Taming the Snake. And finishing the DAMN Sub-Floor.

I did a previous post about “the Snake”, an absurdly long and convoluted A/C duct to the Round Bedroom.

I went to some effort in changing a bend in the Snake to help assure maximum air flow. To this end, I had to take up the just installed subfloor of the north stair landing. Then after more effort than I had thought possible, I was, indeed, able to make a better bend. And the north subfloor was then re-re-installed.

And it could be presumed that that was that.


A few weeks ago I realized that I could tame the Snake even more. Dramatically so. But this would mean taking up, for a second damn time, the newly installed north subfloor. But my mind then entered into a tug-of-war. Part of me wanted to Do The Right Thing. Another part of me was emphatic: Fuck the snake! Just finish!

Long-time readers of this blog will know the results of this tug-of-war.



This WAS the 90-degree turn of the Snake. And air flow hates 90-degree turns.


So, I expended an absurd amount of time/energy in making things just a tiny but better. It is difficult to see in the image though that the snake also drops down. This is more obvious…


…here, at the west landing. The snake drops BELOW the triple joists to the right. Then the snake goes back up….


…when it reaches the north vestibule. So, up and down and up and down and over and around. All something which air flow HATES. In addition, having the Snake drop down below the ceiling joists meant that I had to lower the ceiling in the stairhall niche. Which I then had to dismantle to redo, again, the Snake.


Repeat: this WAS the Snake. And now?


THIS is the snake. I ruthlessly cut through the triple joists (bottom), which I belatedly realized were redundant after I added, last year, a massive structural beam in the entry hall. This allowed me to greatly smooth out the 90-degree turn of the Snake, AND I no longer had to drop the Snake down below the joists! And THIS means I can remove the just-installed dropped ceiling in the niche below!!!!!!!! So, the niche will, in the end, retain its original 10-foot ceiling height!


Again, this is the SECOND iteration of the Snake at the west landing.


And Snake 3.0!!!!!!!! At this point however my brain was ready to explode.


Brain be dammed though! Because there was still work to do! I now had to install a sub-floor (I had already TWICE installed sub-flooring on the north landing. But I had not yet installed sub-flooring on this, the west landing). All the sub-flooring on the landings comprise TWO layers. In 1894, the first sub-floor layer was laid diagonally. In 2018, this would actually be an ideal way to bridge the absurdly convoluted joist framing of the west landing necessitated by the Snake.




And done!!!!!!!!! And my 61-one-year-old body was BEAT by this effort. Pulverized. Destroyed.


No matter, because I still had to add the second layer of sub-floor. However, this took thirty-minutes as opposed to the three hours of the diagonal first layer.


But…oopsies. The second layer of sub-floor (bottom) did not align with the original second layer (top). There was like an 1/8-inch difference (the original layer being higher). No matter! I hauled out my trusty electric planer and gently angled the original layer down to meet, with grace, the new layer.


With. Grace.


Just before I installed the second layer of sub-floor, I realized that I had to add my name and date to the first layer! I just had to!

After finishing this posterity moment, I then had a quite wicked thought: An addendum.

CAVEAT: If you don’t like politics, don’t scroll down…





















Yes, I am entirely wicked.


All this effort has been beyond exhausting. And easily the MOST ridiculous I have expended on the Cross House to date. I did work. I then undid work. I then did work again. Then undid work. And on and on and on.


Still…I feel…good. Really good. For, I did the right thing. I did the work right.

And, critically, every time I walk over the west landing during the years/decades to come, I will smile knowing:

  1. The Snake WAS tamed.
  2. I left something wicked for posterity. A legacy I am proud of.




  1. Tony Bianchini on February 15, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Love that the niche gets to return to it’s proper ceiling height! I was wondering how your sensibilities was going to cope with the lower ceiling…

    • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      Hi, Tony!

      I was OK with a lowered ceiling but am THRILLED to avoid it! After much ado!

  2. A. H. on February 15, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    TWO layers of subfloors? So confused!

    • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      In 1894, the landing had a sub-floor, and a “sorta” finished floor above. I state sorta because the finished floor was rough wood, intended to be covered by wall-to-wall carpeting.

      Then, circa-1950, an oak finished floor was installed above the TWO layers under.

      So, today, there are THREE layers of wood.

  3. Annette on February 15, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    It was worth it. It’s done properly now. I’m glad you left your naughty signature for someone to find in 100 years time 😀

  4. Mary Garner-Mitchell on February 15, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    You have inspired me to write something equally wicked (Identical, in fact!) in the old section of Stagfield. Glad the snake is tamed. I have to ask, however, if you ever considered a high velocity HVAC system — little flexible ducts weave through the entire 3,000 sq ft of our crazy old girl with two traditional returns. It was a bitch to install as half the house is post and beam, but the installers were awesome, having installed the same system (Unico) in several of Virginia’s historic plantation homes in our area. They admitted, however, that ours was one of the most challenging with it’s telescoping additions. The guy they had crawl through the rafters and knee walls earned his nickname — “Worm!”

    • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      I am delighted to be a wicked inspiration!

      No, I never considered a high-velocity HVAC system as such systems require special handlers. And I already had three “normal” and highly expensive handlers.

    • Jonathan W on February 17, 2018 at 12:32 am

      I was thinking of this too Mary, I have seen This Old House use them (albeit sometimes questionably, such as directly next to the front door in the floor, leaving the possibility of clogged ducts) I would think such ducts may fit well in older homes, and especially large old buildings. My city has an old 1870’s Georgian style Tabernacle. Gorgeous interior and exterior. It has these small decorated holes in the ceiling around the entire main hall, which were used when it was lit by candle, gas, and oil, so the smoke could escape. However, when AC was installed, they added HORRIBLE, MASSIVE spherical air vents to the ceiling. The building is currently under year long remodel/restoration. I am hoping they utilise the old holes for the system you speak of.

      I could only find one good image online.

      The very edge of the crown moulding, you can see the border in the ceiling with flowers. These are those vents/holes. You can also see the massive vents that have been there for many decades (as well as the ugly can lights)

      I thought maybe a system would be good for Cross house, but as Ross has already spent so much on his current system, It wouldn’t be worth it. Though If I ever get my own old house, I will think deeply on the HVHVAC system.

      (more images in case anyone wanted them)

      Old photo of when the wood was white, and there were different chandeliers which I have never noticed till now:


    • Jonathan W on February 17, 2018 at 12:49 am

      I thought about that as well for the Cross House…but as Ross has already laboriously installed the current system, I figured it was already done. I’ve seen the show This Old House use such a system, but I don’t like how they’ve used it in some places (such as in the floor directly next to the front door, resulting in future blockage from dirt and debris)

      However, I could see it going perfectly in my city’s 1870’s Georgian Tabernacle. When AC was installed, they put in MASSIVE vents in the ceiling. On the border of the main hall, there’s small holes used to vent smoke from the old lighting, I could see these as a perfect concealment of the HVHVAC system.

      In this photo, you can see small flowers in a border above to the crown moulding. These would be perfect for that system, and the massive eyesores could be removed.

      This image show they were still present in the early/mid 1900’s

  5. Kay on February 15, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Ross, I have been following your blog for quite some time, and I have to say I love the house and all the tedious work you have done. It’s a beautiful house and I look forward to all the projects yet to come. Even though I am a Republican and when you put up that picture of Hillory Clinton I still wanted to follow your blog. In life when it comes to politics and religion sometimes we have to agree to disagree. Donald Trump is going to be our president for 4 years or more so get the fuck over it. Just saying!

    • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Hi, Kay!

      And, thank you for your kind words.

      You know, Hitler was in power for 12 years. But I guess the people of Germany should have just gotten the fuck over it. So, too, with the 12 million people slaughtered in the Holocaust. Get over it!

      Also, it is quite possible that Trump will NOT be in office in 2020.

      Also also, Trump being in office seems to have a lot to do with Russian efforts.

      • Kay on February 15, 2018 at 10:43 pm

        Hi Ross, to my knowledge our president hasn’t killed anyone that I know of. Donald Trump is a choir boy compared to the Clintons. Did I mention bengaza, or the White House scandal concerning Monica. Or isn’t, eating ain’t cheating considerd sexual assault and the many others that came forward. As for the Russian investigation proof is in the pudding. We shall see how long he’s in office. Like I said we can agree to disagree on politics. I shall continue to follow your blog! I love everything you have done to the house. Hugs sweetie!

        • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 11:07 pm

          Dear Kay,

          Hitler did not start by slaughtering 12 million people.

          He started by demonizing vulnerable minorities. JUST AS TRUMP HAS BEEN DOING.

          Hitler sustained his power by demonizing vulnerable minorities. JUST AS TRUMP IS DOING.

          Also, I gasp that you demonize Bill Clinton regarding Monica. Bill and Monica had consensual sex. I don’t approve, but Trump is on record bragging about grabbing women AGAINST THEIR WILL. And, over a dozen women have come forward claiming that Trump assaulted them. And yet you ignore all this.

          Also, repeated, and I mean repeated, Congressional hearings on the Benghazi tragedy found that Hillary was not at fault. Have you even registered this????????

          Also also, the Mueller investigation has, so far, resulted in four indictments. So, there is, to date, proof in the pudding.

          You know, I am OK with differing viewpoints. I am not OK with delusion and misdirection.

          Oh, and today, the GOP Congress gutted protection for people with disabilities. But, as a Republican, I assume you are OK with this.

          Me? I am stunned and shocked and appalled.

          And lastly, for the record, Trump’s actual words:

          I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married.

          I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.

          Yeah, that’s her…I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

          Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.

          And you support…this.

          • kay on February 16, 2018 at 1:25 pm

            Ross, Please! Rolling my eyes.

        • tiffaney jewel on February 16, 2018 at 9:47 pm

          13 indictments today.

          How do you like that pudding?

          • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 9:52 pm

            A most delicious pudding!

      • Mary Kathline Idriss on February 16, 2018 at 10:52 am

        Thumbs up Ross. Love your response. This presidential office has the same rhetoric tone of Hitler early speeches convincing the German people he was going to make Germany great again. Weren’t we supposed to learn history in school so we don’t repeat or allow others to repeat the bad in human history? Some people need to go back to school that is not white washed and learn the real history.

    • tiffaney jewel on February 15, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      It’s not as if my favorite hockey team lost. I can get over that. I can’t be OK with or normalize institutional racism, LGBT hate, and blatant grift. No one should. And just because you’re a republican doesn’t mean you have to be OK with Donald Trump either. Many democrats and republicans alike agree on that FACT that Trump and his cronies have no idea what they’re doing or how to govern. This was a money-making scheme, and that’s it.

      • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 10:38 pm

        Thank you, Tiffaney.

        There are an increasing number of Republicans who are repudiating Trump.

        • tiffaney jewel on February 16, 2018 at 9:36 pm

          Yes, there are, and I try to remember that fact when I think about all the Republicans that supported him just because he put an R next to his name. I mean, the horses are out of the barn at this point, but I appreciate them closing the barn door, I guess.

          It’s a sad day when ANYONE can support someone who brags about sexual assault.

    • Nathan Davis on February 15, 2018 at 11:46 pm

      I was going to give you my two cents in reply but it seems Ross has it covered. “Get over it”? Ugh.

    • glenn on February 16, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      Kay, no, he’s not. That fat fucking moron is getting impeached, and soon. And you should be ashamed for supporting that fat fucking moron.

      • Kay on February 19, 2018 at 5:52 am

        Oh, Glenn, that is never gonna happen! Hugs sweetie!

        • Ross on February 19, 2018 at 9:01 am

          Dear Kay,

          I would agree that a GOP controlled Congress will never impeach Trump. Trump could run naked down Pennsylvania Avenue and shoot hundreds of people and the GOP will not do a thing. But…but….the GOP may lose control in the 2018 elections.

          Also, the Mueller investigation has now resulted in 19 indictments, and it is expected that more will be forthcoming. Trump may be indicted on conspiracy, collusion, obstruction of justice, and money laundering.

          As well, top White House people may also be indicted.

          In a previous White House scandal, sixty-nine people were eventually indicted over Watergate.

  6. tiffaney jewel on February 15, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    HA! You are a wonderful man.

    I can’t wait, for some moment 30 years from now when Trump is long dead, when I remove a wall or floor or something from an old house and find something like this. And you KNOW you’re not the only one who hates Trump enough to leave messages to the future about it! When I inevitably find it, I’ll think of Ross and smile.

    But thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever come across, “Curse Calvin Coolidge!” or the like. If I do, I’ll let you know.

    • Mike on February 15, 2018 at 9:47 pm

      LMAO at poor Calvin!

      • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 10:04 pm

        Actually, Calvin was a PROFOUND racist, and his reputation has been forever sullied by this.

        Quite properly.

        • Miriam Righter on February 16, 2018 at 7:38 am

          Funny you should mention Calvin… I just finished a biography on him. Coolidge by Amity Shlaes.She is clearly a Republican since she lauds his economic policy (you know, the one that resulted in The Depression) and never mentions his racism. I was just appalled at her support of Mellon’s “scientific taxation” – reduce taxes on the rich and trickle down economics which clearly was self-serving. I was reminded of the Koch brothers’ influence on the GOP. And of course, she felt he was totally free of blame for The Depression, yet Coolidge was even aware that a severe slump was coming. As with reading about Hitler and the Nazis, I was aware of so many parallels with the US today. It is really terrifying.

  7. Mike on February 15, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve left several records for posterity hidden in the walls, ceilings, and floors of our old pile. Not quite as colorful as yours, tho…thanks again for posting all the battles in your project, those inspire me as much or more than your victories. As for Trump, 3.5 years and we will get the F over it 🙂

  8. Cindy Belanger on February 15, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    I’m glad you finally tamed the snake. Great to have 10 ft. ceiling in the niche again. I love your comment, a wicked man deserves a wicked comment. I hope to God he’s not in office until 2020. Right now we need some gun control and prayers for the victims and their families of the latest school shooting.

    • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      Hi, Cindy!

      The overwhelming majority of Americans support sensible gun controls.

      But Trump received like $30 million (yes, $30 million) from the NRA during his campaign. So, obviously, Trump will do NOTHING about sensible gun controls supported by the vast majority of people.

    • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 11:36 pm

      Trump tweeted that the school shooter was mentally ill.

      But he left out his revoking an Obama-era law preventing the mentally-ill from being able to buy an assault weapon.


      • tiffaney jewel on February 16, 2018 at 9:38 pm

        My jaw dropped when I saw that tweet. I’ve yet to pick it up off the floor.

  9. Kristal on February 15, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    I can’t imagine how you must feel with making so many decisions and re-thinking them. So much love and time and effort is going into this house and I am always eager to read of updates. I love to see what you do, then what you re-do and improve!

    • Ross on February 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      Thank you, Kristal!

      I actually enjoy the whole process.

      Every week, the Cross House gets just a tiny bit better. And this THRILLS me.

  10. Nathan Davis on February 15, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    Wonderful work! Its nice that the niche ceiling wont be lowered after all. It wouldn’t be a particularly offensive alteration but this seems a nicer alternative. And, for some reason which I cannot explain, it makes me ABSURDLY happy to see those two layers of plank sub floor, rather than plywood as most people would settle for. And of course your message is all too good.

    • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 12:02 am

      Thank you, Nathan.

      Because of my age (61), hauling heavy plywood up to the second floor was SO not an option! Thus, 1×12 boards, as used in 1894, were the default choice.

      And that you approve of my message? Well, you are obviously a man of high character and integrity. And so very nice to know you.

      • Nathan Hugh Davis on February 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm

        I DO approve of your message and have spent the last day or so trying to figure out how to sneak one into my house!

  11. Travis on February 16, 2018 at 12:22 am

    It really is a shame that you had to talk about politics again!

    I like you and love what you’re doing, but give it a rest. You chose to ignore that various cities in this country have been destroyed (St. Louis) by decades of disinvestment, Democrat politicians and and ever expanding population of the welfare class.

    I watched Hillary’s speech at the NAACP in July of 2016 and was appalled at her disingenuous concern for the plight of our own underclass. Our own residents deserve to be helped before we allow just one more illegal immigrant to crawl across the border.

    But no, you live a considerable distance away from a major city and you can choose to ignore the realities of the cities.

    I am not a fan of how Trump speaks, but at least he has the balls to say some things!

    • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 12:57 am

      Dear Travis,

      You know how much I adore you.

      I adore you!

      But, you are 100% wrong, politically. Hillary has spent a lifetime helping people. One of her most extraordinary acts, as First Lady, was achieving health care for 8 million children. This, after she tried to achieve health care for ALL Americans. Yet, you claim, claim, that she cares nothing for the underclass. Travis, again, I really love you, but you know nothing about Hillary’s long long long service and devotion to the underclass.

      You mention a speech. Please let me know how this speech detailed Hillary’s “disingenuous concern for the plight of our own underclass”? For, I have read the transcript of this speech, and nothing in it indicates, even remotely, a “disingenuous concern for the plight of our own underclass”.

      Also, you do me a grave disservice. A grave injustice, and I am quite hurt. For, I am well aware of the troubles big cities have, and, oh, was born in Detroit — the poster child for a troubled city. I also used to live in a big city: NYC. But I am wholly unaware of how Trump will fix the problems of big cities, and I am a billion percent unaware of how Hillary has made this problem worse.

      Lastly, why do you think it is shameful that I talk about politics? What happens in Washington affects ALL OF US. And perhaps you overlooked my graciously warning readers that I would post a politically-charged image?

      Yes, Trump has balls. And, yes, he says things. But what has he said that will improve conditions in our cities? I am serious: WHAT HAS TRUMP DONE TO IMPROVE AMERICAN CITIES? I am unaware of a single thing.

      • Patti on February 16, 2018 at 1:39 am

        Wollman Rink renovation. Central Park, NYC. On time & under budget.

        • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 8:55 am

          I will grant you that!

          But that was thirty years ago.

        • glenn on February 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm

          Under budget? Probably because he stiffed all the contractors, as he always does.

          • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 9:57 pm

            I worked for Trump in the 1980s.

            He stiffed me. Twice.

    • Stewart McLean on February 16, 2018 at 9:33 am

      Dear Travis,

      I really prefer to remain apolitical because politics is such a quagmire.

      I freely admit that I don’t know anything about St Louis, so am not qualified to respond to the way your statement explains its decline.

      As a 60 year lifetime resident of Baltimore City, I can with some confidence say that I have observed so many different causes for its decline that I find it impossible to believe that your conclusion holds water. My thoughts are that the decline of major industrial cities began with the freedom that the automobile gave everyone to commute to work. In the days before the ease of transportation we have today, only the wealthy had the ability to commute. Most of them had a grand house in the city for the winter, and a country estate art which they could rest and get away in the heat of the summer. These estate, often unheated for the winter, developed along small rail lines, allowed the men in the family to regularly travel into the city to conduct their business. The women, who had few legal rights, usually stayed for the season at the country estate or traveled.

      Now, cities like Baltimore, which did not have the foresight to create the mass transportation that some others did, have suffered because it both became so much easier to live outside the city and to move the businesses out as well.

      The dreams of a significant number of people has seemed, in the past, to draw them to reside in rural areas. As development encroached, people appeared to want to move outward. As the percentage of people with money declined in the cities, taking their businesses with them, so did the revenues. The costs continued to grow.

      This is just one example of a possible factor. I learned years ago, while getting an economics degree, that, although all economic models are the extrapolation of research based on keeping all but a few factors alike, there is no way one can make accurate assumptions without taking all changes into account.

      That is why I often preface my conclusions with it seems, it appears, or another such qualifier. It seems to me that anyone who claims to know what will happen if a thing is made legal or illegal must be a politician, running for office, or making the choice to believe in someone who is. Unfortunately, few have had the information or knowledge to draw accurate conclusions on their own, so have needed to find someone to believe in to do the job. The choice of that person is usually because there are just a few points on which the voter wholeheartedly agree with that candidate. Once we decide who our candidate is, we may invest our beliefs in all of their policies in order to get support for the ones we passionately support. Conversely we demonize the opposition, often selecting factors that have no bearing on their capabilities to do so, expounding upon what they perceive as character flaws to drive others to their choice.

      This new electronic age has the ability to change that. Sadly, it appears to me, the internet is being manipulated in a way that makes it impossible for people to evaluate which information on it is the truth. Those who want to spread falsehoods can figure out ways to make them come up first on various search engines. Although the information is available on the internet, and almost universally available, who can find it among all of the incorrect information that our searches lead us to.

      So we still often choose who to believe in and go on with the old patterns.

      it is a major conundrum to which i have no answers. I can say that those who refrain from questioning their own choices and choose not to look beyond a few issues that they feel are important, are doing a disservice to everyone, including themselves when they express their support verbally as well as when they vote.

      I find myself respecting Ross increasingly as he staunchly supports his political statements with evidence. I love the way he tells all not to scroll down to see his opinions, because who can resist? I remain skeptical, but am inclined to appreciate his efforts to inform, whereas I have no respect for, nor do I feel supportive of, statements that do not provide believable evidence. So and so said it so it is true is not enough for me no matter who said it.

      My personal take on our president is that he is perhaps one of the greatest self promoters of our or any time. I, like so many others of all political leanings, initially found his candidacy to be a joke. I found it inconceivable that he could be elected to the presidency. Although that still hasn’t changed for me, I find myself increasingly less able to feel that what he says has any basis in truth. I simply don’t see any evidence of truth there. One who never admits to any of his own failings is not one I can trust.

      Of course, this is just an opinion too, and can just as easily be cast off.

      • Melissa on March 7, 2018 at 1:43 pm

        That was so well said I was pulled out of lurker mode just to compliment you! Hear hear!

        • Dawn Rocco on March 7, 2018 at 9:48 pm

          I agree. I tend to let my emotions take off with my words. Doesn’t come across well. Very nicely put Stewart.

  12. Mary Garner-Mitchell on February 16, 2018 at 5:33 am

    I look forward to EVERY. SINGLE. POST. on your blog, Ross, especially the political ones!

    • Kay on February 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Me too! I love it!

  13. Pamela on February 16, 2018 at 7:01 am

    I second Mary’s comment. I love your politics. You don’t speak about them often and those who oppose have nothing real to dispute you with and they can just get over it.

    This new sub-floor is just gorgeous. It is so satisfying to see the duct corrected and the inner bowels of the floor cleaned up so beautifully.

  14. Belaat on February 16, 2018 at 7:04 am

    May I weigh in? While I support all of your opinions, I would like to say that all of us are responsible for this national debacle. It seems our culture encourages the attitude that we should be cared for by the government, by God, or whoever, nor realizing our responsibility for ourselves. Political discussions often lead to an us-them tone whereby we seek to tear opposing thoughts down. Let’s stop this. It is not us-them, me-you, but We the People, together. The entire population of the US is responsible for the state of our present national affairs. So change attitudes! I may not agree with you! But don’t we all agree that we should not shoot each other, take any sexual advantage, or cheat each other? If so, move on from that base so we may all have better lives, and better discourse with each other. My .02 cents.

    And Ross, keep up your good work. I wish we were neighbors.

  15. Cory on February 16, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Why the antiquated style of subfloor when tongue and groove plywood is superior in strength? A building inspector would not have passed what you showed us. When a floor joist is connected to a joist that is right angle to the first it has to be a double joist. This is basic structural knowledge.

    • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 8:51 am

      I am 61-years-old. And there is no way I can haul 4×8 sheets of plywood up the stairs!

      1×12 boards I can do!

      Also, under the crazy floor framing are two walls, unseen in the images. So, the craziness is not actually crazy. The framing is not really vital, structurally. It is only really something to attach the flooring to.

    • glenn on February 16, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      No. The old subfloor was installed diagonally to prevent racking. It has the same strength as plywood.

      • Stewart McLean on February 16, 2018 at 5:32 pm

        One of the things that those who approve permits today is to require an engineers stamp on the plans. They and building inspectors that I have seen don’t seem to know how much is enough, so they rely on the person making the plans to pay an additional person to assess them. I have no idea what training or education is for those jobs, but they love to see overkill.
        Few if any professionals, having charged a large fee to look at something, are willing to say, “yep, looks OK”. They seem to feel the need to find something to change in order to validate their input. The not so funny thing is that the rest of us are at all of their mercies, without ever knowing if things would have been perfectly fine the way they were originally designed.
        I think that the choice of plywood over any other subfloor is irrelevant since both have been used successfully for a generation or more. When their are holes in the roof, they will both rot, even if pressure treated, the glue breaks down. I have seen this personally when people have used pressure treated plywood on exterior porch floors for example, thinking that it will hold up to the elements.

  16. elin noller on February 16, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Oh Ross how I love you! Will you adopt me? I may be a mature 42, but I never really had a dad so maybe it is about time I got one?

    Love your willingness to correct and fix what can be fixed no matter how much work.

    And Trump has done NOTHING to help anyone but himself and his rich buddies. I just don’t understand how anyone can support him at all.

    • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Thank you, Elin,

      When I talk with Trump supports I am continually struck with their total disconnect from reality.

      They say: “He’s creating jobs!”

      I reply: “There were 400,000 fewer jobs created in 2017 than in 2016.”

      They say: “He’s making America great again!”

      I reply: “How?” And I have yet to get an answer.

      They say: “He is closing our borders and deporting illegal immigrants!”

      I reply: “He has not closed any borders. And the deportation of illegal immigrants slowed in 2017 as compared to previous, Obama-era years.”

      Their response to all my statements? “Fake news!”

      It’s terrifying. God help America.

  17. Stewart McLean on February 16, 2018 at 9:38 am

    I really admire the way you continue to think about issues for which you have already implemented a solution, come up with a better one, and, not settling for good enough, implement the new one.


    • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Thank you, Stewart!

      • Stewart McLean on February 16, 2018 at 9:52 am

        As you know, I call em as I see em. No thanks needed, but glad that my remarks made you feel appreciated, this time.

  18. Jarrett L. on February 16, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Oh my! Come for old houses, stay for political debate. Not my cup of tea but you do you!

    • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 9:50 am

      Thanks, Jarrett!

      You made me smile.

      I have actually been surprised at the many political comments. I assumed readers would comment mostly on the work I did.

      Foolish of me!

      • Mike on February 16, 2018 at 12:24 pm

        This blog is sort of Ross’ “virtual front yard”. Just like his physical front yard, he is free to put whatever he likes in his online yard. If you happen by and doesn’t like what he has put out today, then continue on your way; there is no need to run up in the yard and cause a stir. If you can’t travel on peaceably without some comment, why not ask a friendly, sensible question? “Ross, I don’t agree, but where did you get your information?” I may not agree with Ross 100% of the time, but I believe that he is a thoughtful person who is strong in his beliefs because he has researched them thoroughly. You may find that, like me, you will realize that you have been wrong on something and change your own belief. If not, then at least you may leave with a better understanding of someone else’s viewpoint. I would rather talk with someone who I disagree with but who has done their homework, than to talk with anyone who can only spout rhetoric they saw on social media. The important thing is to research objectively, and then form your opinions. A closed mind is an empty mind…

        • Ross on February 16, 2018 at 10:03 pm

          Thank you, Mike.

          I spend a massive amount of time on political research. I am constantly fact-checking.

          What I find so surreal (and terrifying) about Trump supporters is that they NEVER fact-check anything about Trump or the GOP. They just blindly accept all the GOP talking points, and blindly accept as fact every Trump utterance. They also watch FOX which is the very last place to find factual news. Indeed, FOX is not even registered as a news network. They are registered as an entertainment network. That speak volumes.

          • Dawn Rocco on February 21, 2018 at 3:37 am

            Ross, you are 100% correct! I love you! I love the work your doing, the way you do it, the way you think, that beautiful old house, you put a smile on my face and brightin up my days. Iv’e just started reading your blog and have spent the last couple of nights catching up on who you are and what your doing. I normally spend hours reading the news, everyone except Fox News! They make me want to toss my computer out the window with all their lies and twisted truths. I can’t stand what Trump and his side kicks are doing to our country. I could go on and on! Anyway, I really do enjoy your blog. I wish I could come help ya. I’m a sixty year old fart who don’t know how to leave well enough alone either even if no one else would know or see it I will! Thanks for the smiles!

  19. JET Texas on February 16, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Hah! Reminds me of Alexander McQueen and Prince Charles’ coat. Love it!

  20. Christine on February 16, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Here’s what I think about house-work versus political points: nobody can contest the fabulous work you do in your house. Most everybody seems to agree that every single project you do at your house makes the house better. However, it’s very easy to criticize someone else’s thoughts and opinions about politics. Especially if you happen not to agree. I really appreciate that you spend so much time providing links to facts. It IS amazing to me that so many are fleeced by false bravado and incoherent statements. Just because one SAYS something, it doesn’t make it TRUE.

  21. Jan Ramey on March 1, 2018 at 11:40 am

    You are unbelievable, but in such a good way! And I love the idea that Trump will be walked over forever and ever in your house, while that beautiful picture of Hillary hangs serenely on your wall!!

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