Shoestring Theory

Currently documenting the house that is eating our lives, we will return to regularly scheduled programming in a couple of more months

Shoestring Theory header image 2

More surprises! And it’s not even Christmas yet.

December 8, 2008 at 7:37 pm by thetheorist

Rocks in my walls
Click pic to embiggen. Rocks, my walls have rocks in them.
More rocks in my walls
Click pic to embiggen. Seriously, more rocks.

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)!

A big hole
Click pic to embiggen. This is where I’ll hide my gold, or the bodies, years from now.
A big hole
Click pic to embiggen. I wish it was bigger, I”d seriously build a trapdoor into the floor.

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.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Justabaldguy Dec 9, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Man, that is an AWESOME house! Who knows, you still might could hollow out that cistern some and have a secret room. Every guy totally needs a secret underground lair, even if it’s not in a hollowed-out volcano.

  • 2 thetheorist Dec 9, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Yeah, we’re turning the corner on putting stuff back together, which is really exciting. I’m getting burned out on destroying stuff and want to see some forward progress.

    Before making any decisions, I may figure out a way to safely get down in the thing (and be able to get back out!). I’ve just kind of guessed at the dimensions from looking down there, can’t swear that I’m right on the size of it.

  • 3 Sierra Wilk Dec 10, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    we have lots of work to do. But im not doing much of the work LOL! (I love you guys)