endless questions:

  • Can I use metal staples to secure the cable between studs, or must I use those fancy plastic tie-downs in all those home improvement books? [answer: metal is fine]
  • Can I use 12-2 cable with 15-amp receptacles? [answer: yes but you must use 20-amp breakers in your circuit box]
  • I have to string cable through a support beam. Can I notch it instead of drilling a hole through it? [answer: yes, but nail a 1/16 metal plate over the notch]
  • I have 3/4-inch holes drilled in my studs. Can I run two courses of cable through them? [answer: yes]
  • How far back from the front of the stud must the holes be drilled? [answer: 1 and 1/4 inch]

And etc.

Wiring is not difficult at all. Configuring the wiring through a house that was built before the invention of electric wiring is nigh impossible. It is a good thing I am creative, but my creativity can never transgress the amorphous “codes.” Problem is, I have a hard time knowing all the minute details of this “code” I hear about. There is no “National Electric Code” available online (to my knowledge). One sole reference copy is at the local library– and you cannot check it out to take home and study. I suppose I could always buy my own copy– for $70. :-O The hardest part for me is knowing what is allowed and what is not allowed. Home improvement books are helpful, but they all cover new construction (as if all homes have shiny new 2×4 studs and light-filled basements and attics). I am hesitant to take any risks in the placement of wiring, because each inspection is $75. Therefore, a failed inspection can be extremely costly if the inspector needs to return.

At any rate, I am so happy to have half the room done. I think it is done correctly, too. There are a few chinks that I have to work out yet. For example: wiring coming up from the basement may be situated too close to where the finished Living Room wall is going. See, I had to drill from my basement into the foundation sill in order to get a hole between the studs (and not a hole in the floorboard). My drilling had to be at an angle, so I could run wiring from the between the studs down through the basement and back up again. This was very hard. Not only is my 12inch x 12inch solid hemlock sill petrified after 150 years, but I have to crawl up into the foundation a little to even get to the sill. (The stone foundation is about 18 inches thick, and the foundation sill sits at the outer rim of the stonework.) Even when I have finally drilled through the sill, I found that my holes are still not 1 and 1/4-inch away from where the finished wall with eventually be. So I think I have to install my own “sill plate” pieces between the studs on top of the floorboards, and attach metal nail plates to these “sill plate” pieces. This protects the wiring (which is so close to where the finished wall is going) from being nailed into by accident when the sheetrock goes up.

Here’s a photo of a hole that is drilled far back enough.

Good hole

Here is a hole drilled too close.

birds eye view

This predicament of mine and my intended solution is not in any books or codes manuals. It is “one of those things” that you encounter when wiring an old house, and you only hope that your fix passes inspection. So, I am a little bit nervous about it. The wiring comes up from the basement only four times, but two are very close to the edge. I doubt they will pass inspection if I left them. I sure hope the inspector loves my fix.

Here’s is a photo of one area of floor riddled with holes. (I didn’t make all of these, by the way!)

holes galore

None of these holes are really back far enough to please codes. Some of these holes go right out onto the floor– they were made when the plaster, lathe, and baseboard was still installed, because blindly fishing wire between walls is so hard. Therefore, wiring was exposed in the Living Room before I removed the receptacles. You can also see a very old damaged wire in the photo. This wiring (which makes up most of the wiring we have in the house) is the old knob-and-tube wiring that dates back to the 20’s and 30s.

So I’ll post pictures of my handiwork after inspection passes. It is a strange thing to walk into the living room and see the festive yellow wiring and bright blue receptacle boxes in a drab dark-brown wooden room with drab burnt-red bricks between the walls. I am keeping my eyes on the final product: a warm, efficient, clean, and pleasant room to enjoy. Oh, I am looking forward to this!

Other news: we have to build out one wall in the Living Room in order to properly wire it. This wall has studs that are turned sideways. I don’t know why the original builder did this… of course it was built before central heating and electric wiring… but the sideways studs make it impossible to do anything with the wall. Plus, these sideways studs are directly under the main support beam, which has cracked and shifted over the centuries. Obviously the studs have not done their job of supporting this beam. So, we are going to add new studs. This will enlarge the wall and enable us to add wiring and a cold-air return vent in the gap.

Also, I believe that the bricks between the studs (aka, “noggin”) are not true bricks. I had to punch some out in order to run wiring. When I hit the bricks with my hammer, most turned to powder. Some are hollow. The mortar is stronger than the “bricks.” I think these bricks are merely hardened clay squares. I do not think these clay squares were ever baked and hardened in a brick kiln. Perhaps the owner simply made mud bricks by collecting clay into square molds and setting them out in the sun to dry. These are not real bricks.

Closeup noggin

I have to leave most of them in though. They serve as firestops for the balloon-frame house, and it is too late in the game for more demolition (for the health of my psyche, anyway). They serve as a barrier… so in they stay. Perhaps when we do the exterior siding (should we get that far), I will have them removed then. They are only between the studs in the first floor.

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It’s Done!

July 28, 2007

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Our drywell project is completed! We sweated it out on one of the hottest days of the summer to finish it. I’ll keep the narrative brief, with photos:

Below: Filling with rocks.

Filling with Rocks 1

We elimated our “rock pile” with this project. Our rock pile was a collection of various rocks, bricks, broken asphalt, and broken cinder blocks, all piled around a crummy Mountain Ash tree. The pile was begun by previous owners before we moved here, and we just continued the tradition. It was quite a large pile. The yard looks so much better without it now.

Below: Filling with dirt.
God made dirt, dirt don’t hurt. šŸ˜‰
Replacing the packed down mounds of dirt to the trench was the hardest part of the job.

Filling with Dirt

Filling with Dirt 2

It’s done! Only needs a cleaning up (and probably a little more dirt around the barrel).

It's Filled

The kids are beaming. They did a really great job.
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A Smashing Job

July 23, 2007

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Today we progressed more on our drywell project. The hardest of the project is behind us!

Last week, I bought a very large plastic garbage barrel (I could not find a regular rain barrel) and drilled a 4-inch hole in the bottom side.

The Rain Barrel

The kids laid about a foot’s depth of rocks at the bottom of our hole. We set the barrel in and they buried it.

Filling the Hole

The youngest likes to test the trench.

Testing the Trench

The kids spent an afternoon filling the barrel with small “river” rocks (smooth stones about the size of their fists). We have quite a collection of rocks on hand, in our “rock pile.” They finished burying the barrel. We are leaving a foot of space at the top for when we fill it with gravel.

Today, we tested out all the pipes and fitted them together. First, we made sure the pipes were sloping the adequate amount.

Checking the Level

We had to cement a total of three pipes together (one short one was solid and the other two are perforated). We did have to use an elbow joint to accomodate for the bend in the trench. After this, we did the arduous task of wrapping landscaping fabric around the perforated pipes, to prevent loose dirt from clogging the perforations. The fabric tore easily so we had to be very careful. I do wonder how long this fabric will endure under all this soil.

Collecting Rocks

In the trench at the end of the final pipe, there is a gap of about a foot. The kids packed large stones in this gap and all around the end of the pipe, to help keep the pipe in place. The ground is due to shift, but hopefully the rocks will keep the pipe from shifting too much.

Adding Rocks to Trench

Boys Pose for Picture

My eldest was foreman of the rocks until a very large one fell into the hole and smashed her thumb. I was concerned it was broken, but it looks like it is just swollen and has a big cut. Thank God it wasn’t anything more serious. Poor girl, she was in agony, so we ended our work session for the day and I went into first aid mode. She is much improved after a cold pack– and is excused from her night to wash dishes, aw!!!

All that is left is to surround the pipes with more river rocks, then cover the entire thing with soil! The kids have done a “smashing” job so far!

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Hymn of Color

July 23, 2007

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Remember that old hymn that goes,

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the Joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Walking Thru the Garden

I cannot sleep tonight, and have been visiting some beautiful gardening blogs. I realize that I’ve been so busy the past few weeks that I have neglected my gardens. Today for the first time in weeks, I strolled around the yard to see my gardens. My vegetable garden is weedy, but productive. It was not a good year for lettuce, unfortunately (we eat a lot of salad), but the peas, green beans, and squash are thriving despite my neglect.

Garden Squashes

Stray tomato plants are everywhere in the garden. Last year, I’d composted old tomatoes, and the seeds survived. They sprouted everywhere I spread the compost. I have left them to grow up between the rows, and now they are bullying the potatoes and beans. Oh well. I have a hard time getting rid of any plant and would rather just let them all grow. Thinning sprouts is an agonizing job for me.

Garden Mess

My cucumbers are the cutest, fuzziest little things, still smaller than my pinky. I have a few marble-sized cantaloupe growing, but since we only have about 7 weeks of reliably warm weather left, I wonder if any will mature in time. Onions are poor this year, due to my late sowing and lack of rain. Carrots and turnips look good.

Well, the reason I am thinking of that hymn, one of my old favorites as a girl, is that today I got to see how my flower beds are doing. It was a lovely, colorful walk. My daughters have kept up with the weeding quite well during the five weeks I was bedridden. The weeds have only just returned because we’ve been busy with the plaster and the drywell. But my purple butterfly bush is blooming– oh the joy!

Morning Light on Arbor

“A Boy and His Cat”

A Boy and His Cat

Walking down through my garden path, I realized that I must love yellow/orange and blue/purple flowers together. I hardly have any other combination. Besides the butterfly bush, I have purple Veronica, Russian sage, purple coneflower, magenta bee balm, purple iris, blue anemone, pink turtleheads, blue hydrangea, and several blue Rose of Sharon bushes. I also have a glorious stalk of Purple Loosestrife growing. All these purple flowers are woven between my orange daylilies (which have finally bloomed– they always bloom three weeks after everyone else’s and I don’t know why), black-eyed Susans, orange-red Asian lilies, yellow potentilla, and orange torchlilies. Besides a few white/pink stargazer lilies, that’s it! All together, it is quite a beautiful collage.

Orange and Blue

Purple Coneflowers

Arbor

Here’s a shot of my pride and joy– my Red Oak that I have nurtured these past four years since it was a little twig in the ground. My house is surrounded by asphalt (being an old parsonage property); in the summer, the steamy asphalt scorches up the yard and house to unbearable levels. My precious oak will resolve that in a few years.

Oak Tree

About the Purple Loosestrife– I stole it from a roadside swamp. Shh. I don’t care how much the treehuggers hate it, I love it. You see, loosestrife grows in wet, swampy areas, and chokes off the flow of water. But I have far too much water on my property.

Loosestrife

I am waterlogged, actually. So I am going to plant great swaths of loosestrife in the soggy area of my yard. It is also a very colorful and pretty plant, so that’s a plus. Desperate times call for desperate measures! I am going to also get more iris, which likes its feet wet, and some summersweet, which also thrives in wet areas. Hopefully this will solve most of my water problems, before a pond forms permanently!

Here’s an interesting shot– a male peacock and his peahen flew up on top of our shed, then into an oak tree. The neighbors have a variety of birds and critters, and this pair of exotic birds likes to wander in my yard.

Peacock

It was evening, and the picture came out poorly, but can you make out the iridescent blue between the leaves? They were in the tree for a few hours after nightfall, making the loudest, strangest noises. Reminded me of an owl’s “whooo” a little.

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Twiddling Thumbs

July 22, 2007

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We have been waiting for an available electrician all week. Most around here do only commercial work or McMansions, so finding a handyman of an electrician is tough. One guy I did find hasn’t called back all week, although he said he would come over a week ago. Another guy came over and took measurements weeks ago, but has not called back and is impossible to reach. I am moping about it. I only have one more month to get this room done before school starts. Since we homeschool, I NEED my living room back. I am feeling a bit anxious. Everything is all ripped out and is waiting for the electrician…

I have been reading electrical books, and everyone says electric is easy. We have done some electrical work ourselves, sure… but this is a codes thing. I am not sure of all the details an inspector will be looking for. Do I have all 20-amp receptacles, or 15-amp, or a mix of both and how many? What if I can’t loop wiring between studs (because of the noggin)? Is there any restriction about having to loop below the flooring to wire receptacles? How do I wire a pair of sconces to one switch? Etc etc. And then I know that I am unable to tie everything in to the circuit breaker– I have my daring moments, but I know my limitations. I have no idea how the breaker works and is connected, and I have no desire to experiment and find out.

So we are stuck with open walls right now. I have been puttering with furnace ducts, planning how to cover the open gaps around the chimney (which we are going to leave intact for now; maybe next year we can remove it), and we’re finishing up the drywell outside. But I am desperate to get the wiring over and done with. Ugh!

Once the electric is all done and the inspector leaves happy, then things will really get rolling. In the next four weeks, I plan on:

  • putting up the sheetrock
  • spackling, sanding
  • caulking all around floors, windows, and other openings
  • painting walls with primer, then paint
  • sanding wood floor
  • staining floor, then sand, poly, sand, poly
  • insulating below the living room floor (basement ceiling)
  • installing electric light fixtures
  • moving our desks and chairs back in the room
  • unpacking our hundreds of books, papers, notebooks, and supplies, and setting up our computer and printing station again

I am not going to install window/door trim nor baseboard moulding yet. After the sheetrock and insulation, we’ve run out of money. I’m going to save every dime and hopefully we’ll finish the room next summer.

When I close my eyes, I can see the finished room. Plus, it will be warm! Plus, it will finally have enough outlets and lights! No more extension cords and lamps everywhere! No more blankets wrapped around frozen people with frozen pencils and books!

Oh, I also have to repair the hole left behind by the removal of our half-wall in the breakfast room. Whew! Come on, electrician, get over here!

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Woman of Steel

July 21, 2007

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Back when we were thinking of gutting the entire house (we’ve since opted for one room at a time), I got a quote for redoing the entire furnace ducting system: $8,000. JUST for ducts (the furnace is brand new). Yow. I love my furnace repairman, and feed his family well, but I just cannot cough up 8,000 clams for sheet metal.

Now that we are doing one room at a time, I am doing everything in one room at a time– walls, ceilings, electric, insulation, floors, ducts. It is not as efficient as doing all rooms all at once, but this method is more manageable for us (financially as well as for sanity).

So I right now, on top of learning everything else, I am learning how to repair and install furnace ducting. It is actually not terribly difficult, merely distasteful and dirty. The old ducting dates back to the 60s and some dates earlier. It is very, very dusty and rickety. Some pieces I am replacing but I am reusing most of the ducts. I spent a whole day removing everything that connects to the living room (two heater vents and one cold return vent) and scrubbed them clean. The cold air return vent was only sheet metal nailed onto floor joists in the basement, and a hole hacked into the living room floor as a “register.”

Cold Air Register

You can see the stone foundation and three floor joists through the “register” in the above photo. Unfortunately, the natural gas supply line was installed through the foundation and directly under this cold air return vent– not a very wise decision, because should the gas pipe ever leak, the fumes are dispersed throughout the house and also flow into the living room above.

When I peeled the sheet metal to reveal the joists, great gobs of greasy dirt and dust spilled out. Yuk. Thank God I was wearing a bandana to cover my long hair.

If you look closely at the picture below, you can see what I mean. This photo was taken before I removed 70 square feet of sheet metal nailed to the joists. I had removed the cold air supply duct (where the circle was) to reveal about a 1/4-inch layer of dust and cobwebs coating the joist above it. I am so glad to be rid of this filthy cob job.

Dusty Ducts

There is a system to furnace ducting. You can’t just throw ducts anywhere. Cold air vents (return air) must be positioned in interior walls, and heat ducts and registers (supply air) must be installed along exterior walls. The system of forced airflow works with the natural physics of rising and falling air. Anything else is inefficient (and against some local housing codes). As expected, the ducting system in my house is all the wrong way.

There should be a cold air return vent in every room that has a heat supply vent. Only two rooms in my entire house have cold air return vents (the living room and dining room), and they are both along the exterior wall. Thus my furnace works very hard, and the air pressure in my house is uncomfortable (think of how a cup sticks to your face when you suck in the air from the cup– it creates pressure on your face because of the vacuum you created). Also, my upstairs rooms are absolutely frigid in the winter. One bedroom (15 x 17) has a teeny-tiny heater vent on an interior wall, and that’s it. The heat leaking out of that tiny heater vent cannot compete with the two 3′ x 5′ windows and the 250 square feet of uninsulated walls and floor of that room. All winter, a thick coating of ice covers both windows, and over the years the water has rotted the window panes. I won’t even go into describing the other bedrooms. We freeze every winter up there.

So, the fundamentals are important here: supply on outside walls, return on inside walls. Have enough heat registers for your room (there is a formula for calculating the necessary cfms to square footage). And have an equal amount of cold return vents for your heat supply vents.

So I am in the process of installing another supply of heat in the living room, replacing the dirty cold air sheet-metal cob job with a closed-duct system, and patching/sawing holes in the floor above to accomodate the changes.

Furnace Ducting

Duct Project

New Heat Vent

This autumn, I have to add more cold air return ducting to the downstairs to make the system a little more efficient. Next year, when we remove the chimney, the new opening will allow me to completely reconfigure the supply/return ducting system for the second floor. The noggin on the first floor make ducting and electrical nigh impossible for exterior walls. I have to work around that!

For now, I am thrilled to be doing even one room as it ought to be done.

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Plaster Blaster

July 21, 2007

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In two days, we completely demolished the Living Room. What a dirty, tiresome job. One 15 x 17 foot room shed enough plaster to fill 10 32-gallon trash cans, with some to spare. What a mess, but well worth it. I am relieved to be rid of the junk. There IS a reason why someone invented sheetrock, and why it is so popular today!

Plaster Removal UGH

In between all the studs on the first floor are mortared bricks. The bricks do not continue into the second floor.

Use Your Noggin

We consider the bricks (“noggin” as they are called) to be a blessing and a curse. For one, they do have some insulating qualities, in restricting air flow and dust. And they keep the downstairs cool in the summer.

More Noggin

However, they disintengrate with the introduction of water and/or movement. In an old house, water and movement are a given. Thus, some bricks have deteriorated. Also, previous owners punched holes in the brick to install electrical outlets.

After much agonzing, we are going to keep the brick intact.It would be too cost prohibitive to remove it and replace it with insulation, and I think it also helps to keep the studs straight.

I found out many things after we removed the plaster. I found out why previous owners had installed an ugly cardboard drop ceiling: one part of the plaster ceiling had cracked all the way across when the center beam of the house settled. I don’t know why someone would go to all the trouble and expense of installing a horrid drop ceiling instead of removing the plaster, but, oh well. I am so happy to have that drop ceiling in the landfill now.

The wiring is frightful. Mice have chewed through wires still active. I don’t quite know what to do with them, as these wires go somewhere into the flooring abyss in the second floor.

Well, now that we have torn apart the walls and have seen the guts of the room, we can finally begin to make plans and set some priorities. I am determined to redo not just the walls and floor, but to redo the very bad and aged wiring, and reconfigure the furnace ducting (which is a disastrous tangled mess and dirty, to boot).

More later!

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Progress!

July 14, 2007

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We’ve been really pushing ourselves, working all day on our projects (and eating nothing but leftovers, too). We have two teams going: one group is out in the trench for our drywell (the Outside Crew), the other is inside working on the plaster/lathe removal and wall/chimney repair (the Inside Crew). Here’s some great progress we’ve been making!

The Outside Crew has been digging, digging, and digging. At 47 inches below grade, the rocks are smaller, but there are still plenty of them. The bigger kids are having a hard time getting down into the trench to dig, so the smaller guys take turns scooping dirt into a bucket. We hope that next week we will have our materials (rain barrel, PVC pipes) and do a dry run on our drywell system. The crew has done a marvelous job calculating the slope of the trench (1/4 inch per foot for a 23 foot run), and it looks good. Next week, we’ll test it out. If it works, we’ll lay the rocks and gravel, glue the PVC together, and fill in the trench. Yippee!

Here are the kids in the trench for a photo op.

Kids' Ditch

Time for a funny picture:

Trench Line

The Inside Crew has removed all the plaster and lathe now (unless we suddenly decide to rip out more walls). Today, we removed the decrepit old carpeting, pad, and half of the underlayment to see the condition of the original pine flooring. We are not sure if we are going to refinish it so as to keep it exposed, or go with wall-to-wall carpeting. Can’t decide yet.

Pine Floor 1

Pine Floor 2

The floor, for its age (150 years) is in marvelous shape. I just can’t decide what to do yet. We like the warmth of carpet, but I hate to cover this nice wood. I do love wood floors. And keeping it wood would be much less expensive than w-w carpeting. Hmmm….

The Inside Crew has also completed the removal of that ugly half-wall that hung down from the ceiling. The wood and junk has been removed from all around the chimney, too.

Chimney without Half Wall

Lots more to do, but ain’t progress wonderful?

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