Replacing One Wall: Surprise Yeah Right

Christmas time brings a two week vacation from work some years, and for Christopher this year was one of them. We agreed that the downstairs bedroom was so close to being finished that he would take down the old lath and plaster on the west wall to finish that room, and build our under stair closet. True to form out 100 year old house had just a few surprises tucked up her skirt for us. Opening up the bedroom wall showed us that some studs were missing, bent or in other ways buggered up. The old original oak was still there in places so it was a pain to get that hardwood out where it had been messed up. We got to see old classic construction with hand chiseled beams, old cut 2×4’s that are actually 2”x4” and handmade square nails. Once we get past reconstruction we have discussed turning some of those old beams into shelves for pictures and finding a way to show off some of those crazy old nails.

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Christopher continued to take apart the walls of the stairway that you walk under to get to the bedroom the real horrors started to show up. The stairs turned out to be horribly under built. Where a 2×12 stringer should have been present only a 2×8 was found. It was quickly obvious why the stairs were so loud and the treads kept cracking on us. Rebuilding the stairs became the top priority. That took tearing down one wall to multiple walls that were in one way or another connected to putting in new stairs. By the time that the dust settled on demolition related to putting the new staircase in the stairs were down with the adjacent walls in both the upstairs and downstairs bedrooms.

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Half of the wall that separates the dining and living rooms revealing more cut beams and sagging in the walls.

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The flooring down to the joists in the area where the stairs would go back in.

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This one project has kicked off work in 5 different rooms of the house so there will be lots of adventures to come.

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