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Gaping Hole In Our Living Room Wall

2015 April 16
by Curmudgeon

First and most important disclaimer: it’s all Janice’s fault. After all in my existence Janice is “she who must be obeyed” and considering how much she is to me, that obedience is a joy. There is a bit more to this episode so strap yourselves in and pay attention.

So about a year and three months ago we all got eviction notices from the mobile home court owners. Little more needs saying that hasn’t already been said ad-nauseum. One day while Janice, Da Brudda and I were scheming how to go about putting home back together once at our new location it was decided the ‘family room’ would be matched up on the opposite side of our house. Nothin’ to it. Right? Well as we plotted and planned Janice asked if we could open an archway between living room and family room. Why not? Of course we could make an archway. Hell, if she really wanted we could possibly figure out how to make the whole place into a submarine. Only problem: the Red River may not be conducive to launch such a vessel. OK, scratch the submarine concept. An archway on the other hand became a forgone conclusion.

We stayed somewhat ahead of the curve and got necessary preparations completed to make it through the cold months. For the uninitiated, North Dakota serves up unforgiving winter weather even with puny snowfall such as this winter. Seemingly endless below zero stretches makes one forget there ain’t much snow on the ground. And after a while cabin fever sets in and you gotta do something besides drink to excess or hibernate. February was the breaking point for both Da Brudda and I. So we gathered tools into the family room, planted his table saw beside the deck and started opening walls between living room and family room. Oh yeah, there’s nothing like gagging, choking and hacking up green nasties from gypsum, fiberglass insulation and plain ole’ ordinary sawdust to let ya know you’re alive and in project mode. Suddenly there were only living room studs and family room studs between the two rooms. Indeed, the archway was in process.

Two Walls And Lotsa Studs

Then came the fateful day we realized a 2X8 needed to be ripped down to 6 inches wide. As I recall it was about -10° F when we set up the rip gate on the table saw and I started feeding the piece through to Da Brudda. Y’know I’ve had more fun but there was huge satisfaction to putting that piece in place and going “yep it looks good.”

There was endless banter discussing options how to support the roofs while getting permanent headers in place. Our methodology may have been less than orthodox but there was never a question of strength. After all we are “the overkill kings.”

A Couple Three 2X4s Oughta Hold Thing Up. Right?

A Couple Three 2X4s Oughta Hold Thing Up. Right?

Finally came the day there were no wall studs, no temporary supports, no anything except 12½‘ of open wall. Talk about space, the final frontier. There is nearly 27’ from the north living room wall to the south family room wall. Not quite enough for the Star Ship Enterprise but still impressive.

Look Ma! No Uprights!

Look Ma! No Uprights!

Janice arrived home from work, looked over the gaping hole that was once two walls and commented when she originally asked if we could make an archway she had maybe a six foot opening in mind.

Any Volunteers To Do The Finish Work?

Any Volunteers To Do The Finish Work?

Six foot? Oh come now! Not with a genetic predisposition to overkill in our DNA.