Ceiling In Progress: Installing LVLs

Whef today was rough! We woke up to -4 degree temps. The pipes were frozen and the drain was still backed up. Greg tried to drive to the gym to take a shower when the radiator hose on the truck burst.

Our carpenters started installing LVLs to help stabilize the sagging ceiling. LVL beams (Laminated Veneered Lumber) are being sistered to the old beams. LVLs are much stiffer then typical lumber but they do cost 3xs as much. Tomorrow the new LVL beams need to be screwed into place.

Jeff from ASAP Drains came this afternoon to help us clean out the clogged pipe. It took about 20 minutes to get the drained cleared of a few roots which had caused it to clog, back up, and freeze. We think we could have a potential bigger problem lurking.

When we first moved in we had the same exact issue. We removed a whole pile of roots that built up in the pipes —something I will never do again; see nasty photo here! We also dug out the whole area around the pipe removing all roots we could find and spreading copper sulfate. So either it’s a really bad root problem or we have a strange kink in the pipes that causes poor draining?

We need a bottle of wine tonight!

p.s. it took us so long to get the drain cleared because Greg was calling the wrong person for the problem. There are two plumbing “specialties” for two different types of plumbing: Water/Heating pipes vs. Drain Pipes. He’d called a water/heating plumber who was just going subcontract out the job to the drain pipes plumber which is why we assume it was taking so long to get someone out to our house. We called the drain plumber directly and got Jeff from ASAP Drains to the house in just a couple hours.

Related Posts:
Yay: New Door, Nay: Frozen Pipes
Getting Estimates For New Ceilings
Weekend Warriors: Tackling Floors and Clogged Drain

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  1. Guys, you sure need to look into re-piping your place. Roots don’t get into good, solid pipes. Now it’s the time to do it, after it’s all closed and decorated it’s going to turn into a nightmare.
    My sink doesn’t drain at all, it’s really minor compared to your problem, but makes me think of you.

    Take care!


  2. Sounds like you had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, Katy. Hope this is the end of your root-in-pipe problems for awhile!


  3. oh no. sorry for the string of bad luck, but it will change very soon. the house is looking really beautiful though. love the striped wood and the beams.


  4. Hang in there! You are doing such a good job with your projects! I really love your site, by the way. I am catching up on all your archives too. It’s one of my daily stops, so thanks also for your work here, as well as on your beautiful home.


  5. this is a totally different subject, Im looking at tea room with the new ceiling and I have to say I just love the stripped wood and the plaster with all the marks and bits of paint and wood. I understand that its may be a bit too much but the thought of buttering the entire thing over with thick paint to make it look gentile and clean makes me shudder. I was wondering if maybe as a transition to paint you might think about just liming it. which would even out the tones a bit but keep the texture and life of the walls as they are.
    I know: to each , his own!


  6. A bottle of wine is definitely well deserved after your day! Despite all our frozen pipe issues, our drains have never frozen — and I hope they never do.

    Sunday we discovered that a bird had gotten into (and stuck) in our house (again) and left his mark on nearly every flat surface… After cleaning it up and making sure he was no longer lurking, we didn’t have any wine so we treated ourselves to a good hour of extra trashy TV. Almost as good.


  7. Katy I look at that second photo and I love your house, toilet-burrowing roots and all.


  8. Whoops—I had that glass of wine and now I seem to have a hard time commenting properly! You may want to think about having your roots ground out regularly. We are on Front Street and have ASAP come in May and October to clean out the pipe that our big tree loves. The drain guy explained to me that the roots are looking for water (from your toilet, yuck) and can’t go down because we have so much rock here. We learned this trick the hard way. If you schedule an actual appointment you will not pay the emergency fee and it is worth every penny not to wake up to pipes gushing or toilets backing up. Stay warm!


  9. Sounds like a truly terrible day. Maybe a glass of wine is called for.

    Here is a little something funny I read on FB today; it may brighten your spirits”

    …..”When LIFE gives you LEMONS……..stuff those lemons into an old TUBE SOCK and smack the shit outta LIFE with your new lemony scented ASS-KICKING sock puppet. Sure thing to lift the SPIRITS!!!!!

    Hope tomorrow is a better day.