The joy of the old house. Cool architecture. Cozy rooms. Bad plumbing. Worse wiring. Luckily, our home inspector was a retired electrician so everything in the wiring department checked out... Peace of mind is such a great thing. Not sure where he got his training, but I think he missed a few things. Yep, a real electrician will need to be coming to our house sometime soon to rewire our attic (old, wood insulation over, well, potentially sketchy wiring) before we can insulate that space. Shredded wood, dust, pollen, tree seeds and the like aren't getting the job done and winter will be here sooner than later.
In the meantime, my wonderful husband has been "cleaning up" the wiring situation in the unfinished portion of the basement. He located the fixture for the mystery switch at the bottom of the stairs (concerning because it was fed with cloth-covered wire) which he then referred to as, "That light by the furnace, you know, the one that looks like Medusa." Oh yeah, I know that one. Now it is just a junction box with wire nuts instead of tape holding wires together inside. Up to code. Safe. And he removed some additional wiring and outlets in order to prepare for jacking up the floor under the kitchen to repair a previous owner's attempt at possibly creating space under the stairs by cutting out all the supports on a load-bearing wall. Genius. One of those wires was live, just sticking out the wall with tape on one wire and nothing on the other. Right now, as I type, he is reading his wiring book, learning new and exciting ways to make our house safer! Did I mention I love him?