Wednesday, October 12, 2011

hellhole - part 1: access to attic #1

jambaloney here, halloween is coming so i have spoooky stories, gather ye around the campfire, prepare for horror!!

okay, enough bs, down to bizniz

this is the first in a series - you will understand the title as we go along. we have 2 sections to framboise manor, but only access to one attic. this presents a number of problems - storage ?? electrical cables?? birds?? we need to fix this and we need a proper attic, attic #2 isn't so good for storage, we've made do. here is the closet with water heater, kitty litter and soon to be relocated gun locker:

origin of hell-hole, attic #2:

brace the feet of the ladder:

put the ladder in the original hellhole:

have 2 charged flashlights handy:

welcome to hell!!

scary stuff, huh? i put some old boards across the brace months ago for some quick storage:

here is "baby" hellhole - the vent from the original half of framboise manor. what you are seeing is the OUTSIDE of the first cottage... yep, buddy just tacked on an addition without even taking the siding off the original!!

here is the back of framboise manor from a few months ago, right now i'm currently in attic #2 - marked "B". i need access to attic #1 marked "A". ( the outside looks MUCH better now - later posts ;-)

i have scoped out the closed off access to attic #1 through "baby" hellhole, need a fancy marking tool... 2x2 with nail:

make a mark...

also known as hole in kitchen ceiling! success!!

now i need something i can fit into, notice the taped up garbage bag to eliminate mess on the floor - works great!

the finished product!!

up we go and now we can see attic #1 - MUCH better for storage!!

this post wouldn't be complete without "baby" hellhole's better side - nice wiring, i can hardly wait to work around that!!

there is much more to come, but this was the first step and it was a biggie. unfortunately the hard work begins, stay tuned and keep your tents zipped up tight - it gets worse , muhahahhahaha (vincent price laughter)

cheers everyone from the gonzo handyman!


  1. I'm sure you okayed that with your local building inspector. ;-)

  2. oh i did!! the same one that assured us this POS cottage was up to code...

    i've covered 4 junction boxes already, had to clear the blown insulation first!!

    i do understand that the 2x4 trusses aren't intended to support a full on floor etc, but we are mostly storing clothes and light things up there. the few boxes of books will sit above the major load-bearing wall.

    as you can tell in the pictures, these are NOT, i repeat NOT factory built trusses! they are made out of 15-20 different types of wood. by the same lunatic that built this place.

    i will be re-enforcing the trusses both along the flooring i have now installed to take weight off the ceiling original spans and also across the trusses both horizontally and vertically to "honeycomb" the roofing as best i can for more stability.

    inspection seems somewhat "freeform" here. for as assured we were that a proper survey was done when we bought the place, i have found only 1 of 4 markers so far ;-)

  3. You get to have all the fun!... press board connecting the braces to the roof and what looks like a nightmare insulation job.

    Aren't you 2 living the life

  4. haha..yeah my place was built by a bunch of drunk locals..there are some strange things that pop up. I know they were drunk because they told me as much..'..hey, I helped build your place years ago..', Were you drunk? I ask..'Hell, I could barely stand..its a good thing I didn't bash my thumb!' hehe

    I put some boards down in my attic for storage space too..small spaces mean nowhere to put ANYTHING!

  5. Better you than me...bless you and good luck. I need to replace my attic ladder, not looking forward to that little task either.

  6. You sure are getting a lot done in short order. It's great you have the skills and the confidence to do that. When my wife and I put a new roof on our porch, we were doing it out of necessity. But now when it rains, I go out there and listen to the rain, and see how tight and dry the roof is, and I feel really proud of it. Doing for yourself is so much better than hiring it out.

  7. Looks kinda like a neat little hidey hole I had as a kid in my grandmothers garage.

    Be careful, and make sure there are other people around when you are working.

  8. So did you go to your church and have the minister bless your home for safety? Just kidding, good luck.

  9. Mr. Smythe - there is only one building inspector here in our county. as part of purchasing this place we had him come out and do a property inspection. as jambaloney already said - inspection stuff around here is pretty free-form!!!

    Max - it is a real mess that is for sure! but we are slowly getting to a point where we can start fixing things for real instead of just scrambling. oh and there is about 20 different kinds of wood and boards up in that attic!

    egb - EXACTLY! we keep being told about the various people who worked on this house as originally it was one cottage and then an addition was built on about 10 years later. and pretty much everyone who worked on it was drunk! even if we hadn't been told that - we KNEW! and it is so true - we have no storage here so being able to put stuff up in the attic will definitely free up some room for us!

    Stephen - jambaloney and i put in the attic ladder - it states on the instructions that it is a 2-man job but we somehow managed. plus he is as strong as a man and a half and i am at least as strong as half a man - bahahahah!

    Arsenius - while we were still back in the city we read all kinds of plumbing books, electrical, insulating, etc. - but man oh man are we learning on the fly! you sure are right though - when you accomplish something it makes you feel proud. i am so glad that your roof is done!

    Flier389 - you are dead right about making sure that someone else is always around. we do all of our work together - when he was up in the attic i kept my ears open for any funny sounds and would constantly call up - everyhting ok babe? and he would answer back. we had another hole in a different spot in the kitchen where the attic stairs went - we used that hole to pass tools up and down in a bag on a rope - bahahaha!

    Rob - there aren't enough churches nor ministers in the world that would be able to bless this monstrosity! so we just pray daily that the thing will stay together - bahahahah!

    however, in all fairness to this crap-ass little cottage - last winter we had several days of 100km winds. this little cottage shook like crazy and the fence blew down but it managed to keep itself together. it will be even better once we get all of our work finished.

    thanks for stopping by everyone. more posts on the attic coming soon!

  10. Max:

    oh it is fun buddy! that pressboard gives me the warm and fuzzies!! i had to bag a great deal of the insulation just to get it out of the way!

    yep living the life!


    thanks for the sentiment, it seemed to work, the job is all done and without disaster. i have more posts with pics showing the way, the ladder wasn’t that bad – you can do it buddy!


    I feel exactly the same way. now that the job is done, i feel proud, accomplished and more capable than before. the next items on the agenda don’t seem to hang over our heads quite as heavily, this is what it’s all about – thanks!

    Flier 369:

    i hope your grandmother gave you a dust mask ;-) i was careful as could be, no wires cut, bones broken and kymber kept a watchful eye on me. she was instrumental in getting materials up and me down in one piece. she is the reason there were no disasters.


    we tried, everyone around here knows the place, the Vatican balked and word went out to all the others…we had to pray at home like kymber said, it worked!

    (no animal sacrifices were performed during the making of this attic storage space)

    Thanks everyone for stopping by, more to come!!

  11. All the stuff holding up the roof looks like the way the lunatic constructed and roof and the holdey up things from the flat roof to the slanted roof I was having him build. I took pictures as he worked. Then, I showed them to a city inspector who demanded to know who did the work so they could watch him. They told me the things holding up the roof would never work. 18 years later, I have a really saggy roof in that place.

  12. Practical Parsimony:

    i am sorry you had a wingnut do your roof. it is possible to get factory made trusses for these types of jobs, however i am certain "lunatics" charge a little less and then go digging through their own basements for scraps to keep profits high.

    i am by no means an expert, but even back in the city i was amazed at how haphazard some of the wiring and plumbing appeared in our bungalow. and it was a GOOD structure. there are lots of guys out there with tools, but no clue how to use them. sorry you got shafted.

    i have read up a bunch on the internet about load capacity, re-enforcing etc. the actual roof isn't bad, but there are DEFINITE questions about the stability and strength of the trusses. i am confident i can buttress them. i will post as i go along and maybe you can get some ideas.


  13. Hmm, I agree that your attic could get really spooky at night. Nevertheless, it looks like it could be a great storage space for your boxes and empty suitcases; just make sure you don’t have any leak problems on your roof!