The Pit of Despair

Here's a perfect example of the weird issues with our house. When you attempt to enter the living room from the dining room, the door opens on a small landing in the middle of a staircase. Going left (upstairs) takes you to the small in-laws' apartment, or going right takes you downstairs to the living room. If you choose the downward path, you first have to walk UP two stairs so that you have enough room to navigate around the door, because it opens outward and blocks the downward route -- not leaving enough room to swing closed with you standing there. We're eventually going to move the stairs altogether, so this mazelike situation will no longer be a problem.

Anyway, once you finally figure out how to get into the living room, this is what it looks like:

Not too bad, right? Nice natural lighting--just in need of some cosmetic work. Or so it would seem... But then when you open the door just behind my mom (who always looks this fabulous, by the way), you encounter this:

What we have here, my friends, is an abyss! A door that leads to nowhere. The previous owner apparently ran out of money when building the addition, so he finished half of the living room and blocked off the other half for a rainy day. He also stashed a bunch of junk (toys, magazines, building materials, things that giant spiders like to build webs on, etc.) under the floor that my mother-in-law and I had a fun time fishing out over the weekend.
At some point we'll have to get some new joists, build a new floor and make this into one big spacious living room. Very exciting, I think. I'm also considering an indoor jacuzzi... or maybe we could be a stop on the Underground Railroad!

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