We have to scrape the barnacles off.
And, by scrape, I mean, literally. With a scraper. So. Much. Scraping.
The acoustic tiles came down, and with them went a good 30% of the old, musty house smell. I was surprised at what a difference it made, really.
Then it was cork attack.
These things were stuck on with the worlds most horrifying glue.
So we’re all on the same page? This house doesn’t have air conditioning.
It never did.
It was 100 degrees all weekend.
It gets a bit toasty in there.
So, we had to scrape off those tiles.
And, just for googling googlers who might happen to chance upon this?
Removing cork tiles from walls. It is terrible. I feel your pain.
What you need? Is a “reversible blade scraper” on a handle. A sharpish one. It’s amazing. Don’t try it without one. We did one side of the wall in 4 hours, with two people. The next day, we got through 120% of the space, with one person, in one hour. Get the darned scraper.
So, after the tiles, it was time for my husband and a friend to start gutting the rotted out bathroom.
Fungus, subfloor damage. It was a mess.
Now it’s an even bigger mess.
And we have a pile of bathroom.
The house was vacant for 4 years, but so far as I can tell, the woman who lived here was still using the dark terror shower.
She lived here with all the rot, the leaking faucets. She tried to Scotch tape up the ceiling. It’s sort of sad to look at now. We know the back door and some of the windows were replaced about 7 years ago, and the roof was replaced 5 years ago, though the ceiling was never patched.
We actually know quite a lot about the house, because… well. Small town.
It belonged to a local judge and his wife, who had it custom built in 66. They had two kids, boys. At some point in 1979 or 1980, one of the boys was hit by a car, and he spent 15 years in a wheelchair. The wife ended up a physical therapist, and she worked out of her home. The office was equipped with hydrotherapy tubs and whatnot. The whole house is pretty close to ADA compliant, which is why the halls are so wide. I can’t imagine they were widened later, though. Presumably, she was a therapist before the accident.
I know they were religious, and one of then was of Ukranian descent. There are newspapers and Jesus cards left behind. There were grandkids, because the cork has several Cars drawings. They read a lot. There’s an entire library set-up in the basement, with sections marked out with label tape.
I know one of them drank cheap vodka.
We found this hidden in an upper cabinet. Neither my mother-in-law, nor our 60-something realtor recognized the brand at all. We think it’s from the 70’s maybe?
It’s interesting to be in a house that has some history. One of the contractors that gave a quote for the carpets said he’d gone to Cub Scout meetings in the house in the late 60’s. He also said that the carpets were, in fact, original.
So far as we can tell, they never changed anything. We know the paint in the back was up by 1971, because they marked the boys heights on the door frame.
So, I set out to remove wallpaper.
A brief reminder:
I’d never taken wallpaper down.
It’s not super fun, for the record.
It was slow going, so I put the boy to work.
Child labor! He was so proud of that tool belt. His very own tool belt and his very own scraper. Fancy.
But, he was not 101% committed.
So, we put the baby to work.
I promise, we thoroughly washed her afterwards.
This was it last night, on day 2.
It should be completely done tomorrow. Which is good, because I am beyond sick of it.