Thursday, February 19, 2009

The state of the house

It's a mess.

The furniture are pressed up against each other in the middle of the room, seemingly terrified of the wires hanging from the walls. The wires hang from the walls because electrican #1 wants to let elctrician #2 out of the attic ASAP. So they tap and drill down through walls, use something called a "fish stick" and leave cold wires hanging out to be attached later.

The walls are lathe and plaster, so every time they cut for a new outlet there is dust, and insulation, and yet more dust. I went to the dentist for my cap and as I sat in their oh-so-clean environment I realized I was covered in dust. I had dust in my ears.

Before we began this project I had expected to have wire molding throughout the house. When I got the bid I was assured they would not need any. Everything can be done from that attic. This turns out to be almost true. Outside walls where the roof slopes down are impossible. I will therefore have wire molding for the light switch at the back entry, along the bottom of my bedroom walls, and around Gary's basement bedroom. Still, that is much better than what I had imagined.

They love my house. It was built in the mid-twenties and I have heard them tell each other how well built it is. Electrician #2 almost patted the walls when he said, "It was built with love and care." They admire the old light fixtures and seem quite pleased that I want to keep them.

My attic was insulated when the house was built. There is, I am told, cardboard, a "blanket style" insulation, more cardboard, and then two feet of blown-in insulation. The last is a grey fluffy stuff that travels out of the attic and through the house whenever ectrician #2 comes down, though I know he tries to be careful. He says it (the insulation) must be original because where they ran out of cardboard they used copies of The Saturday Evening Post. He brought them down for me. A couple are yellow, torn and damaged. Two are in remarkable shape and one, from October 1926, is in beautiful condition.

They tell me also that they have found some scary re-wiring buried in the insulation. We have been even less safe than we thought.

So it is good, all this work.

I am grateful that we have secure jobs and can afford to have it done. I feel almost patriotic in hiring someone to do part to save the economy. I love seeing the extension cords slowly disappearing from around the walls, and I look forward to having safe outlets everywhere I need them.

But the dust. Did I mention the dust?

It is everywhere.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous. Our house was built about the same time. We updated the wiring last year and some of the windows. This year no updates but we're trying to keep things as original as possible, the last owner not so much. I love owning an old home with character.


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