Friday, March 7, 2008

the wall is half empty

our story so far: a simple 'just redo the floors & rerun some wire and be done with it' has turned into a monster. the big culprit was when i decided to take out the wall between the kitchen and the living room. day one: the kitchen ceiling and the chimney from the ceiling to the attic was removed. day two: the chimney from the ceiling to the floor was removed. day three: here we are. i assumed the entire wall would be gone, but know this: i am not a contractor. apparently it's more difficult than i thought, because when i opened the door ...

part of the wall was gone, but part of the wall remained.

this is what it looked like from the living room. on the right, that's my contactor, estanislao. i just call him stanis. i should probably shorten it to stan, but oh, well. on the left is his wife, miss clara. she is delightful. as is he. clara does not like the cold. at all. it was probably in the 50s that day, so she had on a cap and a warm coat.

you can see the lath from the plaster. i still have lots of plaster in the house, some of it sheetrocked over, some of it just plaster walls. my electrician told me found some barge board, too.

although it doesn't look like it, the place is pretty clean. what you can't see is the dumpster sitting in front of my house. the other thing you might not know is the dumpsters--at least this one--cost $325. that includes hauling and the dumping fee. no hidden costs. unfortunately, i miscalculated the amount of dumpitude generated by removing a wall full o' chimney, and with the wall half gone, the dumpster was filled to the brim.
so how much to have the dumpster emptied and brought back? why, another $325. the guy cut me a break, though, and only charged me $275. who figures these things into a remodel budget? show of hands? ok. so other people know this. i didn't.

the sort of good news is that when they brought the dumpster back, i was here. after he finished prying the check from my hand, i walked the guy through the house. in addition to providing dumpsters, he also does renovations. he told me that the wall removal was a good job, and checked out the absent baseboards. he asked me if i found any rot in the studs, and i told him no. he said i was lucky because lots of the houses he does have damage. he walked around and kicked a few things and told me that the house is structurally sound. phew. you never know when you buy something that's a hundred-plus years old, and i need all the reassurance i can get at this point.

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