Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Framing in the Kitchen

Well as you can see out across the street neighbor, Matt Butcher is rehabbing his house too. It is a bit of a controversy on the block because he wants to add a full third floor and some people think that would kill the view for people on our side of the block. I have not made up my mind on the matter. I don't want to tell him what to do, but I don't want to lose $10k or more if our precious “water view” goes away. I don’t know what will happen. If too many people say nay, he can’t build it. Right now I have too many things on my plate to try to bother with it.

As far as our house is concerned … We spent much of the weekend trying to sort out the kitchen and back wall. The last joist in the house was totally shot, so we pulled it out. We have not put a new one back just yet. We spent a lot of time fixing holes in the wall. It is a tedious process of finding bricks that match, then mortaring them in.

We also started to replace the back window. We took out the old window, but that caused the cinder blocks on top of it to fall in. We had to rebuild the cinder blocks so that we could install the new window. The cinder blocks have been replaced, but we have not replaced the window just yet.

The biggest issue now is doors. The city inspector has insisted that one door has to be at least 36 inches wide and all other doors are 32 inches wide. Currently the back door is 29 inches and the front is 30 inches. It won’t be too hard to change the front to 32, but changing the back to 36 will not be easy. I don’t like it but just want to do so we can move on. I have been talking with a neighbor who just did the same thing. It is not very reassuring, because my biggest fear, that the wall will fall down, happened to him. I friend of mine, Joe came up with a scheme that should work to keep it from falling in. The only real problem now is that we need to move the electrical box, before we do the work. I think we will try to get the electrical contractor to move the box ASAP. The only problem is we don’t know who that will be.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Framing the Bathrooms

Over this past weekend we got most of the framing done. It feels great to actually see some result of our work. The upstairs master bathroom is framed in. I am very happy with how it came out so far. It is very large, but still leaves plenty of room in the rest of the house. We also framed in the downstairs bathroom. That was easy by comparison. All the walls are rectangles, that makes life so much easier. We really should have done that first. We also started framing in the kitchen. We built one of the walls. We made a hole in the wall so that we could show some brick through it. It should make a nice little storage area behind the stove

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Learning To Frame

We really started the construction this weekend. We started with framing the upstairs bathroom. We decided to follow the slanted roof line for the ceiling. This made all of the construction much harder. Only some of the measurements were square. Annie and I worked all day on Saturday to complete one wall. We would build the wall erect it and find some problem. Drop the wall try to rectify the problem and start over. I don’t know how many times we tried to put up the wall before it was good.

On Sunday we had more luck. We also had David’s help to guide us. We got almost 3 walls built. It also helped that we worked out some of the bugs of building a slanted wall. We were not able to finish the wall however because we underestimated how much lumber we would use. We started with 42 studs. The next time I will get twice as many at least. We have done a lot of the framing, but there is still a lot to do.

With a little bit of luck we might be able to have most of the framing done by next week. Perhaps even get the plumbers, electricians and HVAC in by next week.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Annie is Learning

So it has been an amazing process working on our first home. I have been having a great time learning about construction and power tools :) Last weekend I learned how to use a skill saw, I was nervous but it was not that difficult and a lot of fun. This whole experience will be one I hope to never forget.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Starting the Construction

This weekend we started the construction. There was no definite end to the demolition. In fact there is still more to do. Basically we got to the point that almost the entire demo was done and we were ready to do the construction.

After creating 13 floor plans with two bedrooms and two baths upstairs we decided to scrap all that and start with a new idea all together. Two bed 2 bath is what almost everybody does here. We are going to make a loft space out of the house. With the skylight and no walls there is very good light in the house. We are going to try to keep that. We are going to put one large bathroom upstairs and a half bath upstairs. There will be no walls separating the bedrooms. It will be a very unconventional space. We will build in such a way that it could easily be converted into a convention 2 bedroom house.

As for the actual work being done… We got one very high bid for framing, so we decided to embark on it our selves. There were two main tasks we are working on now. One is fixing the sag in the second story floor. This involved jacking up the floor and then securing a new joist in place. This was rather hard work because it involved bending 2x6 joists and moving the entire upstairs. This task is almost complete.

The second is laying a new sub-floor upstairs. We decided to lay 1/2" plywood on the second floor. The original wood flooring is in bad shape. It has lots of holes and it has a lot of give to it. This is fairly easy work. Cut the 4x8 sheets down to fit the joists, then glue, nail and screw them into place. This also is mostly done. We need to finish fixing the sag before we can finish laying the sub-floor.