The Office

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1:53 PM
Very much unlike the weekly British-turned-American phenomenon -- this is OUR office. Or, rather, it will be when it is finished. The office is directly above our bedroom and bathroom. It is wee. So wee, that we forget about working on it. Also, it's quite cold this time of year.

Last fall/winter (2010), we were replacing floor boards that were too far gone to repair. Since our entryway and stair situation is far too victorian (read: precarious and narrow) for materials-schlepping, we decided to take the custom-run doug fir floorboards outside and load them in through the office window. The window, I might mention, was already in pretty poor shape .. Well, with D below, I was in charge of "catching" the boards and guiding them into the office and across the staircase into the adjacent bedroom. Long-story-short: I hit the window with one of the boards and broke the frame. Like I mentioned: It was fairly rotten to begin with, so it didn't take much to futz it all up. The window had to come out, or the damage would have been exacerbated. So, up went the plastic. (for a year or so, but that's neither here nor there...) The story has a happy ending. You see, the abatron miracle wasn't exclusive to the porch! It took some fine-tuned sanding on the mister's part (Because I already ruined it once.) but he managed to make it look as if it had never happened! Again: Dug out rot, treated the material with the two-part wood hardener, filled chasms low spots with the wood putty and VOILA! WINDOW! He matched the decorative profile perfectly with the assistance of sandpaper, and various dremel attachments. Yay! Crises (yes, plural) averted!




Before "the incident" (also, before all the nasty paint was stripped from the GORGEOUS 120 year old floorboards)
Halfway!
(SOME) Paint stripped. Now to sand this weird stain up... it's red... and deep.

Beadboard. And plumbing.

When we were stripping wallpaper, we (I) noticed the ceiling was weak, and consequently knocked several holes in the plaster. Why? Because fire.

knob and tube. oy veh...

Weak spots in the office closet were identified when we (D) pulled down the boards installed to hold up the shelves. Those'll need to be fixed.

In case you ever had plaster come away from the lath... this is how you fix it. PLASTER WASHERS! They're cup-shaped washers that you screw to the wall. They flatten as you attach the plaster back to the lath. Finding the lath isn't as easy .. but once you do, it's cake.

Like I said .. As soon as you find the lath ..



WASHERS!

How do I even...

WHAT DO I DO?!

This is one of those "learn-as-you-go" things, isn't it?

Filled some holes in the bedroom while we were at it...

...And in the chimney column

What is this? I hate these!

Office ceiling: Before
Please note the hole(s) I punched in my quest for total paper removal.

Office ceiling: After

More closet interior

Washers in action!

More garbage! I'm pretty sure we've said (on multiple occasions): WHY DO PEOPLE DO THESE THINGS. DON'T THEY KNOW IT'S JUST MORE WORK FOR US?!

Holy walls...

Digging out ALL the loose plaster.

And THEN some..

Office ceiling: during (poor floors)

DON'T LOOK AT ME! I'M HIDEOUS!

And THEN SOME MORE. (for good measure)



Please forgive the quality of some of these photos. I was browsing the photo memory card from my old phone and discovered these gems. As always, there's still plenty to do upstairs. But this is a great reminder of how far we've come. Like in building a chicken coop, there's so many hurdles to overcome. Like not knowing what the hell we're doing. And day jobs. Mostly the latter, because we can learn how to do this stuff. But it's harder to find the time when we spend most of our waking hours doing stupid stuff .. lke teaching kids how to read. (kidding!)

What's left to do upstairs? As I understand it, top priority is skimming the plaster to smooth the surface. If you look closely, you can see the lath-lines in some of the photos. If you are in any of the rooms in our house, you probably won't need to look closely to notice. We had a wonderful plasterman come out to the house and give us a tutorial. I don't think plasterman is his official job description. But his name is Kim, and he does plaster. He loves to see homeowners doing their own stuff. Especially when the "stuff" is THIS kinda stuff.

Heaven help the next person who says "PLASTER?! Whatcha gotta do is tear all that out and put up sheetrock..."

About the author

Lanny is a reluctantly-homeowning anthropologist busying herself with blogging while her husband does all the work on their historic house. In her abundant spare time, she likes to cycle, perfect breakdancing moves, perform at all local rap battles, and research the original owner and map his genealogy in hopes of lurking his descendants on Facebook.

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