I know I have been MIA for what to me seems to be about 4 months but I have been super busy trying to figure some things out. I wish that I could say that voila! it is all done and I was just holding out for the grand reveal, but unfortunately that is not the case. Now don’t get me wrong we are still chugging along, but we have hit some bumps that have slowed us down. (Sorry for the extended and overly used metaphors)
So first order of trouble is a nice surprise that we found doing some HVAC work. Asbestos! Now before you go crazy condemning the project, me, and anything I have touched, it is important to learn about the extremely hot button word. When the house was built around 1914, asbestos was used for its amazing ability to insulate. It was better than anything comparable in the market, and it has very low conductivity levels. The name asbestos is the nickname for 6 naturally occurring fibers that were used for insulation. Many people are afraid that just having it in their house sitting there will give you lung cancer, but that is not the case. Asbestos is not like some dust that travels in the air for a while, instead it settles, and only becomes dangerously airborne to the person that disrupts it. The kind that we had only covered portions of the house, and it was a thin paper-like form. Most of it was perfectly intact and hidden in the walls around the outside of the air-vents, with no way of exposure, short of us pulling all of the piping out. But since our society is conditioned to panic at the mere thought of it, we had to take care of the problem. So we had two options. safely encapsulate it using whats kind of like a thick icing that destroys any chance of fibers going airborne, or to take all of it out. To take it all out would mean us losing about 2 weeks, and $5,000 for the same effect as the $1,300 encapsulation that took half a day. We chose the first; it is still perfectly safe, and now we have documentation from an expert to show any potential buyer.
Second derailment. Inspectors are interesting. I really do not want to say anything bad, so I will leave it at that. But we have probably been slowed down by about 3 weeks now due to permits, subs being frustrating with permits and the inspectors. I’ll give you a brief rundown of our latest grief. The electrical inspector (who is also the framing inspector) likes to just show up on days that we have told him and he knows that he will not find anything new. And, he wants us to rewire the entire house with these loaded circuts where the materials alone cost $1,200. That is ridiculous, and I am not sure how that one is going to play out (passed that one off to my mother, she has a great ability of getting things like this rectified). In addition, he has admitted that he is not really a framing inspector, and therefore does not know what he is doing. So he came one day when I was not there, but the plumber was, and started yelling and carrying on that the whole house is going to fall over and that so much work had been done and we need new permits and bla bla. Well yes there is work being done, no it is not going to fall over, and no there is nothing different between the plans submitted and what is happening in the house. So after my mother tried to talk him down from the ledge, he still wouldn’t accept us until we had a structural engineer come out. So we did, and of course the one place we were concerned about, he was too. The master bathrooms joists look like swiss cheese. Since the house has gone through a couple of renos, lots of piping has eaten up the structural integrity of the wood. The main problem with this… My beautiful kitchen with floor to ceiling cabinets is directly under this. So for the two unstable beams we need 2×6 beams under that eat into my kitchen, with additional 2 2×6 beam running through the middle. I worked around a way to still make this kitchen beautiful, it just screwed us up since we were hoping to install the cabinets this weekend. It is never smooth sailing, I can tell you that much. (this house is forcing me to talk in cliches, I swear!)
So in short, the new supports needed are slowing us down probably by about another week since drywall and rough inspections are dependant on these beams now. Despite that, some things are defintely coming together. Here is a much needed photo update.