the all-seeingeyeMcAllaster House-Second Floor Renovation

Access panel to space over front porch

Access panel to space over west wing.

November 14, 2006

The front half of the second floor was converted to a bathroom about twenty years ago. The conversion was not an improvement. I'm turning it back into a bedroom or office. There will be a skylight as part of the re-roofing project, and we are stripping the walls and ceiling to the bare studs.

As always, there have been a few surprises, like discovering access panels in some of the walls, and finding that there was a heating duct in the room, but it was just hidden underneath a built-in shelf. The roof joists are tapered from 6 inches at their butts to 3 inches at the peak.

December 3

Working on this house never fails to present some surprise or another. I was bashing away at the plaster in this room and when it broke through, a mix of vermiculite insulation and crumpled paper poured out. The home renovation project became an archaeology project. I spent the next several hours sifting through the mess to recover perhaps 75 letters dating from the 1850s.

December 25

Well, the relatives are back in their own homes, the tryptofan buzz is gradually fading, and tomorrow I'll get back on the household chores-starting, I think, with completing the demolition in this room.

The story continues . . .