Beaumont, TX; March 29, 2023 – After two full months focused on the upper floors, week nine of the McFaddin-Ward House electrical upgrade saw the official start of electrical work on the first floor – the house’s most spacious level containing the home’s most elaborate rooms and ornate light fixtures.
Electricians from Newtron Electrical Services began wiring in the Butler’s Pantry, moving south through the Dining Room, and into the Pink Parlor. Using flexible drill bit extensions up to 124 inches long, electricians were able to create channels within the walls in order to navigate new wiring to the sconces set in the Dining Room’s picturesque triple windows and those on the Pink Parlor’s hand-painted canvas-covered walls. Removal of small portions of the home’s exterior siding was required to provide better access and revealed an interesting building technique common in turn of the century homes – layers of horsehair insulation dating back to the house’s construction.
Electricians utilized basement access for wiring most of the first floor, but the Breakfast Room’s nine overhead lights – resembling hanging green grapes – required a different approach. Oak Grove Restoration Company created a catwalk in the narrow, one-foot-high crawlspace above the room, providing access to the light fixtures from above and preventing damage to the room’s unique stenciled leather ceiling. The room’s final three fixtures provided quite the challenge but were successfully reached with the clever use of instruments, patience, and solid teamwork.