The Old Enemy
In a wooden framed house, termites and leaking water have long been the enemy. Today we have water proof membranes and pest control, but in the early Qing dynasty one could but build a house well and take good care of it. This policy saw ours through Centuries, until political revolution and building neglect allowed these enemies at the gate a toe in the door. In our case, they had attacked the corner joint of our main beam, a booming 8 metre long piece of Asian red maple supporting half of our house, and would need to be changed. After we took down a smaller sub beam, we saw the inside was hollowed out by termites (picture below) and feared for the worst as we looked at its big brother still holding half the house up a few metres away.