Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thing 2

Thing 2 is a video.  Hope this works.

Thing 1

Thing 1 is a batch of pictures.  Trick or Treat!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy Comes to Visit

The outer edges of Hurricane Sandy came to northern Massachusetts yesterday.  We had pretty good winds from Monday mid-morning through 9 or 10PM, and a fair amount of rain.  For the most part we came through fine, but about 15% of Acton is out of power including our new place.   No problem for now since we're not in residence.

We did lose one big tree - but it went in just the right direction to cause minimal damage...

White shed is ours - missed by a couple feet.  Red barn is the neighbor's.

Snapped off about a dozen feet up.  Had been wondering if the tree was healthy (lower branches looked dead). 

Just managed to clip one pane in the barn window, and hurt the trailer below a bit.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Primed and Ready

Not very exciting in today's before-and-after, but it's the start of good things.  Due to Murray's generous assistance (which is to say, two hours' worth of prepwork while we took Margot to soccer), we got Margot's and Isla's rooms sanded and Isla's room primed for upcoming paint. 

Thanks Mur!

After which, Chili Sunday continued (week #8?) with Chili-Mac in the slow-cooker!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Mystery

It turns out that one of the wall switches in the new house is a remote - not wired, but with a radio transmitter.  It is screwed into the wall, and controls . . . We don't know what!  Nor do we know what the receiver looks like. . .

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's Electric!

Today's before-and-after shots:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Morning Exercise

I'm afraid this might be getting addictive.  I popped over to the house this morning for a little ceiling exploration before work.

You can see from the end of the last post that I was a bit stymied on the library ceiling, due to the stupid metal lath stuff under the plaster.

I solved that this morning with a bigger poking stick and more gumption.  (For some reason there's a lot of dust in the first picture below...)

What look like joists (1x8s?  Didn't measure vertically.) are actually just hung from (4x4in?) cross-beams.

There appears to be a major side-to-side beam in the middle of the library, and one on top of the wall at the back of the living room.  The cross-beams run front-to-back and are smaller and mortised into the large beams.

Off of the narrower boards are straps across (1x4s?) to which the lath is nailed, then metal lath %@&*!, then the plaster.  This view is toward the front of the house, over the builtin to the beam on the LR wall.

The front-back beam has some modifications.

Spacing between cross-beams varied at 1-2 feet.

From the front-back beam, 18-20 inches to the crossbeam.

Doesn't mean much, but shows size of the hole in the larger view.

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Holes, Part 2

(Continued from previous post.)

Next target: the archway wall next to where we found the chimney yesterday.
Interesting.  I made the hole in the outer wall, but someone had already made a hole in the plaster wall underneath.
For good measure, they put a drill-hole in the brick they found when they made the plaster hole.  In any case, no real surprises in here.

Next, I tried making a hole in a ceiling.  In the archway, since I was already there and all.
 Again, no big surprises.  Except for a couple of nibbled black walnuts - you can see them in the left of this picture, sitting on the 2x4.
This shot faces toward the end of the house, away from the chimney.  To the right is the plaster wall that was originally at the back of the living room.  To the left, not sure what that darker member at the top is - maybe something framed in when the arch was created (although the other lumber is obviously different).
 So, two nice new holes:

Penultimate target, the "bump out" in the LR corner next to the wall I tore up yesterday.
 Lots of dead space here, and a couple of steam pipes (to the front and back bedrooms, above).
 Again, I made a second hole for good measure.
I tried to pull down some ceiling around the pipe-holes to get a view above, but the space was tight and the ceiling plaster is on %@)#*%^ metal lath backing which is a pain in the tush to break.
However, this does look like it could be a beam running front-to-back over the wall (this is looking left in the previous shot; upper-left in the frame is "up" in real life).

Last new hole - banged my way through the reverse-facing lath to the left of where we found the pipe and chimney yesterday (at right; this view faces rearward in the LR).  As expected, the plywood back of the shallower builtin section in the next room is now visible.
 Nothing special in here except a coax and Ethernet wire for the FiOS service. 

Oh, yeah, and I tried to get into the library ceiling near the builtins, but was foiled by the metal lath.  I'm mad at this stuff.  More violence will be done to it soon.

More Holes, Part 1

Today we had an electrician in to evaluate required work, and a plumber in to find problems with the furnace.  Electrical work should get started this week, and more diagnosis and repair await the plumber, who needs to figure out why there's a bit of a leak under the furnace, and replace 15 feet of cast-iron "soil pipe" up to the basement wall where it heads for the septic system.

In actual work being accomplished by the home team, more holes were generated in various walls and ceilings.

Here's the ceiling of the closet in the "library", under the second-floor bath.  I think that's the steam pipe to the radiator (which BTW doesn't seem to heat, and is permanently beadboarded in).

So, I made a hole.  Then made it bigger.
In this shot, left is to the front of the house, and down is to the "south" side.
Hard to see in the previous shot, but the PVC turns the corner and runs behind the strapping the ceiling was hung from.  Also that's hot and cold running over.

This is running "north" (or "up" in the previous two shots), gotta think that's the tub drain (PVC) and supply lines.

Looks like a beam running side-to-side in the house here.  This section has newer lumber and modern metal hangers.

It's unconsionable...

... that I didn't post this yesterday.  Enjoy.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

LR Wall Demo Details

Before we went to work on the wall, we stripped carpet and pad from the room and did some work on staples and tack-strips.  The plywood "subfloor" we'd seen under the carpet in the archway to the left turned out to be just in the arch.  The room has a reasonable but pretty beat up boardwood floor - painted and damaged, but still there.

 Final state of demo for the day.  The outside layer on this wall (blue-grey) is wallboard, layered directly over lath-and-plaster (yellow painted), back-to-back in this wall section with another plaster wall facing away.  Oddly the plaster section at the lower right in front of the chimney has a metal meshwork underlayment in parts - seems more modern?  Framing has the long dimension of the 2x4s "parallel" to the wall. I haven't measured but they look like they're actually 2" by 4" studs.

Exposed a clear space with chimney to right, steam pipe (cut off in basement), and box on the left for the builtin shelving on the other side of the wall.

Looking up.  Steam pipe runs up - not sure where to - no fixture remains?  Wall "skin" around chimney (to right) is plaster.
 Looking down inside space.  The wall on the chimney (top) is lath and plaster.  Other walls appear to be wallboard with more modern framing style than the partition wall I broke through.

 Three closely spaced studs at the left of the gap.  The front one is cut to allow the steam pipe to head down at a diagonal.

Odd board and shimming between two of the old partition wall studs.
Another view of the triple studs seen above, and a strap that the front one was hung from.