401 Update: Ceilings & Radon

So it's high time for an update on our housing adventures in Salida. I'm going to break up the posts into different topics because if I put it all down here in one post, you might possibly get sucked into your screen like that episode of Doctor Who. So for today, we're talking ceilings. Here's a little review:  we closed on the house at the very beginning of April so we went down the first weekend and got right to work. The first order of business was tearing down the drop ceiling in the living room, dining room, and front bedroom. We decided to leave the drop ceiling for now in the kitchen and second bedroom because of the plumbing so we’ll just have to live with that for a little while. Luckily, the drop ceiling came down really fast and it was super simple. All the tiles just pop out of the metal frame individually and then the frame is just a lot of smaller metal pieces that are kind of just resting on each other and hung from the ceiling by metal wire. Once the ceiling came down it made an immediate impact. It was miraculous. Without the drop ceiling we gain almost two feet of ceiling space which is amazing. We still have to remove all the little hooks from the ceiling and the metal frame that is attached to the walls but that is all child's play compared to the other stuff.

So now the plan goes a little haywire. We were jumping at the idea that we would find an HVAC or ductwork specialist to come in and help us find a product that would allow us to move all the ductwork into the floor joists of the original ceiling. Then we would bring in a drywaller to replace the original ceiling which would now be containing all the ductwork and electrical. However, this plan went south after a series of unfortunate events. First, our drywall guy had a heart attack and had to be care-flighted to Denver. Needless to say, that puts him out of commission. Second, I lost the piece of scrap trash paper I was taking notes on that had the HVAC guy’s name and number on it so now I can't remember who I talked to or his number. Finally, we had a conversation with our radon mitigator & electrician who basically told us that plan sounded like a huge pain in the ass and we should rethink our options.

So now we are kind of floating back to our original plan to build a new ceiling right below the ductwork as it stands. Sure we won't get to keep all 11 or 12 feet of original ceiling, but we’ll still have gained about a foot and a half in height so it's really not a loss. Our radon guy told us about a ceiling he had built in another house in town and he took us over to see it and we kind of fell in love. It is a ceiling made of pvc ceiling tiles that have a pattern to make them look like old tin ceiling tiles. Shockingly beautiful and not corny. And the other plus is that the ceiling tiles are really light so we wouldn't have to build a big huge frame like we would for a new drywall ceiling, which would help us to keep as much height as we possibly can. Here are some pictures of that ceiling we're using for reference:

So two ceiling ideas currently that we are tossing over. Oh and I almost forgot to tell you about the radon mitigation! Super exciting stuff. Long story short our house tested super high for radon which is supposedly a huge cause of lung cancer so not something we want floating around our house. However, it's still sort of an issue like climate change where you see the science and it's super simple to see that it's a real problem but you still have your crazy naysayers walking around saying shit like, “I don’t really believe in radon.” Needless to say, we’re in the first camp so we wanted to knock that out immediately. Luckily we found the best guy ever to tackle our radon issue and he did an amazing job. When we bought the house it was testing at 13 for radon (the epa has set a normal range limit at 4) and now just a couple weeks later it is testing in between 1 and 2. Thank you for saving our lives, mr. radon mitigator. He had to completely wrap our crawl space up with plastic and then build a fan to blow out all the radon and install it on the outside of our house. The fan just continually blows for a year and then we test again to make sure the wrapping job he did on the crawl space is still containing the radon.  And just because he's the raddest dude ever, he also shored up the stairs leading down to our crawl space and reinforced some of our foundation while he was down there you know, just because. He is our hero. (Here's a picture of the crawl space and all the beautiful plastic wrapping that is covering the surface and containing all the poisonous radon and preventing us all from dying a slow and painful death; and in the next picture you can see the fan that has been installed in the right corner of the house.)

Okay that's enough for this update. Next I'll tell you about the floors. What a shit show.


1 comment:

  1. I love the "tin" looking tiles. They are lovely. I also like the greenish blue lovely color. You should totally do that.
    Fun stuff. I wish we were closer to help. Or just play with N.


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