At 9:30 we closed on our new house, and 1pm, we ripped out the ceiling.
Sure, it may seem fast, but as I was browsing this blog back a few months, I realized it was in MARCH that we did an initial walkthough. Talk about patience!
The closing was fast, routine — we signed a million papers, chatted amicably with the sellers, who lended some extra info on the property (I had to hold myself back from taking notes and seeming too eager)… The property was built circa 1800 & 1830 (cape / colonial) and the barn dates before 1850. The property was owned by the Felkers – who are buried in the roadside cemetery just down the street. I’ve already done a stop-and-explore on this — the cemetery contains the parents and one or two children. The Father was a Revoluationary War solider, and the son went on to participate in local government.
We learned a bit more about the stenciling in the house — which (even though it’s dilapidated) is rare. They’re originals by Moses Eaton, which, we learned, are quite famous in these parts. We’ve considered, rather than priming and painting over them, to do some sort of preservation — putting panelling or drywall over them — to preserve the stenciling. It’s not the look we’re going for — but we both appreciate history, and don’t want to decimate something that’s museum-worthy.
Despite all that, there was one demolition we had planned since day one. The house is timber framed, which means there are gorgeous original, likely hand-hewed beams, waiting to be unearthed. We really had hoped the Sellers weren’t planning on coming by today to see their living room being hauled out in plaster bags and loads of lath to the burn pile. But alas, that’s how it was.
We closed at 11am, and by 3, the ceiling was gone.
It was ridiculous hard work — a dirty, dusty, respirator-requiring, crowbar-toting 4 hours of falling plaster, splintering wood — harder than we’ve worked in years.
Within the first few cracks, we exposed the beams (covered in plastic and insulation), and I was super excited for what was to come…
A few hours later, we had the plaster off, the lath off, and the insulation and plastic stripped off and bagged up.
By hour 4, we had the ceiling down, the floor swept up, and were looking at the five gorgeous 6 x 10 beams (some which still had bark on them!)
Next step — evaluate what goes in the ceiling between the beams (more modern insulation) and a finish (beadboard, board, or drywall), and finish off the edges where the beams meet the old plaster, and finish the beams with either paint or stain.
We still have this room to finish, and the kitchen to demo… but it’s feeling more real and achievable (and challenging) all at the same time.
Celebrating Closing Day today…