From removing to installing ...

a ladder amid the mess in the great room after ceiling removal and reinforcement

Every week it seemed we had to remove another piece of the house.  Well into March, we were still demolishing, but at least now we're also enjoying episodes of installation, of putting it back together!

closer view of new ceiling joists and new header supporting the house above over the double door

Carpenter Glen bravely bore the news of the worst structural problem:  some remodelers 75 or so years ago removed a supporting wall when they moved a staircase to create what we now call the "great room."  Alas, we tore down part of the sturdiest plaster ceiling in the house so that he could run new floor joists beside the interrupted ones and place a heavy header across the double doors (In the photo above, the lighter wood is the newer).  On the plus side, the floor is a lot sturdier now, of course.


bathroom filled with some of the wooden lath we've removed
view from bathroom being demolished through window into great room

We've been using the recent bathroom addition to store lath for re-use.  As we've cleared the room out again, we're able to get at the walls to remove them and restore the window hidden behind the addition.   The bathroom addition will become a good-sized back porch.  We sold enough scrap metal from the old wiring, plumbing and heating systems to purchase that back porch swing April 16 already.

We're quite proud that, despite including the cost in our budget, we will not have to resort to a dumpster for this extensive remodeling project!  The wood we can't reuse a friend will burn in his pottery kiln.   The scrapyard has been happy to take our old plumbing.  The bottles and cans from Mountain Dew, which fuels most of the work force here, recycle easily.  The old fiberglass insulation now soundproofs the louder plastic plumbing we've had to accept in place of the original drainpipes.   A large pile of plaster and sawdust will be buried as fill under the back porch, before final landscaping.

view through glass-pane window as the wall built over it is removed
partially completed railing around the new stairwell for easier access to the basement from the living room

At left is the railing we're erecting around the new hole cut in the living room floor to create easier access to the basement and garage.

Below, left, is how you anchor a newell post!

Below are the original basement stairs, with a few new ones added, which we're using during construction in the new opening.

And coming down those stairs, we find ...

still exposed view of how the newell post extends down into the floor and is bolted to the floor joists
framed walls and temporary stairs in new basement stairwell

... Pete!

Who has gradually been building quite the water heating system!  He's not really that blotchy.  I had a dusty camera lens.  We share his pride in the boiler, the small green box on the lower right which, with only a 3.3-gallon tank, will heat our whole house and the running water.  We believe him when he says he has enjoyed accessorizing it.
Heating guy Pete standing beside the boiler he has accessorized
boiler with pumps, expansion tank, and hot water tank attached

electric cables hang from five holes in the kitchen ceiling where light fixtures will be

Above is a view of the kitchen wiring, waiting for lights to be installed. Below, evidence of our ever-improving skill in fitting the holes to the new ceiling fixture boxes.
blue, plastic light box inserted into a raggedly cut hole in the plaster ceiling

In the upstairs bedrooms we encountered interesting wallpaper, but it's all peeling fairly easily off the unpainted plaster walls.

pink wallpaper in northeast bedroom yellow wallpaper in southwest bedroom
new electric receptacle opening in wallpapered NW bedroom pink wallpaper in southeast bedroom

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