Sunday, August 13, 2006

demolition continues

Now I'm getting down to some of the bones of the house. The termite damage extended farther than I expected. It appears to extend upward along 3 studs and then spreads to the left and right when it reaches the kitchen ceiling. The base wall is made of six-inch-wide planks of soft wood and the top two planks were so damaged I could snap them with my hand. In some places the boards were nearly paper-thin. I got most of the damaged boards torn off and now I hope I can save some of the undamaged planking for use elsewhere in the house. Imagine my surprise when I found the wall on the other side of the studs (living room wall) is also planked. It is covered with some kind of mesh-like material that's been plastered over. I can only do about 3 1/2 to 4 hours of work before my arms and shoulders start to give out, so there's at least 2 more days of work before I get this wall torn down. It's also more time-consuming when you're trying to save the wood so it may be three days.

I found yet another layer of wallpaper and an assortment of wiring from different eras including loose wires that I didn't want to touch in case they were live. I hadn't thought to bring a voltage tester with me. A few of these older wires were threaded through the studs via a hollow metal tube. I'm sure I'm going to be finding a lot of code violations. I found one electrical outlet simply jammed into the hole cut into the wood without any kind of box around it.

I got a book by George Nash called Renovating Old Houses: Bringing New Life to Vintage Homes that's already proving useful. Now I may be able to date the old wiring I found to add to my historical as well as my structural info about the house.

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