Were you expecting more pictures of decorations? Nope, this is more of a state-of-the-kitchen-at-Christmas update.
Troy has begun reinforcing/building up the support beam across the ceiling. It was mentioned in the very first kitchen post. Here is the best picture I could find of it:
Troy started by filling in all the openings between each of the wall studs from the second floor. That stopped a lot of cold drafts from falling into the kitchen. He also had to trim off all the studs that were sticking out the bottom and cut the bottom of the boards level.
Once that was done, he could begin to rebuild it. He has started to apply 2x6s to the bottom of the beam with glue and nails. After each layer, the beam is jacked up to a slight arch shape.
Although Troy had already seen that there had been a fire in the kitchen at some point, this work has revealed just how much damage had been done. He thinks they're lucky the whole house didn't go. And it's made him wonder if that was when they decided to build out onto the porch. (If you have to replace part of the wall anyway...)
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