Archive for July 11th, 2019

I always enjoy the time I spend at Sunset, especially when it’s mostly doing nothing.  This time, besides just relaxing and eating and drinking and getting stoned and actually staying basically on track with my writing, I helped Grace to scope out what’s going on under my floor.  After moving the bathroom linen closet (which is not built-in) we drilled some test holes in the floor beneath it, and once we had a space large enough to admit a certain dainty white hand I was able to feel around to ensure we wouldn’t drill into a pipe, wire or other hidden obstacle.  We soon had a hatch large enough for me to slither through and with the help of a cellphone camera Grace was able to analyze the problem.  From what we can tell, the original house (which was built in 1927) had only three rooms: parlor, bedroom and kitchen.  The plumbing was probably outdoor, not unusual in rural parts of the US prior to the Great Depression.  Then in the early ’50s or thereabouts, the owners added an upstairs bedroom and two plumbed rooms to the east of the kitchen, a bathroom and a laundry room.  But they did not allow for the weight of those added structures, and the supports were placed several inches east of the load-bearing wall instead of directly beneath it, with the result that for the past 6 or 7 decades the joists supporting the east wall have slowly cracked and several have broken loose.  So now we need to redo the plumbing so we can cut out the old pipes to make an adequate crawlspace under the house (the current one would be barely adequate for a leprechaun) in order to install footings and an I-beam to properly distribute and support the weight of the eastern portion of the house after jacking it back into level (it has dropped about two inches, which doesn’t sound like much but is noticeable when crossing the floor above).  I’ve already bought the new pipe and tools, and Grace started the work yesterday.  Once the new plumbing is in we can assess the next step, and though it’s going to be a lot of (dirty, difficult, & expensive) work it’ll be nice to know that my country place is on a solid foundation again whenever I’m sitting around watching animals grazing in my yard.

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