Some broken stairs and an extremely brittle roof

One of my fears has sort of come to pass. We did hit a snag with the drop stairs. The first set was broken and needs to be replaced. Second, the ceiling is extremely brittle and when a space was cut out for the stairs, a fair amount of the plaster came loose.

The actual ceiling is still in tact, but right at the opening, it peeled away just like it did when I removed the wallpaper border in the bathroom. Clearly nothing Brent has done, but I have to say it fills me with concern that the entire ceiling is going to give way and come crashing down. Had I been doing the work, I most likely would have soiled myself and screamed in terror. Since it happened while Brent was doing the surgery, I don’t feel so bad.


For some reason that ceiling appears far more cracked and damaged than any other room in the house. And yes, that was well before we cut into it. It’s like it was done at a different time or has different material.

The plaster in the affected area will be covered up with support boards from the stairs and will be patched with plaster. There is so much patching plaster in this house you have to laugh.

Brent says the ceiling is stronger than it looks and should be fine for many years to come. He has full confidence everything is fine.

Well, it sort of has to be. We’ve put a giant hole in the ceiling so we need to make the best of this. We can’t stop now!

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Carving out some space for an attic

Finishing the bathroom was supposed to be a finish to the work on the house. Turns out that’s not the case. As hinted at previously, Brent talked about carving out a space for an attic. Since the house is very light on closet space, it seemed like a good idea. Brent is the only one who has managed to squeeze and snake his way up the exceptionally small hole cut in the closet ceiling that gives access to the attic. How he got up there I don’t understand, but he says there is a lot of room up there and unlike what most people are used to, there’s nothing up there. No duct work, no wires, no piping, no cables. Just some slats and beams. I took his word for it and construction has now begun on making a new opening and then laying down boards to make a 16×16 space that can be used for storage.

This is going to be a bare bones affair. We will use the standard drop stairs and the floor will be some sturdy boards. Some wiring will be run for lighting with a simple switch. This isn’t a room, just storage. A couple of adjustments will need to be done to the beams, but it won’t have an impact on the roofline or structure of the house.

While it doesn’t seem or sound like a big deal, it does involve cutting into the ceiling which makes me nervous. I think it’s a good idea and if this place is going to have storage space, it’s almost a must have.

Brent feels confident so we are going to forge ahead. There is quite a bit of labor involved in this project and the stairs won’t be cheap either. The timing could have been better and we should have done this before the floors were restored. But who knew there was this sort of space available and the floor was already scheduled.

I think we should be fine.

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Painting the bathroom Part 2

So the first coat of paint is on the walls and once this dries there will be some patch work to do and then another coat. Everything gets two coats.

The walls in the house are quite old so there are plenty of hairline cracks all over the place. They are mostly cosmetic and just need to be covered over with a bit of spackle. Plus, there are lots of rough spots on the wall that could use a little smoothing out. The dining room is held together with caulking compound and at this rate the bathroom will be held together with spackle.

Had it been part of the budget, the best course of action would have been to take down the walls and replace them with drywall. However, that would have been a major undertaking on it’s own and considering the walls really aren’t damaged that didn’t feel entirely necessary. With some new paint and filling in the problem areas, this should work just fine.

Again, this is one awkward space to work in. Normally just a step stool is needed, but the ceilings are so high that a full ladder has to be used and that leaves little room to walk around.


Things are starting to look better. The paint looks a little whitish, but it really has a lot more blue in it. It is a bit shiny, but that’s ok.



The trim still needs to be done, but that isn’t a critical component. Running around the small area with a brush is far easier than going over all the walls with a roller. I can use the step stool for the other bits.


Just a shot showing the old color in the corner and the new color on the wall. Clearly that is too small a space for a roller so out comes the brush.

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