My wife says I say “Oh crap!” a lot while tearing things apart. Maybe this is true. Gutting an old house reveals all the flaws you didn’t know about when you bought it. Sometimes they are things you are suspicious of, like this bee’s nest:
The bees entered through a hole in the cedar shakes left by a cable TV installer, and built a nest at the bottom of the stud bay. Since it took about 5 minutes to deal with them (a can of Raid and running away), why do people just let nests live in their walls? I like bees. I might even have a few hives at some point .. but they will be outside in boxes!
Another “Oh crap!” moment came when we first knocked out the insulation bats in one room so we could see the roof:
On closer inspection I realized we had skip sheathing on the roof. I don’t know why this came as a surprise. I knew the roof was originally cedar shake with 3-tab composite on top. Cedar shakes are normally installed on skip sheathing to allow them to breath better. Well .. new cedar roofs don’t meet fire code unless doused in nasty chemicals, so we’ll be re-sheathing the whole roof in OSB for a different roofing product. Not an expense I had expected, but not that costly either.
The last two pictures are not of “Oh crap!” moments. The first simply shows the current state of upstairs gutting. No walls at all on the bedroom. Plaster off in the hallway.
And finally, lest you think everything we tear out is going to waste, this shot into the other bedroom shows the huge pile of trim lumber we have saved. My hope is to reuse original trim wood where possible. All of this trim was painted, so we’ll have to find similar painted uses for it. There’s also two baseboard heaters, and a huge pile of the veener siding in that pile. The baseboard heaters are going to scrap metal. It is quite possible that we will end up with baseboard heat to supplement our wood stove, but I’ll be searching for “baseboard heaters least likely to burn down your house” before making any purchases.