Tag Archives: floor joists

Gutting The House? It’s gutting me.

For me, there’s guilt in ripping apart this house and rebuilding it.

First it’s the pain of knowing that you’re cutting apart a house that’s stood the test of time. For us, our house was built in 1843. So it’s pretty much 170 years old, and it’s still standing and it’s brick walls are still square and are still standing. So cutting out floor joists because they’re sagging and the floors are out of level just seems a little mean. To the house, I mean. Mean spirited. Like the house has feelings or something. Doesn’t everyone feel like that? In tune with their house?

No?

Damn. Just me then.

I had this lovely thought when we were pulling out the ceiling joists and I was looking at the timber, that this tree was probably alive during the revolutionary war. The tree whose wood we were cutting and pulling down was probably standing when the pilgrims arrived. These beams, they might not any longer be part of the structural integrity of our home, but we’re going to keep them in our home. We’re thinking of ways of recycling them. I’d like to see them become the benches that will sit at either side of our dinner table, supporting another generation at family dinners.  Stubborn Boy would like to see them turned into our kitchen island, where we will craft all of our delicious food experiments.

(Hard apple cider? Fermented cabbage? Homemade vinegar? Any suggestions?)

Of course these beams will remain in the house. I just need to get over the fact that we’re not hurting the house. We’re making it strong again, so it can stand for another 170 years or longer.