Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Walls that don’t swing in the breeze

Annex/Kitchen, Photo Gallery

While painting the kitchen, I noticed a cold draft coming from the space where the back wall meets the floor. Since drafts are our enemy, I got down on my hands and knees to check it out. What I found was a sizeable gap between the floor and the bottom of the wall; I could easily push the bottom of the wall back and forth. Obviously, not a good thing.

So on Saturday, Don and Teague ditched their jacking plans and instead focused on reuniting the wall with the floor. To see the problem clearly they had to open up the scary room on the back of the house that we’ve been calling the annex. It has been neglected for quite some time, and is by far the creepiest part of our house.

(keep reading for details on the project and tons of photos)

The only easy access to the annex is through the door in our kitchen. This doorway is covered with a piece of drywall, which is screwed into the wooden door behind it. Not the prettiest sight – take a look to see what I mean.

Don and Teague> unscrewed the drywall and opened the door so they could get in this room and check out the problem. Here’s what the room looks like now….

What’s left of the tin ceiling.

Teague surveying the mess

An old sewing table and wooden chairs

I’m not great with the mechanics so Teague will have to tell you the details, but from what I understand the floor didn’t have the necessary supports. It had dropped down so far that the wall was being held up by the ceiling.

Don and Teague put in new support beams, concrete blocks and a concrete footer for a new jack post. They also ripped down the rotting walls on the annex side and put insulation up to keep the kitchen warm. The floor should be MUCH sturdier now.

Here are some photos of their work:

The new support beam

Making space for concrete

The new footing

Don standing in the collapsed floor

Don, next to the newly exposed wall (before insulation)

There were all sorts of strange items left in this room – some were pretty interesting treasures, others are absolutely scary. Here are a few of my favorite finds:

This thing is going to haunt me, I know it.

A big stack of 45s, in fairly good condition

A very old (and very beautiful) Singer sewing machine.

Another sewing machine – this one is a Universal, covered with four leaf clovers.

A wooden chair that has already been stripped.

Another cool wooden chair, needs stripping

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

tchotchke had this to say on 11.29.04:

You should do some research on that Singer sewing machine. If it’s a “Singer Featherweight” it could fetch a hefty sum of money from someone that’s a quilter. I think my mother paid $400-500 for hers. If the sewing table matches, it alone could be $150-200.

Kristin had this to say on 11.30.04:

Any idea why they closed off this room? Nancy Drew senses a mystery …

mindy had this to say on 12.01.04:

We have no idea why this room was closed – might have had something to do with the leaky roof though… the leak was left so long that it rotted out both the ceiling and the floor. The previous owners did some things (though not the most helpful things) to save on heating costs, like put ceiling fans in and a door in the stairway to keep heat downstairs, so it may have started as an easy way to save energy.

The Nancy Drew in me is curious too though – I’ll have to ask one of our neighbors if they know what the story is!

Eilis had this to say on 12.02.04:

My guess is that they closed the room off to use it as a torture chamber for scary dolls and sewing machines. These people were sketch and a half.

Bethany had this to say on 03.01.05:

You should fix that doll and put it up in a glass display as a memory of the previous owner’s kids.

Is the tin ceiling worth anything? I would take the records and sewing machines in to an appraiser. I have sold a few Singers over the years had to rewire one and strip the wooden stand.

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