Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Da roof, da roof, da roof is...5-feet higher!

Sometime between 1895 (pictured above, the earliest known image of our house was published in a special edition of the local newspaper) and 1947 (the year the family whom my in-laws are friends with moved into the house and provided us with valuable information on how the house was laid-out mid-last century), the owners of our home added on.

The addition included a side entry covered porch, a long spacious room (27'x17') and a small bedroom (17'x10') which had an identical sized room built above it as a screened-in sleeping porch.

When we moved in, the larger room had been broken up into a laundry room, bathroom, side entrance hallway and coat closet. Only recently has this room been completely gutted to the studs and has become our mudroom/laundry room/kiddie art studio.

Last year, the low-ceilinged (7') small bedroom became our downstairs bathroom, complete with 8' ceilings, separate shower, vintage clawfoot tub (restored by moi) and multi-media viewing room (don't ask).

Still with me? Okay then, located above the just mentioned downstairs bathroom was a low-ceilinged (7') sleeping porch-turned storage area that has now become an 8' ceilinged space-soon to be upstairs bathroom, complete with a 3' crawl space between it and the bathroom directly below it.

How then, did we turn two stories with a total of 14' vertical feet between them into two 8' tall rooms with 3' of crawlspace between them (do the math...) for a grand total of 19 vertical feet?

We raised the roof of course.

Well, first off, we raised the ceiling in the downstairs room just over 1'.

Then we floored in a 3' section above that room to run plumbing, electrical and heat/ac ducting. That left us with just over 3' for the top floor room as pictured below.

And since even a fully grown Hobbit would have trouble bathing, showering, and applying make-up in an upstairs bathroom with 3' ceilings, our only option was to do this...

I'll not bore you with the particulars and play-by-play analysis of just how my F-i-Law and I accomplished this task, but I will say it involved many hours of planning, four manually-operated mechanical farm jacks, oodles of lumber, massive amounts of sweat, hundreds of 3 1/2 inch air gun inserted nails and a ton of my F-i-Law's good 'ol Okie guts and gumption.

Oh, and a couple of hefty guide poles that made our neighbors and passers-by wonder if we were indeed filming Children of the Corn Part 8 (yes, there have been 7 CotC flicks).

There's more to this epic that includes a goodly amount of wind, daily rainfall accumulation, my fear of falling from ladders above 19' in the air, exhaustion, hammer-hand fatigue, an air nail gun that kept losing it's trigger, and my F-i-Law's first taste of VitaminWater ("This water tastes kinda funny..."), but after a very long day and anticipating some rain and wind overnight, we arrived here...

Then here...

Then here...

And my Elky sits here...

Why blog about this? Basically it's just an excuse to let you know why I haven't been blogging much here. Pretty good excuse, huh?


AMomof2 said...

Very cool. Please don't let my dad see this, he's always trying to come up with some project to try out on us. lol!!!

Annie said...

Actually, I would love to see a play by play analysis of how you did it. It looks amazing.