February Update

I don’t know where to begin. Should I start by saying that HURRAY! Our roofer started… and managed to get about a third of the roof done before the big snow storm that has now halted work. Or maybe you should know that we had to pause the hall project (again) for both a bathroom demo and some electrical investigation.

3 new roof and old cast iron pipe

I keep telling myself that it’s just the nature of working on an old house but it definitely makes me feel like we suck at this whole DIY thing when we have to keep jumping around. But in the long term we’re doing the right thing by dealing with these big issues as they come up.

So here’s a quick rundown of the chaos in which we’re living.

1. The hall project is in a holding pattern because D uncovered an old, capped cloth wire sitting in the wall between the hall and office. And there’s power going to it. We think that the office light is wired using this old wiring but there’s no cloth wiring going directly to the electrical box so there must be a junction box somewhere in the wall or ceiling connecting the old wiring to some new romex wiring. We’re holding off of hanging the last of the drywall because we want to locate and replace all the cloth wiring and we may have to either remove the ceiling and/or wall in the office and the ceiling in the hall. If the old wiring ran all the way from the light fixture to the box then we’d probably leave it for now but we don’t like the fact that there’s a live, disconnected wire in the wall even though it’s capped. We also don’t feel comfortable assuming the junction box connection (wherever it may be) was done correctly. I’ve been hoping for a reason to redo the hall ceiling – it’s really crappy with lots of visible seams so even though it will be a pain in the ass to drywall the ceiling, I think it will look better in the end.

We put down some butcher paper to protect the flooring a couple weeks ago. Definitely should have done it from the beginning – if only for the rousing games of “roll the tape as far as possible down the hall without hitting the far wall.” We are obviously a lot of fun at parties.

1 renovation games

2. We’re almost done demoing the upstairs hall bathroom. Remember the cracked cast iron pipe? Well it runs through the roof (you can see it in the first picture in the post) so while the roof is off we’re going to have it removed and rerun through the attic (it’s actually against code to just have it sticking up 6 feet through the porch roof). We’re also considering having the plumber rerun the piping a bit so that we can move the location of the tub.

During this demo we uncovered (literally) a bunch of black mold. YAY! This area is right under one of the worst holes in the soffits and it looks like water was running down behind the siding for quite some time. One of the cross beams in the ceiling is actually rotting so we’ll have to remove and replace or sister it before we can close up the walls and ceiling.

2 mold on the back of drywall

3. There is still dust everywhere.

4. I am having second thoughts about the roof color (charcoal gray) but it’s obviously too late and I think it’ll be fine. It’ll totally be fine. Definitely fine. If I keep telling myself it’s fine then I’ll eventually believe it. Minimally, it will be fine once we repaint the house… in like 5 years.