Interesting (?) Choices

Now, I’ve never built an addition onto a house (or any structure for that matter). I’ve also never had anybody else build one for me – or been in a situation where I learned anything about the trials and tribulations associated with the process. So, I claim no ability to tell somebody how it should be done.

Still. Fair Warning – if you have undertaken that type of project on a house which I own and am now in the unenviable position of having to make upgrades or repairs to the work you did (even if it was 50 years ago) – I will judge you.

Last Fall I made some minor repairs to the sunporch just to make it usable for the Winter. This year I knew I had to do a much more thorough job. After moving 95% of the furniture out of the room I started to take down the plastic barrier and the insulation. I’ve mentioned before that Ahuva and I have discussed our encounters with Cowboy Carpentry – this has been on a whole new level.

I was prepared to discover a few things. I know there are a couple of leaks – they appear to be located in areas where the addition isn’t adequately merged with the original house. I also know there must be at least one commuter route for that deer mouse. My trip last week was primarily designed to get the supplies I need to address both those problems.

What I hadn’t anticipated was how important the Covid Pandemic was going to be to the success of this endeavour. It would not have occurred to me that face masks would be an essential part of my work outfit – at this point I’m verging on a complete hazmat suit.

The sheer amount of STUFF that falls on me when I pull down a batt of insulation is beyond belief. It’s not just the dust, or the bits and pieces of anonymous detritus from the roof – it’s the discarded boards, and shingles, and candy wrappers, etc., etc., etc.,

By the end of my efforts on Saturday I could see part way to the other side of the rafters – enough that it was apparent that the original roof on that part of the house is still intact under the one which has been added a few feet above it. Not to worry though – they threw a couple of chunks of insulation on top of the old shingles.

My plan was to finish pulling down the old insulation yesterday and then start spraying the rubber sealant today. As usual with my plans, reality had a different idea.

For some reason I started with the opposite end of the room which meant I couldn’t see what was above me as I dragged on the batt. Then I couldn’t see anything as a 5 pound cloud of brown descended from the ceiling and coated me and everything within an 8 foot radius.

Once I had tracked the mess through the house, scrubbed off in the shower, and returned to the scene of the devastation I could see over the next batt a folded bit of tar paper with more brown “stuff” inside.

There has been some debate on the nature of this “stuff”. I think we all now agree with Kenneth who believes it is something that used to be put under hardwood floors to stop squeaking and make them softer to walk on. What they’re doing decomposing in my ceiling is, of course, one of life’s mysteries.

I’m getting better at this. I wear an N-95 at all times in that room now if I want to keep breathing. Today my outfit will include a hood and a hat, my goggles, my gloves, and my boots. I might even get it all bagged and out of there.

I’m also going to think about what kind of surprise I can leave for the next poor innocent who tries to fix up this house. 🙂


  1. And now you know why my husband stopped decades ago doing any repairs in our house. Harold (may his memory be for a blessing) Rube Goldberged everything he “fixed” in the house for the previous owners (Harold lived across the street.) The guys at the local hardware store would say “oh yeah, that job’s easy, you do a, b, c with parts x and y. We’d open it up and discover that Harold had done K, R, W with parts H, J and N. This morning I needed to get the sukkah walls out of the garage – they were pinned against the back walls by all the stuff that was moved out of the house for the renovation. I looked at the stuff, looked at all the trim that is on the floor in front of the pvc sukkah walls (have i mentioned lately that our garage floods?), and asked Don to help moved the walls out, because I knew no way could I and my family cope with getting the pvc pipe tinker toy walls & ceiling out from the back of the garage without something crashing on something. As for stuff falling out of the ceiling – for years after they put the new floor into the living room anytime I had to change a light in the basement I needed a helmet, goggles and respirator to deal with whatever was going to fall out when I moved the ceiling panels. this is why they say “don’t try this at home”. *grin*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Assuming I actually get this room put back together – it’ll take the winter to recover. 🙂 Stanley decided it would be easier to replace the motor on his fishing boat – the coward.


      1. sigh. well when he wants to get all warm and cozy in the refurbished insulated room – tell him to go cozy up to his fishing boat motor and see how warm that is. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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