Sunday, January 13, 2008

I choose door number eight!

The three oldest kiddos got in on the action Saturday morning, helping to bang into some more walls in the future kitchen. As soon as the dust started, they went outdoors.
To the left is the fireplace we unearthed last weekend. Straight ahead behind the white door is another empty, unheated room with a beautiful tin ceiling. That will be the master bedroom. To the left of the white door, unseen, is a steep back stairway. I had hoped we could open it up a bit.Sean with his crowbar obliged. It'll be unframed a bit more and the crooked bulky door removed. It adds to the spacious feeling in the room. Notice underneath the stairs was a walled in door. Caution needed here, it is another entry to the cellar with no stairs! What a great place to put our double wall ovens! No need to build out a wall for them now.

Two other walled in doorways were also unwalled, bringing the grand total to eight doors in this one room. It seems past owners all had a different opinions on the best way to enter and exit the room! I am pleased to announce that there will be only three doors once we're done. The existing one to the outdoors, one to the master bedroom, and one to the mudroom. Through the laced door is our diningroom and we'll open that wall to the right of it wide open.
Sean uncovered some amazingly wide original boards in the wall. This is part of the original 1791 house. So end our adventures for the weekend. A big bonfire got rid of all the lathe and there is a mountain of plaster awaiting a dumpster in the middle of the floor.
Sean also got all the rest of the ceiling and walls down. It is bare bones now.
He also found live wires, uncovered, lying on wooden beams in the ceiling....

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Demo Day - Unearthing a 200+ year old fireplace

Welcome to the ugly red room. Ugly unless your an Indians fan, because this room, in all its beautiful glory, came with green outdoor carpeting and was the previous owners Indians fan club room.
Before it was a football room, it was the main room in the original house. The day we signed papers on the house, my husband took a crowbar and popped a hole into that back wall you see behind Christopher. He had been sure it sounded weird and he was right.

Until this morning, that hole just stayed there. I got up and warned Sean. "Just so you know, I'm putting on ugly clothes today because you said I could take down a wall..." Sweatpants and a long sleeved tee... He laughed.
And since the clothes were pre-pregnancy size, ninteen month old Catherine kept walking up to me and poking me in my exposed middle and laughing, "hu, hu, hu, Mama's belly!"

This is how you guarantee two little boys will nap in the afternoon. Give them hammers and let them have at it.
The first sign of brick. I was very excited.
Doesn't every pregnant woman tear down walls? Some women may get excited over getting their nails done or going shopping. Want to make my day?
Let me do some remodeling.
Old wall paper. Very cute and Christmas-y.
Notice the shelves that had been walled in...

I love that the opening is about four and a half feet tall. Very cool.
That bricked in opening though, very not cool. We had to chip out the mortar around each brick with the backside of a hammer, one by one. So tomorrow in church if my right arm is hanging limply by my side you'll understand why.

And there you have it. It is filthy and sooty since after it was walled in, someone vented a furnace through there. Some genius also sawed off the built in mantle before walling it in. We'll rebuild one using some old beams lying around in the garage.

You can't tell from my horrible photos but the upper half of the fireplace curves outward nicely. There are also two little built in ovens inside the fireplace and iron hooks for hanging your pots from.
It is a lot narrower than any I've ever seen and I'm envisioning a cute little red cast iron woodstove cranking out heat, nestled in there.
Now that I've showered off pounds of plaster dust and have blown all the soot out of my nose, I'm quite happy with the morning's project.
Sean ripped into the ceiling a bit over there and found more plaster and lathe under the sheetrock. Horsehair plaster, which Douglas thought was amazing, and lathe about four inches wide which will burn nicely on the bonfire tonight.
We plan on leaving the ceiling beams exposed. They are massive and hand hewn and linked together beautifully.
Thanks for stopping by! Be thankful there isn't plaster dust floating all over your house!