Monday, February 20, 2012

Our First Failure

February  2011
O no, our first admitted house failure.  I came home from work on Monday and was watching TV on the couch.  While I was watching* I heard an omnious sound that seemed to be cracking coming from the dining room.  I turned off the TV and raced into the room.  There carefully looking at the ceiling I started noticing two hairline cracks that were not there before.  It could only mean one thing, our chandelier that had been up for nearly 24 hours was cracking the ceiling.  

Your first immediate reaction is GET IT DOWN, but I was alone in my house and was kinda hopeless.  I removed everything off the table and started assembling the tools.  When Josh arrived home an hour later, the longest hour of my life.  I attempted to tell him as calmly as possible. Of course, in my head, I had a mental image of our dining room covered in lath and plaster dust everywhere, furniture ruined, tears.... you get the picture.  Josh agreed we needed to get it down that night so at 6:30pm we went to work.  We hurried and turn off the breaker, grabbed the ladder and started to unhook the chandelier.  Thirty minutes later our brand new, super beautiful, and excited about chandelier laid on the ground.  After that, we did some test drills to find our why it was cracking.  We soon realized it was exactly what we had feared.  The prior light's mounting bracket was not screwed into the structure it was only screwed into the lath. This was fine for the 2lb boob lamp but would in no way hold our 50lb chandelier.   We felt like idiots.  We assumed that in the center of a room there would be a joists and that the prior mounting bracket would be on it.  There is actually no joist in the center of our dining room.... now what?

The next weekend, Josh engineered a solution guaranteed to hold up not only the chandelier but also a large silver-backed ape swinging on it.  We went upstairs in the attic and installed a 2'x4' between our two joists to act as a bridge.  We place all thread rods through the 2'x4' and through the ceiling in the dining room and mounted the bracket to it.  Just to be sure we marked all the old cracks in the ceiling and then installed the chandelier back.  Good news, it was quicker the second time, bad news it still weighed a ton. For the next week we watched the cracks to see if they grew.  They did not, and I did not hear anything else from the dining room.  We patched the cracks and painted and pretended like it had never happened.  Except I just told everyone on the internet, and everytime a contractor goes in our attic they say-- what's with the 2x4?

*side note for everyone, I tend to watch TV at an alarmly quiet level-- seriously like level 8, I am half deaf (no hearing in the left) and this makes it even weirder. But I swear I hear it better if it's lower.  This annoys Josh who needs it at level 25 which feels insane to me.

1 comment:

  1. Don't consider it a failure.....nothing was broken and you are wiser now! Looks great!