What’s beneath your 100 year old floors?

Leslie's ClosetWell,  today has been quite a day. The contractors were here installing our central air conditioning. We talked duct placement, register locations, efficiency, etc. Of course I wanted to know everything about everything!

We had to run two drop downs of air conditioning duct work from the second floor to the first floor ceiling to allow the AC to reach our first floor living areas.  One duct was going to run through the guest room right next to our chimney wall and the other through my walk in closet.  The guest room duct would cool our living room and dining room, and the closet duct would allow cooling to our kitchen.  Keep in mind our house is almost 100 years old, 83 to be exact. It was all going smoothly until the drop down through my walk in closet.

Upon test drilling in the closet floor to see where we would end up in the kitchen we discovered a concrete floor. Odd, why would there be a concrete floor in a closet? Surely it was just a thin pour and they could power through it. Not so, a masonry bit discovered there was at least 4″ of concrete there and it could be possible to get through it but how would that disturbance affect the condition of the rest of the concrete floor? We talked it over and decided to drop the duct through my large closet and then cut through into my husband’s tiny closet just in the back corner on the floor to get the duct to the kitchen ceiling.

All right, we have a solution! Hummm, but maybe not.

Once through, we discovered that at some point in time my closet might have been a bathroom, the concrete was over 6″ thick we could see it.  The ceiling in the kitchen is much shorter than the rest of the first floor but I never thought much about it. When we got into the closet floor we saw why. There are pipes and tubing and wiring in all directions. Just total mayhem! At some point in our home’s history the kitchen and bath must have been remodeled.  The concrete floor in my closet must have been causing the ceiling of the kitchen to heave in places so a drop ceiling provided instant camouflage for the unevenness and a handy space to go crazy with all of the necessities to modernize a kitchen and bath. The next time you casually pace your homes floors take a moment to think about what is hiding in the layer between floor and ceiling. You just might find something like this!

So far the process for the central air conditioning adventure has been amazing. Not too messy. Faster than I ever thought possible. Much more affordable than I thought. Of course today it’s 55 degrees outside, not air conditioning temperatures mind you, but now we’ll be ready for a hot summer of 2010!

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