The Disease Part I

Our house has a disease.

It is a remodeling disease and we have been fighting it since July 2008.

Mostly the disease has been spreading and winning but this last week we had a minor victory when Clara at the age of 9 months moved into her own room.

You see in our old house we have some plaster walls. And some of our plaster walls were falling apart, really falling apart. Falling apart so that if you pushed a spot on our stairwell a three foot in diameter piece of wall would move and if you pushed too hard parts would start to fall off.  At the time Ivy was at the age where that looked like a good thing to eat. So we had a family friend (Alec) come out to help us rip out the old plaster and lath and then drywall our stairwell. Just one wall in the stairwell

But then the disease hit.

-So long as we are doing one wall, we should do all of them.

-Now we need to do the ceiling too, that caused John and Alec to look like this:

-Hmm, there is NO insulation in the walls, and the stuff in the ceiling is a million years old and only an inch thick, better take care of that.

-The pantry under the stairs is already half ripped apart and now lots of plaster is falling off the walls in there… rip it out too!

-Well, since everything is torn out should we make new stairs?

-We hit our head on the old ceiling above the stairs so now is a good time to cut it out and change it!

-Oops, accidentally made a hole into this bedroom (now Clara’s room) and look it has no insulation either, well it’s a little room… rip it out!

-There is a part of an old chimney in this room? Rip it out, throw it out the window, and try not to hit the dog!

-Now everything is exposed and we can see the old nasty scary wiring, lets re-wire everything.

-Now that the ceilings are ripped up lets put a real entrance into the attic so that we can use it.

-Can’t use the attic unless it has a floor.

-New lights in the stairwell, because  really at this point, why not?

-New light in the pantry.

-The old duct work is a catastrophe, everything is still exposed, lets do that too.

By the end of the summer we had taken loads of garbage to the dump, and made a lot of progress that didn’t really look like any progress.

It was awful hard to say to people, yes I know it looks worse than before and you can see the insulation but really it’s progress… You see our house was held up by, in the words of Alec, “Hope and Magic” insulated with nothing and powered by old electric wires with the insulation rotting off, and now it’s not. Progress.

One year, later we finally put up the drywall and discovered I was pregnant.

That caused some problems.  You see during the course of this disease Ivy had been moved out of the small bedroom that got ripped apart into what we call the attic room. That meant that all the stuff in our house that was in the attic room got moved into Ivy’s old room once it was finished.  So when we found out Clara was on the way we needed to do some rearranging. The problem was even with the now usable attic, there just wasn’t anyplace for the stuff to go having only one closet in the house and one pantry still in shambles. So John and I moved into the attic room with Ivy and we had two closets built in our bedroom. Hooray! John and I moved back to our room, the stuff was moved into one closet, we got rid of FOUR dressers we had been using and put our clothes in the other closet. The little bedroom was empty

This winter I painted, the little room twice. The first time I chose a god-awful color that looked like scrambled eggs barfed onto the walls. Since then I have gone back to my previous technique of color choosing which is that someone else does it for me.

This spring John refinished the floor while the girls and I were out of the house.

All that was left was left to do in the small bedroom was to put trim back up…

The to do list for the rest of the place is a bit more extensive.

To Be Continued…

The Disease Part II

The Disease Part III

5 comments on “The Disease Part I

  1. John says:

    Not only was the wiring old and scary, but when we mapped the breakers, the entire house was on about 3. It was no wonder that the bedroom lights would flicker when the microwave ran. Yup, you read that correctly, the bedroom (upstairs) and parts of the kitchen (downstairs opposite corner) on the same breaker. The breakers still don’t make a lot of sense, but at least there are a lot more to distribute the load.

  2. thinkbigmuch says:

    House projects take so long!

  3. the other Jessie says:

    “color that looked like scrambled eggs barfed onto the walls” Oh, Jess, that just made my night love the imagry…probably would have hated the color too”

  4. […] Jul I left off Part I with this picture […]

  5. […] details please refer to: The Disease Part I , II  and III as well as More […]

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