That, my friends, is the ceiling in one of our bedrooms with a two foot square hole in it! We had electricians in to update the wiring. Our ninety year old house had the original knob and tube wiring which is rather scary stuff. Especially considering that all our upstairs outlets weren't grounded and that is where we have the majority of our computer equipment. Unfortunately, Mr. Ted, who was the original builder/owner of this house, figured there was never going to be a reason to go in the attic and so never made an access opening. In the sixty years he lived here that proved true I guess. Until now.
We were expecting the attic to be a horror chamber full of dust, bats, and cobwebs but hoping it might contain a hidden treasure or two (that has always been my husband's hope anyway) which would help pay for all the work we're having done. Surprisingly it turned out to be quite nice up there. Not usable nice but quite clean. There was no evidence of bats or any other critters. We have lots of squirrels in our neighborhood that are constantly running across the roof so we worried about those. And we occasionally hear bats in the ceiling. My parents have had experience with squirrels and they can do a lot of damage. Amazingly there weren't even cobwebs. Just a nice thick, but uneven, layer of insulation.
See that vent in the gable? Notice anything? Whatever bozo later added that and at least one other vent (there are 4) took the lazy route by cutting right through a supporting stud! Real smart. That's the only surprise we found. No stash of money or old treasure we could take to Antiques Roadshow.
(UPDATE: My brother informs me it's not a supporting stud, so I guess our house isn't about to cave in after all.)
Here's another picture showing our old brick chimney.
We don't use that anymore and the part above the roof was removed last time we had the roof done. In the basement there is a small door at the base of it that was used to clean the chimney when necessary. Our kids used to think that was how Santa got in the house because we don't have a fireplace. They were pretty worried when we had it sealed up. I can't remember what we told them but Santa continued to come much to their relief. Also, in regards to the attic, our daughter used to think there was a door in the back of my husband's closet to get into the attic. I'm sure it's some tale my husband told her. She used to go in there trying to find it, to no avail.
The electricians finished up and left us with a few other repairs to be made besides the big hole in the ceiling. Our lathe and plaster is old and crumbly so a few other cracks and small chips were made that will require fixing.
Today roofers have arrived to tear off our old shingles. Then insulation guys will do their thing before new shingles go on tomorrow. Here's what the old roof was looking like. After last winter's heavy snow the shingles started curling drastically.
That's actually on the garage, which was the worst. It's a miracle we haven't had any leaks.
It'll be nice to have all the drilling, sawing and banging completed by the weekend in order to enjoy some peace and quiet around here! At least for a few weeks anyway. Then we'll be having new windows installed and someone in to repair all the plaster. That will be a big mess I'm not looking forward to.