As with every project, as soon as we think, "we're almost done, just another couple of hours...." we run into all kinds of snags and unexpected complications. Just when we were getting the beam all ready to go up, one little thing after another kept cropping up (split joists, bowed boards, electrical confusion), and what we kind of thought would be an afternoon job consumed the whole weekend.
Dale spent entirely too long with his head and shoulders in the attic space, with some odd splicing to figure out. We had to cut a larger opening to sort this out, but it will be handy so we can access the wiring when we put can lights in the kitchen.
While Dale was working on electrical and constructing the laminated beam, I took down most of the kitchen ceiling tiles and the furring strips. I still have a row or so to go, because this is where our work zones overlapped.
The ceiling itself is actually in a lot better shape than we'd anticipated. There are small cracks, but no separation between the plaster and the lath, which is what we were afraid we'd see. These small cracks are typical of plaster ceilings, and we can patch these up just fine. There are a few small places where the plaster is soft, over the window and another small spot in the middle. I also removed 3 layers of wallpaper on the window wall.
We've managed to pile up quite a large amount of construction trash. We got rid of all the bathroom construction trash over time, rather than renting a dumpster, and we'll get rid of this the same way.
So taking the wall down gave us a pile of 2 x 4s with a ton of nails in them.....
that we added to the boxes that are filled with the plaster and tile. The trashcans are full of ceiling tiles and wallpaper scraps....
and we finally got the beam installed and the remainder of the old wall taken down. The house is dusty, the floors are filthy and there's pretty much a film on everything. But.... I don't have final photos because we still have the temporary support wall in place. Dale got called to go into work this evening, so that last little step is still there before we can get a real feel for how it is going to look with the wall gone!