0

Merry Christmas everyone! This was a short week for the crew, but I am still amazed by their progress.  This week the HVAC, plumbing and electrical started going in, and all the second floor framing for the new construction is done. By the end of next week the roof over the new area will be completed and sealed in, and then drywall isn’t far behind.

Amy and I need to get on the ball and pick colors for our stucco, trim, and finalize lighting fixture choices! So much to do!

House Remodel Week 9
Mason standing in my future office space
Mason standing in my future office space
With the deck up, I can look back down the south side of the second floor
With the deck up, I can look back down the south side of the second floor
Looking out onto the nothern porch
Looking out onto the nothern porch
HVAC is starting to go in
HVAC is starting to go in
Rough electrical is starting to appear
Rough electrical is starting to appear
A jungle of wires in the kitchen
A jungle of wires in the kitchen
Mason conquering the backyard
Mason conquering the backyard
Future backdoor area
Future backdoor area
Walled in door and recycled window sill
Walled in door and recycled window sill


0

With the holidays coming up I have been pretty busy, so these are up late.  I stopped by the house on a whim early last week and was surprised to find a crew filling in the excavation.  I took those pics with my new phone, a MyTouch 4G, and I have to say they are amazing compared to the ones I took earlier with my old G1.  Anyway, by the end of the week the windows were installed upstairs, and they had done a lot of work reassembling the back wall after ripping it apart, and bricking in the old kitchen doorway.

House Remodel Week 8
Windows in the playroom
Windows in the playroom
Mason's Window
Mason’s Window
Madeleine's windows
Madeleine’s windows
Bathroom windows
Bathroom windows
Looking down on the egress and stairwell with excavation filled in
Looking down on the egress and stairwell with excavation filled in
Refilling excavation
Refilling excavation
Refilling excavation
Refilling excavation
Egress window close up
Egress window close up


0

Things slowed down this week a little bit as a nasty cold swept through the crew.  As you can see, the framing for the dormer is getting close to done, and the back wall of the house has been disassembled to prepare for the insertion of the door and the stairwell.  Our contractor has had some concerns about the structural integrity of that wall as more than half of it was removed.

There was also another treasure, an old mayonnaise jar lid that was trapped in a basement wall.  I don’t know how to date it, but very faint marker says 39 cents on the lid.  When was the last time a jar of mayonnaise was 39 cents?

There is also a huge pile of bricks laying around that are just going to be thrown away.  The red bricks aren’t fire hardened, and they are already disintegrating beyond the point of usefulness, so there is no hope for them.  The exterior brick, however, is mixed into the pile and this weekend I am going on a rescue mission to move them out of the pile so they don’t end up in the landfill.  I have hopes to use them in some sort of landscaping capacity after the project is done.

House Remodel Week 7
Wide view of the house with the dormer roof almost framed
Wide view of the house with the dormer roof almost framed
Font profile of the house with the dormer shown
Font profile of the house with the dormer shown
An old mayonnaise lid they found in a basement wall
An old mayonnaise lid they found in a basement wall
Looking up at the bay window and dormer
Looking up at the bay window and dormer
Excavated area showing hole for egress window and closing in the old basement door
Excavated area showing hole for egress window and closing in the old basement door
Back of house with lots of brick removed
Back of house with lots of brick removed
Brick graveyard
Brick graveyard
Side view of dormer and bay window
Side view of dormer and bay window
Interior of playroom
Interior of playroom
Playroom ceiling, looking back from bay window
Playroom ceiling, looking back from bay window
Inside of house, boards covering huge hole in the wall
Inside of house, boards covering huge hole in the wall
Detail of brick removal
Detail of brick removal
Zoomed in detail of brick removal
Zoomed in detail of brick removal
Detail of brick removal, south side cut
Detail of brick removal, south side cut


0

So much happened last week I had to return to the house on Friday to get new photos.  It’s amazing how the addition of the roofing material changes the scale of the rooms upstairs.  The windows and doors are delivered and I am so excited by how nice they look.  We upgraded the first floor back door to fiberglass instead of the cheaper vinyl, thinking it would fit better into the historical feel of the rest of the windows and doors down there.  I am amazed at how nice it looks and feels, I can’t wait to see them installed.

Tomorrow I have to go to a scary meeting with the contractor, the structural engineer and the architect to discuss “an issue”. I think it has something to do with the new foundation that was poured at the back of the house, and I fear it might come with some sort of price tag. Yikes! Wish me luck.

House Remodel Week 6 1/2
Front of the house with roof decking on, you can really see the profile now
Front of the house with roof decking on, you can really see the profile now
The windows have been delivered
The windows have been delivered
Our future back door, it looks and feels very nice in person
Our future back door, it looks and feels very nice in person
Stack of windows
Stack of windows
Looking up into the framing from the bottom of the stair area
Looking up into the framing from the bottom of the stair area
Detail of the shaped truss tails. They match the old historical ones
Detail of the shaped truss tails. They match the old historical ones
Concrete foundation for the rear stairwell and office
Concrete foundation for the rear stairwell and office
Hallway as seen from the master bedroom
Hallway as seen from the master bedroom
Wide view of the house with the roof on
Wide view of the house with the roof on
Side view of the house with the roof on
Side view of the house with the roof on
Rear of the house with the roof on
Rear of the house with the roof on
Stair foundation showing excavation and position of old door
Stair foundation showing excavation and position of old door
Footer for the future post for the deck
Footer for the future post for the deck


2

There is so much going on this week I already have to post photos.  I worked from home on Tuesday because the crane was supposed to come and move the trusses up for installation.  Unfortunately he was only there for an hour, so when I arrived the crane was long gone and two trusses were already installed.  I knew all of them would be installed in short order, and the decking on the roof was going to go on this week, so I planned on returning Friday to take more pictures.

My mom came back into town from visiting my brother in Baltimore, and decided to stop by today.  She told me that not only were all the trusses installed, but the excavation in the backyard for the future stairwell was already done!  I rushed home to catch what little daylight was left and took some low quality pictures on my mobile phone.  The guys that are working on the house are great, when my mom showed up she popped her head up the ladder and they brought her up, walked her around, and talked with her at length about what was going on.

On to the pictures…

House Remodel Week 6
Back of house with a couple trusses up
Back of house with a couple trusses up
Back of house with a couple trusses up
Back of house with a couple trusses up
Roofline at back of house
Roofline at back of house
Bay Window with trusses in view
Bay Window with trusses in view
Truss against the sky. I just thought this looked cool :)
Truss against the sky. I just thought this looked cool :)
Trusses in my future bedroom
Trusses in my future bedroom
Trusses laying down waiting for installation
Trusses laying down waiting for installation
Front of house with a two trusses installed
Front of house with a two trusses installed
Angle view of the house with the first two trusses
Angle view of the house with the first two trusses
All the trusses installed (mobile)
All the trusses installed (mobile)
Backyard excavation (mobile)
Backyard excavation (mobile)
Southern post excavation (mobile)
Southern post excavation (mobile)
Foundation prep (mobile)
Foundation prep (mobile)
Northern post excavation (mobile)
Northern post excavation (mobile)
Side view of excavated area (mobile)
Side view of excavated area (mobile)
Forest of trusses seen from Madeleine's room (mobile)
Forest of trusses seen from Madeleine’s room (mobile)
Looking west from bedroom (mobile)
Looking west from bedroom (mobile)
Overhead view of excavation (mobile)
Overhead view of excavation (mobile)
Long view of demolished backyard (mobile)
Long view of demolished backyard (mobile)


0

I went by the house today with the family and took a few more pictures. Rather than re-post the same gallery again, you can just go look at the last post to see the updated photos.


2

This week the walls upstairs are starting to go up. I went by the house early in the week and most these photos are from that day. When I went by Wednesday, a lot had been done, and tons of internal wall framing had been done, but my batteries were dead so I couldn’t get anything except the single, exterior photo.

House Remodel Week 5
Some of the exterior walls up, Tuesday
Some of the exterior walls up, Tuesday
Exterior walls up, Tuesday
Exterior walls up, Tuesday
Madeleine's wall up, Tuesday
Madeleine’s wall up, Tuesday
South wall up, Tuesday
South wall up, Tuesday
Framing for west wall, closet. Tuesday
Framing for west wall, closet. Tuesday
Framing for west wall, northern half. Tuesday
Framing for west wall, northern half. Tuesday
All exterior walls up except new construction and bay window. Wednesday
All exterior walls up except new construction and bay window. Wednesday
Mason and Madeleine in front of the trusses
Mason and Madeleine in front of the trusses
Mason in his future room
Mason in his future room
Madeleine in her future room. Do you think shes excited?
Madeleine in her future room. Do you think shes excited?
Our hallway taken from where the top of the stairs will be.
Our hallway taken from where the top of the stairs will be.
Wall between master bedroom and master bathroom and closet
Wall between master bedroom and master bathroom and closet


1

I finally managed to get to the house while the tarp was off the roof and was so excited to walk around on the second floor.  Unfortunately, the moisture coupled with the activity on the roof was just too much for our ceilings.  Earlier I posted photos showing the damage, but it got a lot worse.  Our contractor told us we would have to replace them, so they all got ripped out today, as you can see in the photos for this week.

House Remodel Week 4
Exposed ceiling in the living room
Exposed ceiling in the living room
Exposed ceiling in the dining room
Exposed ceiling in the dining room
Exposed ceiling in the dining room. You can see into Mason's room from this view
Exposed ceiling in the dining room. You can see into Mason’s room from this view
New sewer line for the upstairs laundry installed next to the new post
New sewer line for the upstairs laundry installed next to the new post
A hole in the downstairs coat closet for some reason. I forgot to ask why it's there
A hole in the downstairs coat closet for some reason. I forgot to ask why it’s there
Exposed ceiling in the Mason's room
Exposed ceiling in the Mason’s room
Exposed ceiling in the hallway
Exposed ceiling in the hallway
Exposed ceiling in the kitchen
Exposed ceiling in the kitchen
Exposed ceiling in the my old bedroom
Exposed ceiling in the my old bedroom
It seems our leftover window hardware has come in handy for hanging things
It seems our leftover window hardware has come in handy for hanging things
The backyard as of week 4, the dumpster is full of our old ceilings
The backyard as of week 4, the dumpster is full of our old ceilings
Subfloors installed on the second story!
Subfloors installed on the second story!
Future exterior wall of Madeleine's room
Future exterior wall of Madeleine’s room
Future exterior wall of the master suite
Future exterior wall of the master suite

Next week should be pretty exciting. Even though it’s Thanksgiving, by the end of the week all the framing for the upstairs walls will be in!


0

Construction is at a phase when photos don’t show much progress. Electrical is being laid down in preparation for the floor and walls this week.  I thought I would take some time to explain how we went about the design process that got us here.

When we talked about starting this project, I spent most of my time sketching new layouts for the kitchen/family room area.  I think I started there because it was the only place in the house that I could see and touch, and at that point we didn’t know what the wall repair/upstairs expansion would turn into.  I measured the house and put together a floor plan in Photoshop, grayed out the walls that were to be removed, and printed out several dozen sheets.

In the end we couldn’t afford the kitchen remodel, but while we were thinking about it we came to the realization that the wall separating the kitchen and our bedroom would eventually need to go, and it currently was load bearing.  For the second floor design, we were able to engineer it to take the weight off, so when we do that project, the wall can come down with no problem.

The other thing we realized is that the fridge was a total fly in the design ointment in the kitchen layout.  This allowed us to make another decision to prepare for a future remodel.  In the linen closet adjacent to the kitchen there was a large brick furnace chimney.  The original plan was to use this chimney to support second story framing, but we realized that if we were able to eliminate it’s footprint from the first floor, we could inset the fridge into the wall there, freeing up the floor plan.

Once we learned that we were going to do a complete second floor, we shifted our energies there, and started looking seriously for an architect.  We knew the short list of what we wanted: master suite (master bedroom, master bath, walk in closet), two bedrooms for the kids, an additional upstairs bathroom for the kids, and some stairs.  This post is getting a little long, so I will cut it off here.  I will do several follow up design posts, showing the original designs from the architect and how they morphed over time into the final product.


0

Another little treasure that was uncovered during demolition was a small piece of lumber with a hand drawn fancy ampersand character, and an impression from the lumber company. It came from the enclosed porch on the back of the house that was added after the initial construction in 1912.

It was a little hard to read, but eventually I decided the letters said “RUCKER BROS. HARTFORD WASH.”. I always thought Hartford was in Connecticut. Anyway, a little searching yielded a wikipedia entry for Rucker Brothers that were based in Washington. They were entrepreneurs in the late 1800s/early 1900s that did a variety of things, a timber company among them. I dug a bit, hoping to find something that would help me learn when the enclosed porch might have been constructed, but my research was inconclusive.