Saturday, January 15, 2011

Demolition (or How We Spent Our Christmas)

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Gold flock wallpaper — the third layer under the ceiling.

With a house leaking wind and snow (yes, we even got snow inside!), it was vital that, holidays or not, John continued the renovations of the house. The week before Christmas he began the kitchen. There were several layers of ceiling to be removed, and this was the absolute worst thing to live through.

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Partially demolished kitchen showing the 2nd yellow ceiling layer
and the original replacement window.

Under the suspended ceiling that we have lived with for years, there was a yellow sheetrock-type ceiling. Under that was gold flocked wallpaper. And under the wall paper was sheetrock and insulation. Under the insulation was the original plaster ceiling from 110 years ago. It was disgusting. It held a century of filth and dust. There were squirrel and mouse skeletons and scat. When the plaster came down, it created an awful rolling cloud throughout the house. I failed to wear a mask, despite John's warnings, and the next day (the Wednesday before Christmas) I was barely able to breathe and was at the clinic getting asthma treatments.

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180° from the previous photo showing the kitchen with partially demolished ceiling.

John cleaned and vacuumed and cleaned and shoveled debris as I used a nebulizer and masks at home. I have slowly gotten better, but the doctor thinks that until we can open the house in the spring, I will be using extra asthma meds for months. At least now, in the middle of January, I am able to help John a teeny tiny bit, go to work and continue my housework and cooking.

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This used to be the sun porch. Now it is part of the kitchen area.
Windows and doors are being moved about. Outside the door on the right
will be a porch for sitting in the summer.

The photographs in this post go up to right after Christmas. The entire area is now studded and sheet rocked. Windows have been moved, new windows have been installed and now the house is clean and tidy. I have half of a kitchen for cooking.

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Looking from the old kitchen into the new living room with the saw.

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This is what happens when you demolish a 110 year old plaster ceiling.

The new living room, dining room, kitchen and another dining area will be open. But every wall had to be rebuilt. The foundation had to be repaired. The sill that the house sits on had to be fortified. And the house had to be jacked and leveled. The construction spilled upstairs to the bedroom above the kitchen and into the basement and original living room.

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Another view of the demolition of the ceiling.

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And another view.

We had no choice but to continue with the ceiling demolition while the house was closed. But if we have to do more ceilings in the future, I will need to leave or we will do it in the summer.

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Besides a century of filth, the plaster was hiding mouse and squirrel scat.

I am so grateful to my husband for cleaning up the filth that was in the house. I always wondered why I was sick more often here in Vermont but never ever sick in New Hampshire. Now we know why.

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The original wiring under the 2nd floor joists with the original porcelain hardware to guide the wires.

We found wonderful artifacts inside the walls, including newspapers and porcelain devices for wiring the walls early in the last century. We found how the original house was originally laid out in four rooms downstairs with different window configurations.

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>If only the succeeding "electricians" had been as neat as the original electricians.

More photos in the future will show you how the kitchen has evolved!

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If you ever have a choice of living in a house while this is going on or of temporarily moving somewhere else . . . MOVE!


1 comment:

  1. WOW! What a lot of work! What a way to spend Christmas! Hope it was satisfying to make all that progress. The Christmas eve snowy photo is pretty!


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