Hello, strangers! 🙂 My father-in-law has been here for a week helping me with the house, and he’ll be heading back to Oregon this Friday, so I thought I’d check in and share a progress report with y’all.
We haven’t gotten nearly as much done as I thought we would, but that’s because I tend to have totally unrealistic expectations when it comes to work timelines and how long projects will take. And then there’s that whole “one thing leads to another” thing that generally occurs when I start working on projects. A ceiling drywall project turns into so much more by the time it’s finished.
The first room we worked on was the music room. Back at the beginning of January, I decided to remove the polystyrene tiles from the ceiling to see if the drywall was in good enough shape to salvage. I removed a large section and had high hopes when I didn’t see any damage, but then I hit an area that was just awful. Not only were there big cracks in the drywall, but there was also an area with mold from a leak that used to be in the roof. So I stopped removing the tiles, and I’ve lived with the ceiling like this for 3.5 months.
I can’t even tell you how good it felt to see all of that come down!
Of course, removing the rest of the polystyrene tiles, the 1 x 4’s that were attached to the ceiling, and the old drywall, was the easy part. Doing all of the cleanup was the hard part, and messing with all of that old fiberglass insulation made for some pretty miserable work.
And of course, with the ceiling open, we were also able to see all of the old, scary wiring above this room. I have junctions like this all throughout my attic…
It’s completely illegal to have open, exposed junctions like that in a wall or in an attic. And if I’m seeing that correctly, there’s even one black wire and one white wire with no wire nuts on them. And that was buried in old insulation. That’s what you call an electrical fire waiting to happen.
So with the ceiling open, it seemed like the perfect time to have all of this old wiring in this room updated. I will have such a peace of mind when every single bit of this old black wiring is gone, along with all of those open junctions in the attic, and replaced with new, up-to-code wiring with non-exposed junctions.
With the new wiring in place, we were finally able to install the new drywall. It’s not pretty at this point, but it’s way better than what I had before!
And yes, my striped wall treatment kind of got destroyed. 🙂 I’m okay with that, and to be honest, I wasn’t really being careful with it. I realized a few days ago that the new paint on that wall will easily peel off in sheets. That’s not normal, and when that happens, that generally means that latex paint has been used over oil-based paint. So I’m guessing that all of my walls were painted with oil-based paint. It didn’t even dawn on me that my walls may have been painted with oil-based paint. The latex may hold for a while, but eventually latex over oil will cause a big problem, so I may as well correct the problem now.
With the music room ceiling finished, we moved on to the entryway and dining room.
This time, after we got all of the polystyrene tiles and 1 x 4’s removed, I decided to go up into the attic with a long piece of 1 x 4 and use it to push the old drywall down, rather than pulling it from underneath and getting showered with old insulation. That system worked much better. Of course, it didn’t make the cleanup any easier.
It made me so happy to see all of those old ceiling tiles and cracked drywall come down, but of course, it just exposed more old wiring, more illegal and dangerous exposed junctions, and more work that needed to be done before new drywall went up.
But every time I see one of those old black wires being removed, I feel a bit safer. And now I’ll have much more light in this room. In addition to the chandelier that will hang above my dining table, I’ll also have four recessed lights, controlled by a separate switch, that I can turn on if I’m using the dining table to work on a project and need more lighting.
That’s the progress so far, and today we’re ready for drywall in the entryway and dining room.
I was a bit discouraged that we hadn’t made more progress, but last night I got to thinking about it. Once this ceiling in the entryway and dining room is drywalled (which will hopefully be finished either today or tomorrow), that means that I’ll have new ceiling drywall (and no more polystyrene tiles!!) and updated, up-to-code wiring in my kitchen, music room, entryway, dining room, hallway, and hallway bathroom. That’s quite a bit of overall progress! That leaves me with two rooms (my office and our bedroom) that have the polystyrene tiles, and six rooms/areas that still need updated wiring (bedroom, Matt’s game room, my office, sunroom, breakfast room, and garage). I will breathe such a huge sigh of relief on the day I see the very last bit of that old wiring disappear from my house!