his post is nothing more than a chance to whine about how sore and tired I am after the weekend. Seriously. I'm going to spend the next 200 or so words just coming up with a variety of ways to make you feel sorry for me, and generally get some cheap sympathy.
Sally and I tackled the first part of project "Raise the Roof" this weekend. We're tearing out all the plaster from the the ceiling of the sanctuary. It's mostly overhead work, and some parts come down easily, while other parts are patched with what seems to be a cement that takes a lot of pounding to make a dent in. It's incredibly dusty, thick stuff, and it's all bound together with horsehair. I started on Thursday, and it took about six hours for me to clear off one large section. Sally joined in Saturday and Sunday, and came up with a better technique that sped the whole mess up. We've got about 65% of it all knocked down, and we've got until Wednesday to finish it. Well, Wednesday is just when they take away our dumpster, but it's good to put yourself on a deadline.
At some point I managed to get the camera up on the scaffolding and into the attic space to take a few shots of the truss system supporting the roof and ceiling.
There's a good 8 feet or more from the ceiling height all the way up to the peak of the roof, and that height diminishes as you go out toward the eaves. Sally spent considerable time looking around the attic space, and asked a dreaded question at some point... "Why don't we expose the rafters?"
Now, if this was totally
impossible, I would explain such to Sally and note that simply having a high cathedral ceiling is pretty great all on its own, and there you are. Just be happy with what we've got. But in point of fact if we can figure out a way to do this and still recycle the heat that's getting trapped up there, then I think we'll have a genuinely interesting ceiling. See more shots of the work in progress here
So here's the challenge: Heat management. Your roof is supposed to keep out the elements, and your ceiling is supposed to keep in the heat. You need a gap between your ceiling and your roof for air to circulate. We technically have the height to raise the center of the ceiling considerably and expose the wood trusses and still leave breathing room for the roof. We can blow in insulation (or attach rolls if the pitch becomes too steep) on the back of the ceiling. This will trap the heat, which ceiling fans can force back down (and thus recycle as much heat as possible).
The difficulty is labor, cost, and aesthetics. We need a ceiling material that is as cheap as drywall, but easier to cut and install (and preferably weighs a lot less). It would also be nice if it needed a minimum of finishing work, because there's going to be a lot of it. This material will need to be cut and fitted to go through and around all the trusses. The tighter the fit, the better the heat retention. As I told Sally, when a client calls me at work and asks "how hard would it be to add some new feature", my favorite understatement is "It would be non-trivial."
This task would be extraordinarily non-trivial, unless we can get very creative. So I'll post a reward (payable in Mt. Dew and/or Blueberry Pop-Tarts) for creative thoughts and ideas on how to work this out.
In other news, we did manage to get the gas company to acknowledge the church is now a home, versus a business, which will save us a few bucks each month. It's more of a moral victory than a financial one, I have a feeling. Also, we went to an auction of an old Baptist church in Fairbury IL. We here hoping to get some great stuff, but ended up being outbid on all but a long beat-up pew. We like it though, and now we have two pew. Make sure to reserve your seats early for our services. =) Check the auction photos
for the 12ft high stained glass that went for a cool $1300. It was nice, and I would have totally found a home for it. Ah well.