Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tear down that wall! Structural improvements begin

Part of one bedroom wall being torn down. The
blue tape on the floor marks the placement
of the new office walls.
Yesterday the first structural improvements in the house began with tearing out one of the master bedroom walls to access a hallway walk-in closet, and then building two new walls to form a new (albeit small) office area. The alternative would have been to use one of the smaller bedrooms as an office, yet doing so would have reduced precious space that should be reserved for beds. That wasn't really a viable option so building a new office makes more sense.

Keith Hurst installing a new wall for the office
while his brother Hal looks on. 
This essential preparatory work before the first Soldiers and war zone civilian workers is being performed by Keith Hurst, a Viet Nam veteran and Marion County native, with help from Charles Jefferson. The two of them have already proven to be prompt, organized, and well prepared with all necessary tools and equipment. And they are extremely motivated to help transform the Valhalla vision into a reality!

A wild turtle trapped by the sunken living room.
We let him go after giving him a pile of lettuce;
a very interesting guest who was happy to leave! 
Once the office is completed it will be necessary to raise the sunken living room, since it is currently a safety hazard, to bring it flush with the other floors in the house. Sunken living rooms were trendy in the 1970s when the house was originally built, yet several people have accidently stumbled off the 6" high ledge already. It would be a navigational nightmare for those in wheelchairs or with prosthetics so it will be fixed in the coming weeks.

Gordon figured out that if the new refrigerator
couldn't fit through the kitchen door then anyone in
a wheelchair would be stuck outside too!

While most Valhallans will not have any major
physical disabilities it will still be important to have
the capacity to accommodate those who do.
Other essential projects to prepare the house for future Valhallans include widening several narrow doorways to 36", converting an existing bathroom into an easy-access wet room with safety rails and related features, replacing the hazardous wood burning stove pipe with an insulated fire-safe chimney, and upgrading the kitchen to facilitate food preparation for large numbers of people. While Soldiers and war zone civilian workers will be taking on many construction projects here at Valhalla in the future, existing safety hazards and accessibility issues will be resolved in the coming weeks.

Valhalla cats Vixen and Joker aren't very excited by structural upgrade projects. They just don't care.



Our IRS application for nonprofit status is being processed, 
yet you can still donate to help Valhalla today!

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