It's been nearly two months since my last post. I'm sure you were all wondering, "Where is Chris, and Why isn't he posting?" Well, the truth is, I fell into a 20 foot deep cistern that we discovered under the kitchen floor, and have only now been able to get out to share my story. Cistern pictured below.
Of course I didn't actually fall into the cistern, but we did find one. It was 20 feet deep, had a diameter of about 6 feet, and it was totally full.
We used sump pup to drain it into our pond. It appears that it doesn't fill up any more, so we put a lid on it and sealed it up. There was a tremendous amount of moisture in that corner of the house, causing some mold and mildew issues. Thankfully, that is resolved now.
When I last posted, we were stuck in the bathroom. shortly after that post, we added a bathtub faucet, and a toilet seat (CJ is demonstrating how it works, in case you had any questions).
I had saved all of the old kitchen bad bathroom cabinets, cleaned the mold and mildew off of them, and put them in the garage for use there.
The next big project was sanding the floors in the hall and CJ's room upstairs. I think it turned out really well. It was also a huge amount of work, and why we decided to go with a pre-finished hardwood floor downstairs. Pictures below.
In the midst of all of this, we had couple of really intense spring storms. I got the opportunity to use my cousins boom lift to repair my barn roof.
We took out the floor because I needed to put plumbing and HVAC in the crawlspace, but it was too tight to do so. So rather than commit to losing weight and maintaining it as long as we live in that house, we ended up digging about 2 feet of dirt out of the crawlspace so that I can continue to get in there for years to come. Pictured here is my brother-in-law Chris who came for the day with his wife Heidi to help.
As an aside here, there are many things about this project that have made me sore, but nothing has even come close to making me ache quite like doing plumbing. Doing the PVC drain lines was freaking stressful - you put the adhesive on the pipe, and you have about 15 seconds to get it right, or else the glue sets wherever you are. So the combination of stress and then squeezing those pipes together until the glue set, along with spending two entire days under the house in the crawlspace was enough to leave me bruised and sore.
The area above the kitchen was unusable attic space. It was filled with blown in fiberglass insulation, years of slate dust (from our shingles), and a bunch of abandoned wasp nests. we thought it would make a great play room for the kids, so we cleaned out all of the insulation and put OSB sheeting on the floor. We will eventually insulate and put some sheeting on the walls, but the kids love it the way it is right now.
There is a story about taking out the insulation that deserves to be told. I had actually left all of the plaster on the kitchen ceiling, and just planned on having the drywall installers go right over top of it. However, I decided to install like 15 lights in that area, and the thought of cutting all of those holes and moving all of that nasty insulation out of the way for the lights made me decide that it might be easier to just take the entire ceiling down. It took one entire day, and was certainly not easier, but I do think it will look better. While removing the ceiling (I had already removed the floor in the kitchen) I was using two pieces of plywood laid on top of the open floorboards to walk on. I took a step where I though there was a board, but there wasn't. I fell and caught the top of my hip on a floor joist. It took my breath away it hurt so bad. I took a second to catch my breath, checked to make sure I hadn't broken anything (I hadn't) and then quickly finished the final bit of demolition before my hip could tighten up. I had the most spectacular purple and black goose egg (literally that size) on my hip/love handle. I'd have had a picture to share, but a friend told me to put essential oil of lavender on it to help with the bruise, and it cleared up within a few days. Since then, I've pretty much replaced showering with a routine application of essential oils . . . it's great!
As I mentioned, we had a ton of help. In case you couldn't recognize them by their biceps, here a friend, Steve, and his son, Josh, are helping to install the ductwork for our kitchen.
One of the final jobs in preparation for the drywall was to install insulation. Vanessa and dad started that job, and some of our contractor's guys finished up. I believe that they all said it was their favorite job ever.
Floor back in place. It's now level, solid, and doesn't have moisture/mold issues.
Of course no renovation would be complete without a trip to the ER. I sliced my finger on a broken nail, and ended up getting 4 stiches.
I'm grateful it wasn't worse, and that it's been the first injury that has caused a doctor's visit. Drywall is supposed to be hung tomorrow, and finished in the days following, and we have to be moved out of our rental house by Sunday. Nothing like cutting it close. We are excited for this new chapter to start!
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