Who's Been Knocking on the Floor?

NOTE: As of September 23, 2009, this post has been edited in
accordance with a court-mediated settlement. The names of the
contractor and his excavation subcontractor have been replaced with

Noel showed up this evening, desperately ill, and handed me a camera with these pictures. Apparently high fevers make you go around snapping photos of the guys trying to get some work done on your house.

There's been a lot of noise at the house every time I've called in the last few days. The guys are putting in blocking both for stiffness and for fire containment. One of the things we've learned since stick framing was debuted in the 19th century is that the spaces in walls act almost like hoses in fires, so now code requires that at a minimum there be chunks of wood between floors, making it a bit harder for flames, smoke, heat, and oxygen to travel through a house. The idea is not to save the house, necessarily, but to give you some extra minutes to get the heck out and save yourself. If you have an elderly house and happen to open the walls, putting in fire blocking is a really good idea, and not too expensive, and let's just say that it could save your life. End of lecture.

I'll add captions, I guess, when Noel wakes up and tells me who these people are who have been banging on the floor.

Here's Contractor A (the guy whose work on our house was so bad and so thoroughly in violation of building code that we had to remove most of it), demolishing the old, rotting, side stairs:


H, interrupted while installing new blocking under the side bay window:

Under the house

Finally D, who drew the shortest straw and was on clean-up duty that afternoon:

D with broom

posted by ayse on 02/04/05