|Before the Storm (that's our new gutter to the left - it hasn't been installed yet)|
When the sill came out, we could see exactly what we were facing with the living room floor. Cue the
Almost every joist was damaged and/or a total loss once again due to the incredible plague that is the termite! While we knew that some of the joists were damaged, little did we know that all but one were no longer structurally sound. Jason had originally planned to sister the existing joists, which would entail sandwiching new wood around the old timbers in order to take the support of the floor. Once we realized that you could actually put your hand around the end of each massive timber and squeeze it like a sponge, we reconsidered our options. While you may think our decision drastic, we believe it is the best thing for the house.
|Removing the baseboards and lower wainscoting|
|The floor starting to come up...|
|The worst of the joists just in front of the hearth|
In order to attack the living room joists, the flooring had to come out, piece by piece. Before the flooring could be removed, the baseboards, lower wainscoting and the “most beautiful mantle in Pitt County” (according to Preservation North Carolina, who featured our lovely mantle on the cover of their most recent issue) had to be removed carefully from the walls. All of that now resides in our dining room. Jason numbered each floor plank (which are thankfully still in near-perfect condition!) so that they will go back down in the same manner they were originally laid. This floor was an expensive feature at the time of installation – tongue and groove heart pine, affixed to the joists using a hidden nail pattern. Jason will re-install it in the same way, and he assures us that it will look as if it had never been removed.
|I took this picture while standing outside.|
In removing the baseboards near the chimney, we also saw that one of the studs and cross timbers holding up the window were irreparable. Unfortunately, the pests also began to eat away part of the window casing, both on the inside and outside, so we will do what we can to salvage these original hand-carved features. Nothing like a few little surprises to stir up your home remodel!
|Jason removing the stud using a chainsaw|
|All of our living room in our dining room.|
Tune in for what becomes of our living room!