“That’s Cute.”

After being with David for nearly eight years (time flies when you’re having fun!), I’ve learned a thing or two about him.  He uses the word “quite” when he’s trying to be polite.  He laughs really heartily and contagiously when he finds something funny.  And when he thinks something is frustrating or really annoying, he calls it “cute.”

So the other night when I got home from work, he was outside playing with the dogs and told me to go look at the ceiling in the kitchen.  “When I saw it, I thought ‘that’s cute,’ “he said to me.  I knew then it would be pretty bad…

DSC_0311When I first walked in the kitchen, I saw that part of the ceiling had been taken down.  I realized pretty quickly the contractors did it because they were replacing the pipes that ran above the ceiling boards.

Then I looked closer…



I noticed that was a weird floor/ ceiling material…

The bathroom above this area of the kitchen is most certainly a later addition to the house, so maybe at some point in time the ceiling was converted to a floor… by someone who wasn’t entirely certified in construction.

DSC_0314Look closely at the above picture.  Apparently whoever made this ceiling/ floor combo decided to not use floorboards but rather a table without the table legs.  You can’t make this stuff up!  Best part is there is very obvious water damage to the table-floor.  Sweet!

DSC_0315And even better, in the corner we found a live electrical outlet that had been covered up.  Talk about a fire hazard!!!


The good news here: we have not 1) had an electrical fire and 2) fallen through the table-floor.

The bad news: we didn’t quite budget for replacing the upstairs guest bathroom (eventually to become master bathroom) floor.  We weren’t planning on touching that bathroom for 2-4 years and just living with it as is, but now that we see what horrible condition the floor is in, we really need to replace it and at least install floorboards.  Looks like yet another unbudgeted-for project will begin soon?  Hooray!  One thing at a time, though… we’ve already started demo-ing the used-to-be master bathroom to change it into a guest en suite bathroom.  So since we only have one working bathroom right now, we’ll just have to do these projects in baby steps!  🙂



3 thoughts on ““That’s Cute.””

  1. random stranger

    You guys need to worry more about stuff that matters and not freak out about things that just don’t. I’m not on site obviously, but what I’m seeing in the picture looks like reused plywood rather than a table. It looks like exterior plywood. Could have come from an old utility counter top, shelf, or similar. It is really common in old houses for people to have used perfectly good materials for a second purpose in an earlier remodel rather that fill up a landfill in some poor person’s neighborhood with their discards like we do so frequently now.

    That piece is doing far better than wood floorboards would have if you have had leakage around it. Discoloration doesn’t matter a bit. Rot does. If the wood isn’t rotten then no big deal. Stick an ice pick or awl into it to find out. If it is rotted, spray it with a borax based rot preventative and fix it from below with well fitted and attached plywood. Plywood is WAY stronger and more dimensionally stable than any solid wood product. Your linoleum, tile, or other bathroom floor will never know the difference.

    The “cutest’ thing by far I see in those photos are those hideous cobweb things in the corners of the door frames. I would have gone through the whole house and knocked those things out day one.

  2. what cobwebs??? And does not the above responder know that spiders build webs within hours… Hardly should be a top priority, in my humble opinion.
    I love this website, so don’t let comments like this one discourage you. Ridiculous…..
    Let’s hope it was treated exterior plywood… that would be a lucky break.


    There nothing discouraging about suggesting that people who undertake a huge important project come to a basic understanding of the materials they encounter, the functions they have within the structure, or how to determine whether those materials and functions have actually become compromised. Pressure treatment is most likely irrelevant, what matters is that the laminations stay together. Waterproof glue does not necessarily imply pressure treatment.

    Re: teh cobweb things. They are pretty obvious if you look at the other pictures. Most of that house is mid-20th century construction. That is obvious from the framing pictures if it weren’t obvious from the exterior brick. Note no end courses at all. That means the house is not actually made of brick, It is brick veneer. My guess and it’s just a guess is that house has had two major renovations with the most significant having been in the 50’s or 60’s with a later 80’s era remodel/restyle but not restructuring. Lots of clues indicate that. The brick exterior was most likely added mid-century. No old house that is actually made of brick has large picture windows with no lintels or relieving arches. That simply doesn’t work, equal and opposite reactions and all being a fundamental part of building construction and all.

    So, in short 70’s era faux Victorian detail has no place in that house. That is exactly what those corner details are. What does have a place is trim in a recreated late 19th century fashion, trim that is a recreated mid-century revival style, which is very common around here, or a thoughtful rethinking of detail that considers that the house is actually a hybrid that is being restyled yet again in the early 21st century which is what I would suggest is really the most logical approach. It is not an old thing that is being rebuilt. It is an image of an old thing that says more about the era in which the image was created rather than the era which was imaged.

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