was that so much of the original woodwork was intact. Here’s the last time you’ll get to see it:
Also pictured, two driveways and a street with no parked cars and no parking restrictions. Some of my South Philly neighbors will never understand why I’d give up such a wonderful thing.
Back to the woodwork, it was really, really hard to go and chop it all up, but since February I’ve realized that the woodwork was both less restoreable and more replaceable than I had thought. And now I’m so numb from spending money that the extra cost won’t even be noticeable… so long as there’s anything left to pay it with.
Anyways, I’m chipping away at what needs to get done for the big bad insulation+window+chimney+heat contract. My dad and I framed out the skylight shaft and slapped up all the leftover scrap wood from other jobs. The remaining gaps will get filled with spray foam, and then I am taking antique V groove paneling from my neighbor for the rest. You can’t really tell from the photo but this wood sits flush with the existing plaster I’m gonna go ahead and just cover the ceiling with new sheetrock to hide the gaps and avoid having to strip off the old painted wallpaper or restore anything. I know, everyone likes old plaster, but c’mon, it’s enough already. So here’s what it looks like now.
Then I’m having the 3 back windows replaced. To save money, my dad, the carpenter next door, and I are going to rip out the old frames and cinderblock the openings shut as needed. I’m putting a sink under one window and a toilet under the other, so the sills need to be raised. This means it’s time to ask another aesthetic question. Most people like to look out their windows and would say that frosted glass in a bathroom is a mistake. On the other hand, I have the skylight right outside the bathroom door and the view from the bathroom window is this.
So what do you think? I’m inclined to say that I’m better off maximizing light with frosted glass instead of blinds and that I’m never really going to miss seeing all those steel chimneys and power lines. And don’t tell me to go with clear glass and no blinds. This is where the toilet is gonna be. It’s simply not gonna work. So, can you start to see my bathroom yet?
And also, this week I’ve decided to take on one last big, non-cosmetic expense. I’m having all the radiators in the house re-piped and put into 3 different zones. The price made me sad, but I think I could regret it later. Two of the seven radiators I’m keeping have to be redone anyway because one is moving to a different wall and the other one’s pipes fell victim to that fun floor leveling project. The risers to the radiators in the front bedroom have some staining on them, so they may have been leaking. This would not be good at all once the wall below them gets pumped full of cellulose. Then I’m worried that because I’ve reduced the number of radiators everywhere but the bedrooms, I could have issues with balancing the heat. Now there will be thermostats in the bedrooms and they can be reset at will. The bathroom will not be zoned, but will come on whenever any other room in the house is on. I think this will work well as everybody likes a warm bathroom. And finally, the head banging pipes in the basement will be gone. For reference, my head touches the joists down here when I stand up straight, but I can slouch just a little bit and do fine.
And my washer and dryer are set up to go behind there. Not going to work. Plus this way the space I’m standing in may even be usable. Back where that chair is, not so much. The ceiling slopes down and the floor slopes up.
Now my neighbor offered to install my kitchen for me, on the condition that I allow him to frame out the walls and make them level. If you’ll recall, we already did this to the exterior wall, but now we’ve done it to the party wall on the other side. The framing stops 34 inches short of the end of the room. This will allow me to put a standard (ridiculously deep) refrigerator into a little pocket 3-4 inches back from the rest of the wall so it looks like a counter depth refrigerator, which would cost more and be smaller. The oven will remain roughly where it is in this photo (replaced unless I’m completely broke) with a 24 inch base cabinet on either side.
And last but not least (actually it is probably least since this room hasn’t seen any action in a while), a living room “after” photo for Jo Ann. Notice the lights that are on; I now have 7 light switches and 8 lights working in the house!