In a tight spot

Today just sucked. Hard. Gas line replacement on an 80 year old house that was apparently built by midgets. Quite possibly one of the tightest spaces I have ever been in. We had to dig down at the opening just so I could squeeze in, and from there it just got worse. I had to go under one main beam, it sat only 8 inches from the ground, so under it I had to dig. Even though I dug under, I still had to blow every ounce of air out of my chest in order to clear it. Not the most pleasant of sensations.

The floor boards were about three inches over my head. Most definitely not a place for someone who is the least bit claustrophobic. Which I am not, thankfully. Penetrations like this make me uneasy, simply because it is a real struggle to move around under there, and getting turned around to get out takes some real planning. You WILL remove the hide from your knees and elbows, and you pull yourself around with your fingertips and push with your toes. You will also bash your head against the beams and joists a whole bunch of times. Maybe that is what is wrong with me.

Here you can see Bill (the fellow that works for me) trying to clear some roots from the scuttle hole entrance. That pile of dirt is what we had to dig out in order for me to squish into that hole.

These are my working conditions. The pipe you see is the new gas line I am putting in. The board below it is the main beam in the center of the house. The space between the floor and beam is less than six inches. This beam I could not get under at all, it literally sat on the ground.

And here is my office. That circular point of light you see in the distance is the front of the house. This photo was taken 25 feet from the front of the house and 20 feet from the side of the house. And yes, it is as narrow as it looks. I had my phone under the house with me for two reasons. First, to communicate to Bill what length and size of pipe I needed cut and threaded. And second, to be able to reach him for help, because of the very real possibility that I might get hung up under this house and not be able to get out by myself.

At least the view from my office changes every couple of days. Because if I had to do this every day, I would quit. It’s just horrid.

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2 Responses to In a tight spot

  1. Anonymous says:

    E gads Sherita! don't know how you do it!!!!CT

  2. I feel your pain. My house was built in 1927 by the same midget crew. It is actually called an old "Humble Oil Field House" from the days of Humble Oil Company. I damn near got stuck under the house [when we did our gas line]-it was my boobs! My son had to grab my feet and pull me out.

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