As Kerry had mentioned, we have a few (read: a huge list of) home projects this year. There was one that we had been putting off that lately has been getting worse and worse. Ever since we bought the house, there has been a crack developing in our upstairs hallway. The crack started off as “eh, not so bad,” developed into “I should probably do something about that,” and most recently reached “OH MY GOD THE HOUSE IS FALLING APART” levels.
Here’s a picture of the crack. Okay so I over-reacted, but a crack getting bigger is scary to me. I had a plan to maybe fill this crack myself (like we did in the office) but I think it was beyond that point.
Another issue was that there were two floor boards underneath the carpet that obviously were not supported well. Every time we would step in a certain spot, it felt like a foot was about to fall right through the floor. I suspected that this floor problem probably had something to do with the wall. I was beginning to suspect this project would be out of our scope, but I thought I would at least rip up the carpet and see what was underneath.
I wasn’t positive I needed the Bane/respirator mask, but I mean, it’s cool, right? So I put it on, got out the exacto knife, and went to town on the carpet.
FYI: ripping out carpet sucks.
Anyway, when it was all done, it looked like this:
Before we focus on those floor boards, let’s pause for a moment and focus on that tape. Yes, tape. This floor upstairs is not great flooring. It was never meant to be seen by visitors. in 1890, when the house was built, the nice floor would be installed downstairs, and the upstairs would be done by any random wood they had. So this floor was never meant to look good, and over time it appears some holes may have developed. And someone, along the way, decided, “Hey, you know how we should patch this? Tape. That’ll work.” So yeah. Tape.
Also, floor boards like this don’t exactly seem correct. Again, I’m not an expert, but this just looks wrong to me.
If I were a little more confident in my skills, I would have pulled up that floor board myself to see what was going on. But since a contractor friend of ours said that there is a chance this is a bigger structural issue, and that we could be missing a header in this end of the house, I decided that maybe I should have him come look at it.
When the contractor came out, we actually got a few pieces of good news. 1) The header was done correctly, so the crack wasn’t a big issue; it was just a 125 year old house settling. 2) The floor board was easily fixed; it just needed another support underneath it. 3) The reason the floor had been removed originally was to run electrical, and the electrical was done well. So that was all very reassuring.
We did have him do some work. He tore out the cracked plaster wall and replaced it with drywall. He also leveled out and fixed the floor for us. Next up is getting new carpet, which is going to be an adventure. If anyone has any recommendations, please let us know!
2 thoughts on “First Home Project of 2015!”
Probably not necessary to tear out a plaster wall just for a crack like that. A couple hours work and less than $10 in materials would have taken care of it.
Hi Lynn, yes, we’ve repaired a lot of cracks in our plaster walls. This one, though, was potentially caused by a very serious structural issue, so the only way to determine the cause was to open up the wall and look inside. Believe me, we would have much rather just patched it like our other walls!