Another week, and more surprises. The dismantling continues, though we are very nearly down as far as we need to go. Some re-building has begun. We’ve got the new master closet and bathroom framed in. My friend Don and I also planned out the plumbing for the new bathroom this weekend. Hopefully by next weekend, we’ll start putting the bathrooms together and at least have in-door plumbing again.
Anyway, first on the surprise list: Rocks! The east rooms of the house were added on at some point, and they just hung sheetrock on top of the old exterior siding. To properly redo the electrical, we tore the siding out this weekend and discovered that at the bottom of the wall, between the studs, were rocks, fair-sized limestone rocks. Does anyone have any clue as to why this would be? I haven’t been able to come up with any credible ideas. I thought maybe some kind of early vermin control, but that doesn’t seem to have worked.
Next surprise: a hidden room (kind of)!
We tore out the floor in the old utility room due to a fair amount of water damage on the floor. The water heater had a small leak that looked to have gone unnoticed for quite some time. I was tearing out the floor at night, with just some flood work lights, and so didn’t notice this at first. The shadows covered it up when I only had two floorboards out. I’m relatively lucky I didn’t drop a leg down into it. Below the floor is what appears to be an old water cistern, for gathering and storing water when the house was built. The chamber appears to be about six to seven feet across and about five feet deep. I could get through the hole if I really wanted to, but it would be tight. If the entire thing was a bit bigger, I would totally build a trapdoor on top of it and have the hidden room I’ve always wanted. But, as it is, I don’t think that is very feasible.
In hindsight, I also think this heavily contributed to the rot in the floor. We covered the hole up for an afternoon so no one would drop through it. When I picked up the board later, I discovered a ton of water condensation on it. I’m going to need to figure out some way to effectively seal the hole to stop that.