Bad news, good news and “Story in a Nutshell”

The bad news is that the ends of those two uncovered beams that were in the pantry ceiling are rotten:


They’ve been that way for a long time, had been reinforced somewhat before the ceiling was put in, and the bathroom/pantry walls were really taking the load for many many years.

Now that we’ve removed the ceiling and those walls, though, we need to find a way to support those beams. The choices at the moment seem to be either:

  • Reinforce the existing beams, and then recover the kitchen with a new ceiling (probably made of some sort of wallboard).
  • Buy replacement antique beams to replace the beams over the new kitchen, splice them somehow to the remaining length of each beam (over the dining area) and then support everything with new posts at the end of the kitchen (between the kitchen and dining areas) or by some other means.
  • Buy/make new sawn beams and use those to do as described above.

Our first choice is to use antique beams to match the rest of those in our house, but that can be pretty expensive. Stewart is investigating the options. All of the solutions will work, but we don’t know yet how this will be resolved.

On the good news side, as of Friday, we’re starting to see the new rooms in the house take shape.

On the main floor, the new bathroom/mudroom walls are laid out, so you can see the basic shape. This is the view from the front door:


That angled wall will be the home for our pine armoire, a place to hang coats and such as you first walk into the house (just a bit nicer than the pile on the floor we used to have…). In the bathroom, the sink and toilet (yes! that one you’ve seen in all the pictures) will go against the angled wall, with a 40″ partial wall between the two (position indicated by that bit of wood perpendicular to the angle).

Here’s the view from the dining area:


The tub will be against the straight wall in the foreground here, with the door in the straight section on the left (before the angle starts). In that corner between the tub and door walls will be (YES!) a laundry chute! The chute will start upstairs, in the closet next to the upstairs bathroom, continue down through this bathroom, and open into a waiting basket on the basement floor. We’d love to have a dumb waiter to get the laundry back up the stairs, but the chute is better than nothing and will provide Hyla and her friends with endless fun, we’re sure.

Speaking of the basement, the walls are going up for the office, which will be the only finished room in the basement right now.

This is what it looks like from the workshop side of the basement (next to the basement entry doors) into the office:


This is the wall where the laundry chute will empty out against.

And here’s the view from the laundry area of the basement, through the stairs:


When we were visiting this weekend, Hyla quickly discovered the cozy spot under the stairs and claimed it for her own. We hadn’t thought about it before, but we really had no particular use for that spot, so we’ve asked to have it walled in with a little doorway left so she can have it as a hideaway of her own. She’s named it “Hyla’s Story in a Nutshell”

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