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Memos, and housework

I feel obliged to tell you that I was wrong. Ants do like bananas. (And may I add: "yuck.")

Also, I should officially mention here that my other LJ, mollyringwraith, is now my fandom journal. It used to be my LOTR-only journal, but since the news and obsession with LOTR is dwindling from a mighty cataract to a manageable trickle, I have thrown the doors open to all my other entertainment interests. So, go there for film/book/music discussions from now on. Or at least until I say, "Screw this; we're collapsing the journals back into one."

Discovered this weekend that the DH and I (oh how trendy! I used "DH"!) are safety-conscious dorks. We each tried, about five times, to climb from the top of the ladder onto the roof of our house, for the purpose of taking down the chimney. We each failed, every time. Technically we each managed to get a knee on the roof, and then said, "No #$&*^@ way," and got back onto the ladder. Too steep, no toeholds, nothing to catch you at the edge if you slide, no ropes, no nets, no hooks, no harnesses, no railings, no scaffolding--dude, I work for a construction company, and I see the Safety memos, and I know the kind of risk inherent in falls. This was not safe. We've both gotten on roofs before, but in this case our instincts were flashing red alerts, and I think we were wise to obey them. So now we face the fun task of finding and paying someone else to get on the roof and take down the chimney. Yay.

But we did start bashing apart the bricks around the wood stove inside the house, which is going away to make way for a new furnace. I hear in some houses people can actually hit a button and turn on the heat. Imagine what that would be like! We will know, in a few weeks. Provided we don't fall off the roof.

The plus side: we'll end up with hundreds of red bricks for use in landscaping. That beats grass any day.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 9th, 2005 11:48 am (UTC)
Shows how trendy I am. To me, "DH" is either Designated Hitter, or Desperate Housewives. And neither of those seemed to fit your anecdote. So, please, enlighten? *g*
May. 9th, 2005 12:28 pm (UTC)
Oh. "Dearest husband." Hehe. (Though he'd probably like to be Designated Hitter too...)
May. 9th, 2005 01:09 pm (UTC)
I knew you were talking about Teh Hubby, but I'd never seen that acronym before. Now I know! *enlightened*
May. 9th, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC)
Umm... get a longer ladder? You should be able to step from the ladder rung to the roof. If you have to clamber or climb from the ladder to the roof, you are asking for Something Bad to happen.
May. 9th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
The ladder does reach to the edge, and above; and we tried all kinds of configurations with it. The trouble is the slant of the roof. Neither of us felt safe about the idea of walking on it--much less standing on it and whacking at something with a sledgehammer. :)
May. 9th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
Erm, given that a chimney is usually part of the structural aspect of the house - providing support for roofing, etc - it really isn't a wise idea to remove it as a diy project. *cue images of the side of the building caving in with the chimney. Followed by insurance company refusing to pay, and charges of fraud and endangerment. Several sequences from Money Pit to follow*

Oh, and be sure to have permits before the work begins, in accordance with state, since it is considered structural construction.

Btw, how's the wiring coming along?
May. 9th, 2005 06:31 pm (UTC)
This one's not really a DIY. A very competent furnace installation contractor came out and investigated, concluded that taking out the chimney was the best way to fit the new furnace in (chimney isn't structural here), and advised that we could do it ourselves--which we may once it's reachable from inside. He's taking care of the permitting, the conversion from oil to natural gas, and all the ductwork and cleanup; but assures us that people take down their own chimneys around here all the time. People with more safety gear and flatter roofs than ours, I can only conclude.

(Chimney's in the center of the house, not the side; and the floors are framed around it rather than leaning on it. Architect bro-in-law also advised it was a waste of floor space and figured it should go.)

Wiring is done and working well.
May. 9th, 2005 07:23 pm (UTC)
Erm, ooookay. Guess someone left a bit out of the original post, then. Even with that said, it's still a tricky little operation - soot, holes in floors, buckeling floors if not braced just right, hole in roof, cleanup, disposal, insurance and liablity. Not to mention, older homes have a habit of reacting in unexpected ways when chimnies are removed - supporting or not.

*Shrug* Even with my credentialed associates saying to do so, it's not a task I'd volunteer to do myself to save a few pennies - let the hired help do it.

(trivia: Approximately 60 percent of the total permits were for chimney repair and removal in seattle.)
May. 9th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
Heh, yeah...I realized in reading it over that I never said we were acting under professional advice, and didn't merely take it into our fool heads to get on the roof and start bashing things. Didn't mention it because the point of the post wasn't to detail our boring house problems; it was to confess the total failure of courage when faced with a dangerously sloping roof. Which is probably proof of our intelligence, actually--real fools would have gotten up there anyway. ;)

I'm all for letting others do it. Hoping I can rustle up a good contact from work to do so; or the furnace guy might hook us up.

Bashing the interior decorative stuff, though--that was kinda fun. Hard work, but fun. In sweeping up shattered mortar and hauling bricks outside, I could pretend I was cleaning up London after the Blitz. (Which accounts for my dream last night that Winston Churchill's ghost was trying to flirt with me in Westminster Abbey. That scamp.)

(60% of which total permits?)
May. 9th, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)
I'd assume he means 60% of the total OTC general "home repair" permits being that Washington State law (like most state's) requires permits for chimney work if it is considered "structural" (which many are because it changes the integrity of the home... ie - murky area). As a homeowner, I've learned that one should retain any inspection and repair/renovation documentation of most projects to show future buyers. You may have to disclose the work later to buyers and it could help increase the value of your home (personally, I'd keep the wood stove too if one could since it provides for you to list that the home has two forms of heating... for example, we have three: heat pump, electric heat and a wood stove though we never use it - it is always good to have a back up). Keep records of most everything that you do to your home!
May. 10th, 2005 09:42 am (UTC)
Aye, we've got the Large Binders of House Documents gaining weight in the office. Out here sellers are required to fill out a form stating whether the house has undergone any of the named changes/damages, but other than that...well, given the tight housing market, people are lucky to get such details. We'd love to know what in the name of mercy the previous owners did, in several instances, but they were shining models of incompetence and shouldn't be imitated. Our fault for buying, I guess. (On the other hand, we paid a lot less than average for houses around here, so that's the bargain.)

If the wood stove were one of those nice smallish models, and placed better, we'd probably hang onto it. Unfortunately it's kind of a beast, and stuck out into the middle of the room. Horrible feng shui. :) Since we're going to gas, though, we're leaving the option open for a gas fireplace. Guess there's always baseboards, too...
May. 9th, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC)
But you are freaking me out a little, so I'm going to call our contractor and have him verify one more time that the chimney isn't structural and we should really do this. (Since, hey, it's cheaper to leave it there and work around it. Question is whether the house will be more desirable without it or with it. So far we're all voting "without".)

Could you come by the ol' LJ once in a while with a purpose other than freaking me out? Just, you know, as a special favor? ;)

Say, for instance, to discuss the Narnia trailer. (Granted, I'd prefer the discussion to be along the lines of casting, effects, and cinematography, rather than the already-tedious "It's way too Christian!!" vs. "It's way too unChristian!!" debate.)
May. 9th, 2005 07:42 pm (UTC)
I spread the joy with the world where ever I go...it's my duty. ;-)

I can't say I'm looking forward to the Narnia movie, really. The cast looks ok, and the visuals aren't bad - but, I suspect it will be just another step in the "vapification" of culture. Maybe it'll surprise me with an accurate presentation of the book.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )