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