Working Upstairs, Working Downstairs

Today, Liz and I split up and worked on different parts of the house. She first started in the backyard, packing up chunks of concrete from our basement demo, many months ago.

Me, I was headed upstairs to the attic with this guy. I’m happy to say that we’re at the stage in the attic now where a majority of the heavy work is done (we’ve hauled out countless bags stuffed with really old and gross blown insulation).

I had done a large part of the work already by scooping up the insulation with a dustpan, but what was left was the smaller bits (harder to get to by hand).

I also took some time to clear out a few of the dusty spider webs that had gathered here.

Unfortunately, the smaller Milwaukee shop vac had two serious problems. The first is that the nozzle size is incredibly small (and it was taking a long time to clear out small area). The second is that the shop vac is portable (we needed it to fit through the small opening/access to the attic). And as such, it ran on batteries.

We had two batteries, but the wrong charger was delivered to us. So I only had as much power as the two batteries had in them, right out of the package (which wasn’t much). After only clearing out small area and working for 20 minutes max, I found myself with a dead shop vac and nothing much else I could do.

I went downstairs to take a break, and to complain to Liz. I found her working on cutting up insulation, and tucking it into the walls by the West end of the house.

It was a not pleasant job, and she had to cram herself high up into the rafters to get where she needed to be. This is me, interrupting her during the process (if you look closely at her eyes, you can see how annoyed she is with me).

As I was in the basement, I looked over at the shop vac that Bob had brought us. And then I started to wonder if it would actually fit upstairs. I decided to take the bottom half upstairs and try it out.

As a reminder, this is the opening to our attic.

Wouldn’t you know it? The dang thing fits. I was kicking myself for not trying this in the first place (we just blew a lot of money on a smaller, portable shop vac, and two batteries, and a charger). I guess we’ll have that guy now for other jobs, but really wishing I would have tried to get the big guy up there first.

Not sure if you can tell, but this photo is looking into the Eastern part of the house, and it’s a tough space to get into. It’s maybe 6 feet wide, but the roof slants down making it pretty impossible to stand up back there. A lot of crawling is needed, just to get back to that area.

A big part of upstairs is just getting thing set up. I needed to crawl and pull a few planks of plywood to set down a base. Then I need to situated the shop vac, then I needed to move the lights in place, then get myself in place.

It’s funny – I used to be all careful coming up here, putting on a Tyvek suit and booties. Now, I just come up in jeans, a t-shirt, and a hoodie. Where I used to be super careful moving around, I’m literally just swimming in this stuff. I’m on my hands and knees, I’m on my back, on my belly. I’m hugging the dirty shop vac as I move it around – I don’t really care anymore. It’s like I’m taking a bath in all this muck, and it’s become normal now.

The back attic area, markedly cleaner! Trust me when I say this is a huge step up from what it was, previously.

// Edit: Good lord, I just looked back on some older posts, and forgot just how bad things were up there, originally. Yikes!

I worked on vacuuming up things for a while, and eventually I started to hear the shop vac strain a little bit. When I moved it back out in the main attic area, I noticed it was much heavier than before. Once I opened up the lid, I realized – I had filled it up to the brim! I had no idea!

This guy is my new hero. When I was working with the smaller Milwaukee shop vac, I was thinking that it would take forever going at the pace I was going. Working with this bigger shop vac, it’s moving along much, much faster.

I’ve still got a decent amount left to do, but at least now I’ve got the right tool for the job.

Basement Demo, Jackhammer Edition
Saturday is Attic Day
Working on the Attic and Guest Room

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