Tuesday, March 6, 2018

We are now one level closer to heaven

We prepared ourselves for the worst. Last winter, we authorized Juri to hire contractors and supervise the installation of a stairway to our attic. I had left him a drawing of where we wanted it and some photos of stairways we had viewed at a store in Lucca.

The previous year, I had left him drawings of the size and placement of the skylights for our roof reconstruction, but the drawings were seemingly taken only as suggestions. Now we wondered if the stairs would be vastly different than what we expected. And whatever else could go wrong, we imagined it.

Juri had mentioned that we might need a door at the top of the stairs to keep out rats, which are able to travel from attic to attic, since all the houses on our street are attached. He also warned that making a hole in the attic floor would create dust that would settle throughout the house, even if the contractors did their best to set up dust shields.

And so, Lucy and I did our best to paint a dismal picture of misplaced stairs made of rough-cut lumber, along with rubble and dust in every inch of the house, not to mention rats crawling over us at night and leaving other evidence of their invasions. Just in case some of this came to pass, we’d be prepared for the disappointment, though we did it all in good humor.

And it was all for nothing, because the stairway is gorgeous and perfectly placed in our entry hallway. It doesn’t interfere with our passage in the hallway, which it would have done if we had put it in one of the bedrooms as we had planned earlier.

The skylights now illuminate the hallway during daylight hours through the new opening. We also paid extra to have Juri install lights and electrical outlets in attic, which are also just as we wished.

In addition, he added a cement floor to the previously unsupported area below the lower skylight so we can open the window and sit and enjoy the view while reading. Lucy wasted little time in moving an area rug, armchair, table and lamp up there, and I awoke from a short nap today to find her settled comfortably below the skylight doing her Bible study.

As for the rats, we’ve seen no evidence of them yet. But just in case, I brought spray foam insulation to seal off any gaps I find between our attic and our neighbors’ walls. As a backup, I’ve also packed some “Just One Bite” rat poison.

We still have cement dust in nearly every room to clean up, but it’s a small price to pay for the enjoyment that’s to come. In the future, we’d like to cover the cement floor with something softer and more attractive, add some cabinets and close off the open areas under the eaves, but for now we are more than happy.

“The opening lights up the hallway that before had no natural light,” Lucy said. “I love sitting in the chair and enjoying the sky and the view in two directions. And from our living room, we can now hear the rain when it beats on the roof and skylights.”


Comments welcome.