I Can Haz Load-Bearing Member*

I Can Haz Load-Bearing Member*

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My father-in-law took down the drop ceiling in the “living room,” a crucial step in understanding the underlying work needed in this structure. The good news: The kitchen wall isn’t a load-bearing wall, freeing us (in theory) to consider moving it, changing it, or eliminating it. With no wall the space changes substantially, and I could see a center-island kitchen working well in that configuration.

The bad news: The center beam gets an F from Mr. Foster who taught shop in high school. What started as a rough-cut 4×4 (true 4″ measure) is a mere 2×4 shadow of itself for a terrifying one-inch section. Even a whole 4×4 is questionable, where a pair of 2×6’s on edge would have been more politic. But I don’t want to install a tub above that Improvised Collapsing House Device, let alone fill it with water for a relaxing bath.

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Here’s the whole ceiling uncovered.

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Here’s how the previous owner lowered the ceiling lamp junction box to reach the drop ceiling. This gets a D from Mr. Foster (extra credit for creativity).

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Here’s the ceiling tile ready for a dump run.

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My father-in-law also finished taking down the paneling in the upstairs room, which involved that very stubborn oak ceiling trim, fastened with 4″ finishing nails.

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This is basically where Marsh’s office will be. Picture a wall (of books) on the right where the stairway banister is. Only the paneling in the stairwell remains, where it’s hard to reach.

So what was I doing while Marsh’s dad was doing all this?

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New entryway lock-sets! Locking latches and deadbolts. Required drilling out 2″ holes in the doors, chiseling the insets for the strikeplates, and a lot of careful, methodical work. One more door remains, which needed a lot of repair. As of press time the wood filler was still hardening. So we feel a lot better leaving the house with all the tools in it, etc.

So this is what I brought home to Marsh this afternoon:

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Next: Two days for list-making, prioritizing, planning, and making calls, to plumbers, roofers, electricians, chimney people, cabinet-makers, handymen, and, I hope, getting our estimates from the heating company.

(*That’s what she said…?)

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