Friday, August 15, 2008

Isn't That Grate?

When we bought This D*mn House in 1986 there was danger overhead. Really – we just didn’t know it.

That danger was in the form of a ceiling grate covering the attic access and where the attic fan vents in the hallway that leads to both bedrooms and the bath. (We never used the attic fan until one summer a few years in.)

Almost immediately, we started having incidents which we dubbed “The Amityville Horror.” Moisture would form at ceiling level and drip down the walls. It was almost as if the walls were bleeding, and it screwed up the paint more than once, though most of it could just be wiped away. Then we found the source: the attic vent. Hot air just poured from there. I soon found out why.

But not before a near tragedy. The mother was poking around up there when the grate just came loose at one end. Not a big deal, except for the thing weighed between 20 and 30 pounds. A VERY heavy piece of metal held in place by the equivalent of two deck screws. It’s a wonder it hadn’t just fallen down on its own – and possibly on our heads! Try explaining that at the emergency room. If you even lived.

So, first, here’s this heavy grate not anchored worth a damn. Second, the material on the hatch to the attic fan and the surrounding opening: cardboard. I kid you not. Cardboard! I seriously wanted to throttle the POs at that point.

Instead, I reinforced the aging wood door, we filled in all the gaps with wood, the mother caulked and painted and I put the grate back (after she painted it gold, of course) with four molly screws. Molly and I go way back because the house doesn’t have more than one or two truly solid walls.
Eventually, she devised a really pretty grate that a family friend made. You can see the frame of it in this picture.

As of a few years ago, it became an accent for the dining room light. That necessitated the rebuilding of the vent cover. While I recycled the original wire mesh, we couldn’t get gingerbread to match the original(which matches everything else in the dining room) so we modified the plan. Nothing plain or ordinary for the mother, though it turned out to be relatively easy for once. I got a few pieces of door casing, four bullseye, mimicked the measurements of the original, and viola! Not quite as fancy as its predecessor, but it does the trick.

I hadn’t even thought about that project for a while until I was reading about Tysmommy’s adventures with her attic fan cover, one of her many projects of last weekend.


Anonymous said...

I doubt that I would have figured out what was wrong, or even have known how to fix it...but am very pleased that I actually know what a molly bolt is!

Vicki @ said...

Wow, I'm in awe and I didn't even have a clue as to what you were writing about at all. I recognize attic fan. We used our first one of those last year...
I'm rereading: your attic has a vent that vents into the house? Is that normal? Where would mine be? I'm worried about bat poop. I've heard that bats like to live in attics.

Ty'sMommy said...

That is great! (no pun intended) I much prefer your solution to the problem - much more creative, and no doubt prettier than my utilitarian fix! Nicely done!

NV said...

kspin -- BONUS points for knowing Molly. :-)

V -- It has a door that is raised by a chain, oddly located inside my closet. The vent in the picture is what closes it off from the attic. Nothing could fly through ours 'cept maybe a small bug or two.

Tysmommy -- Thanks! I'm all about easy and practical. The mother is all about ornate and complex. Since I didn't have to make the first one and the second one was pretty easy, I won't complain.

Ann said...

You are some seriously talented chicks, it's insane. And then, you went ahead and spoke Mandarin Chinese with: Molly screws, POs, Casing, and Four Bullseye - I was not informed this blog was going bilingual, young lady!!!

NV said...

Ann -- Thanks. So sawry! I can always create a glossary ... ;-)

Anonymous said...