Last Saturday, Billy and I were at the barn, prepared to do some (not particularly gratifying) labor: tearing a bit down, cleaning up debris, trying to get 200 years of dust and hay out of our future homestead.
But we had a very pleasant surprise: the assistance of one Chris King. And with Chris around, we got far more done than we could have alone.
On the agenda was to tear down the bowed and slightly rotted part of the hay loft in order to elevate the ceilings in the great room. We began working in the space we’ve been calling the middle room (as it fell between the mud / storage room and the workroom in the original barn layout). It’s quite strange: it had a bizarre steel contraption coming up from the floor with pipe and a drain, and it was surrounded on all sides with large tiles that we suspect are asbestos. Or so we thought. As it turns out, the floor was not asbestos, but masonite board. And under the masonite, wood planks. It was quite exciting to find floors in great shape that can likely be salvaged.
Besides pulling up the masonite, the rest of the walls and ceiling of that room had to come out. We did it in sections, hauling away garbage cans of shattered tiles from the space. As the ceiling came down, we learned that a squirrel or two – nay, a whole scurry of squirrels – had once made themselves quite at home. (Though squirrels are largely solitary creatures, Answers.com says that a pack of squirrels is called a scurry. I googled it, so it must be true.) I’ve never seen so many nuts (from sycamore trees, I think) in my life. They poured from the ceiling as we took down the tiles. We probably removed at least 4 full garbage cans of the petrified tree fruit. That, in addition to hay and dust and rainy conditions, made for a particularly dirty workday. But at the end of it, we had pulled down the middle section of the hayloft:
The part to the right will remain as a loft; the part to the left will also come down. But we were able to get a feel for how high the ceilings will be in the great room…… and it’s pretty darn high.
Since we’re only occasionally part of the major progress, it was very cool to see such a drastic change while we were working. Chris has been there this week, too, and Dave and Adam (Tom’s crew) put in a day while Tom recovers from knee surgery. Billy and I will be back this Saturday for… you guessed it: more demolition. (Maybe the last bit of demo?! Hey, a girl can dream.)