Monday, January 12, 2009

Home Repair

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, while taking the Christmas decorations out of the attic, S fell from the attic to the ground, missing the rung of the ladder he intended to stand on. This caused two outcomes - first, S's shoulder was damaged in the fall. After ascertaining it was not broken or anything horrible, he's been nursing it back to health slowly. Second, his fall (and his shoulder) broke the bottom of the 1951 attic stair unit.

At first, S felt he could repair the attic stairs. But, upon closer examination, one of the hinges holding the stairs to the attic opening had broken, so it had to come out. S shopped a long time for the replacement. He wanted to get the best option. He's sort of obsessive compulsive when it comes to getting the "best" item. Anyhoo, after deciding there was really no "best" option, he bought the one at the local hardware store for installation.

Before he started, I removed all the photos from the walls of the hallway. The hallway is lined with family photos in large number on both sides. It was imperative they came out while the activity was underway.

The old stairs with the ropes from the pulley system.

Another look at those ropes.

He decided to begin this installation all by his lonesome. Well, I was in the house, but I am not handy in this way. Nor could I carry the amount of weight involved in removing a 50's attic staircase and installing a new one.

So, S devised this really elaborate pulley system to lower the old attic stair to the ground. This is what prompted me to get out the camera and make this a post. By the time I got the camera over there, I didn't get a shot of the pulley system in action - sorry! I only got the aftermath.

S still in the attic.

How do you suppose you'll get down?

Of course, as soon as the attic ladder was safely down, S needed a way down. All he had brought in the house was his new 4' ladder (thank you Dad and Torchy for this gift). This made me the likely subject to go find a taller ladder in the garage to save him.

Rough opening before the new ladder went in.

S is really very good at thinking things through. And, VERY handy at home improvement stuff. So, I have to point this little fact out. It never happens that he's caught hanging from an attic, so to speak.

New ladder

While S was climbing out of the attic, I decided to have a look at the directions for the new ladder. On said directions, it clearly states that you need two people to install this thing. I had no intentions of being the second person. That never ends well. So, I called in reinforcements. When S went to the garage to get more supplies, I called his dad, Sam.

The ladder in the box.

Luckily, Sam was at home and available to come over and help the husband, who thought he could install an attic ladder without a second pair of hands. Whew.

(Incidentally, I was not sitting idle while they worked - I was hard at work myself on a couple of other home clean-up projects.)

Once Sam arrived, S and he went about installing the new ladder.
He's standing on that 4' ladder in this photo.

It really went up quickly.

The unit in place - no shimming required!!!
S had planned for a perfectly square opening.

S used the new ladder to measure for the trim.

I thought it was a good time for a photo op.

Here, he was clearly using the attic stairs - no need for the 4' ladder!

I have no idea what either of them are doing in this photo.
But, I decided to include it anyway!

S and Sam installed the trim one by one, cutting with the saw in garage.

And Voila! Nicely done, boys.

It is noticeably less drafty than the old unit. Actually, the old unit used to really bug me, so I was not sad to see it go. We'll get this all painted up sometime soon.

Thanks S, for a great photo opportunity and for the new attic stairway!

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