Month: July 2012

The Air/Light Shaft

Back when we had our home inspection, we found out that our house had a air/light shaft. These were somewhat common in brownstones as a way to provide ventilation and a bit of light to parts of the house that have no windows – a problem when your house is stuck on the house next door, leaving only the front and back for windows.

The top floor kitchen and bathroom had windows that were sealed with paint, as did the parlor floor bathroom/closet. Curiosity eventually got the best of us and we pried one of the windows open.

The inside of the shaft looked like something out of a movie – doesn’t this look like an abandoned factory where the bad guys are holding the action hero hostage?

Clearly, the shaft is going to need a bit of work. But having a source of light and ventilation for our bathrooms is something  super awesome, regardless of how scary it looks inside.

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Popcorn is for eating, not for ceilings

The top floor of our house has a new-ish ceiling. Best we can tell, there was damage to the original plaster that was “fixed” with dry wall. Eventually we’d like to take down the ceiling and restore it back to its original condition. In the mean time, we can live with it as is. What we cannot live with is the popcorn. There is popcorn on the ceilings. On the walls. On the woodwork. It’s a hot mess.

This is what some of the woodwork in our bedroom looks like:

There is similar sloppiness on the walls and on the doors. Our bedroom looks like a cannon of popcorn ceiling exploded – an no one bothered to clean it up. Until now.

Turns out it’s not hard to remove stray popcorn bits. A wet towel helps saturate the dribbles, which turns them into a paste you can just wipe off. It was a lot less messy than I expected.

The biggest challenge has been the heat wave we’ve been having in New York these past weeks, so this is still a work in progress. To ensure we don’t slack off too much, Sir Kitty provides careful work site supervision: