Thursday, March 28, 2013

HUGE... tracts of land!

Here's what we found in the Baltimore houses last weekend.

In Annapolis Bog the contractors have cleared out everything but every third floor joist. This is to keep the walls from falling down and annoying the neighbors. But when they tried to build a platform on some of these joists so they could work on putting in new roof joists, the floor joists collapsed. So, new plan.

The basement floor turns out to only be two inches thick. A hole in the floor allowed the contractor to shove a three foot rod through it. The rod came back with two and a half feet of mud. The good news is the termites have drown. And the foundation is solid. It's just only under the walls. So the first thing we do after this initial construction is to smash the floor, beat it into the mud, build another floor on top of that. Does this sound like a Monty Python bit to anyone else?

I'm wondering what happens if we pump out the mud. Do I get a sub-basement? What if I put pontoons under there? When the oceans rise do I get a house boat?

Meanwhile, over at Norman's House, we spent much of the weekend on electrical work. We found where the power for most of the top floor came up through the kitchen walls, the bathroom wall. We tried to run new wire the same way, but failed. Still, the old shitty wire is gone, and I was all set to run a new line up near the front of the house.

Where that line was going was to an overloaded box near the skylight. I'd already built a floor up there from used 1x3s, so I climbed up into the skylight, curled up in a ball, and played with wires while Yummy took apart the bathroom light switch and told me what wires she saw going where.

That was for the second circuit I ran. The first circuit finally got something attached to it. Norman's bedroom has a light with a pull chain. No switch at all. Yummy had been working on removing the lath from the hallway ceiling which made it easier to run wire, but not easier to get where I needed to be. So I had to crawl along on my back (easier than on my belly) until the roof joists touched my chest. Then a bit further so I could roll over. Here's where the light was hooked up. Old fabric covered wires had run from the previously mentioned overloaded box to this light and then on to other lights. Since I'd already disconnected them from the box and removed the light from the bedroom, I could just yank them and shove new wires through the ceiling. Then, back in the open hallway, I ran wires down to a switch I'd put by the door. Voila, the house has a significant technology upgrade!

Note: run power to the switch before it goes to the light. This ensures that when the light is off it really doesn't have power.

Yummy got a lot of lath off the ceiling and walls. Then she started stripping wallpaper from the plaster so we can patch the plaster wall this weekend. It's much easier to describe than what I did, but I think hers was more work. Both of us were glad to let the other person do what they were doing.

Soon I'll get to finish the 3 switch/2 light circuit I talked about a few weeks ago.

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