Sunday, 6 October 2013

Something's Gotta Give!

Wow, I haven't written in a really long time. I'm sorry! Will you forgive me?

The Little Blue House is standing up straight, probably for the first time in a hundred years! We are thrilled. I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago, and in fact, more work has been completed since that time. I will fill you in during the coming weeks...

Our contractor has done an amazing job so far. It is, of course, taking a bit longer than we would like, but that is one of the infallible truths of renovating: it always takes longer than planned, and it always costs more than planned.

Using a laser to check to angles of the LBH, the contractor finally settled on raising the front of the house a full 6 inches! That's a lot. I walked in and noticed immediately that I wasn't leaning to one side. Also, when I sat at the kitchen table (lower right window in picture below) I pulled a marble out of my pocket. I don't always carry marbles around, believe me, but our youngest child gave it to me a while back. I placed the marble on the table and it just sat there, not moving. This is incredible! Every mealtime has been fraught with runaway radishes, pesky peas and other escaping edibles. Now things will be different.

That said, something's gotta give, right?

The Little Blue House, Standing Up Straight

We are extremely fortunate that our original, leaded glass windows did not shatter during the raising of the house. But when you move one part, other parts are bound to move, too. The first bit to break was the floor where the addition attaches to the back of the house, where the original back door used to be, in the kitchen. The picture doesn't really do it justice, but you can see straight through to the ground below through this crack.
Floor Crack #1 in Kitchen

The second bit that gave way was where the kitchen joins the parlour, and it turns out that this, too, was an addition. My husband figured it out first, and our contractor confirmed his suspicion. The original building (probably as it existed in Discovery, before the building was moved to Atlin) was only two rooms, the bedroom and the parlour. The kitchen was a separate building, possibly from Discovery also, that was added on later, maybe when the house was moved to its current location. I don't think we will ever know if the original two parts came from the same place.

Here are the clues:
  1. The door from the parlour to the kitchen, which has always been jammed open due to the crookedness of the house, is an exterior door.
  2. The wall between the kitchen and parlour is very thick, clearly not an interior wall.
  3. The joists & beams underneath the 2 structures run at 90 degrees to each other.
  4. The ceilings don't match up, indicating two previous roof structures, joined at angles.
The crack below is where the house finally gave in to the pressure of being moved. You can clearly see daylight in this picture. The LBH had settled, slowly and comfortably, over decades... She wasn't going to be jostled into a perfectly level position without some sort of protest.
Floor Crack #2 in Kitchen

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