Guest Room Ceiling Demo, Attic Cleanup

Busy day for me today. Started things off driving up to Skokie to pick up some meds for Phineas (he’s been dealing with some digestive problems). Because the vet is so far away, Saturday AM was the best time for us to go and pick things up.

Came back to the house, suited up, and got to work up on the second floor. My main goal: demo the ceiling in the guest room, and clear out some of the old electrical that’s still up in the attic.

It’s silly, looking at things now in this room. Because a long while ago, I threw up washers here, thinking we’d save some work and put up a layer of drywall underneath the existing ceiling.

Since then, we’ve taken down the ceiling pretty much everywhere. And right now, it would be more work to keep the old ceiling. So… demo day it is.

Another goal of the demo here: clear the way for a small furnace room, which we hope to get complete/active in time for AC this summer.

Because there are still a few remnants of the old electrical still in this room… I crawled into the attic to try to trace/verify that the lines were all dead.

Been a long, long time since I’ve been up here. This is me, looking back towards the guest room.

There was an old line of greenfield that went from the guest room line, all the way towards the back. I slowly crawled my way across the joists, lifting a bit of insulation as I went, and tracked it around the chimney stack.

To my surprise, I found another old bit of greenfield, going towards the North side of the house. I had no idea where this went to, and couldn’t tell if it was sending or receiving power. I realized a bit later there was a very old (unused) outlet in my current office, and this line likely fed that guy. Verified that the outlet was dead.

The main light fixture in my current office. One line comes from the mystery corner, a second comes from the guest room, and a third carries over to the nearby bathrom.

The ceiling light fixture in the bathroom, a mixture of old and new.

I felt pretty confident most of the old stuff was dead, but because things intersected here (and our bathroom was still active)… I paused a bit. I was ready to start tearing out all the old wiring, but this stayed my hand.

Downstairs, I made a brief map of all the various greenfield lines I found. Most everything on the second floor has been disconnected, but the biggest question mark was the bathroom. Unable to remove anything safely, I switched my focus to demo.

I decided I’d just start with the demo, and work my way around the light fixture for the time being.

Crowbar. Ladder. Bin. It’s been a while, but it’s also like riding a bike.

In the late afternoon, Bob came over and I got his help looking into the bathroom electrical. He was able to verify that the office ceiling light was dead, as was the old line going into the bathroom ceiling light. He also opened up several of the boxes and freed the old wires, allowing me to remove things from the attic.

Back up in the attic. On pulling away some additional insulation, I found an additional bit of new greenfield, leading from the light switch, over to the other side of the bathroom (powering our sconces).

This was a great discovery, because it accounted for the last bit of electrical up in the attic.

After Bob’s verification, I was able to start dismantling some of the old greenfield. Been a long while since I visited this part of the house. And as I was working, I felt like I was just rolling around in the insulation.

It was a slow bit of work, pulling the old greenfield from the back of the house, all the way towards the guest room. The greenfield was buried within the insulation, so it was crawl, unearth, pull, repeat. Joist by joist.

Back a the guest room ceiling light. A lot going on here, and lots of old greenfield lines.

There’s one line going towards the back of the house. One line going towards a light switch for the guest room. Another going towards an electrical outlet. And an additional one that leads to the back office.

Also – an old gas line, that was abandoned. Because back in the day, gas was used to power all the lights. It’s a miracle this house didn’t burn down before now.

To free all the greenfield, I had to loose things inside the fixture. On opening it up, I saw this terrifying cluster of wires. On bending one wire slightly, the insulation just crumbled to dust.

I shudder to think that we actually used this light for a little while, when the room was in use. It’s a miracle this house didn’t burn down before now.

All the old greenfield, bundled up in a pile. I don’t know if this really does it justice (there was a ton of it).

I also managed to remove that gas line (which ended up being enormous). Nice to get that removed from the attic.

With today, very little of the “old” electrical remains on the second floor. There’s one small run of greenfield that’s linked to an outlet in my current office. That’s dead/isolated, and will get removed once we demo out that back room (when we re-do the bathroom).

There’s a small run of greenfield, from the guest room to the back office.

Even though this stuff was all dead/disconnected, it feels good to get it removed and out of the house. Out with the old, and all that.

Post-demo selfie, circa 8PM. Super disheveled and super tired. And oh look, the dirt actually accentuates my neck fat. Fantastic.

All well, productive day.

Related:
Holiday House Work: Revisiting the Attic
The Stars Above Us
Guest Room Floor Demo
Adding Insulation to the Attic

Working on the Attic and Guest Room
Clearing Old Insulation From the Attic

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