Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On The Level

With the back walls now completed in the kitchen modification, it was now time to focus on the floors in the back addition. There were three issues that needed to be dealt with.

  • First of all the flooring was a patchwork of 4 inch heart pine in what was the pantry section, then became 3 inch heart pine in what was the original mudroom section, a plywood patch in the later bathroom area, and yes the tried and true soup can lid patches where the old radiator and sink pipes were removed!
  • Second was that the floor had over a 1 inch slope from the main house to the outside wall - and apparently was constructed this way on purpose.
  • The third major issue was that where the original porch was located, originally you stepped down to a lower floor when you went out on the porch from the mudroom. When the porch was converted to a bathroom, another floor was built on top of the original to even the floors out. Unfortunately they did a piss poor job of it.

With the flooring removed (and yes, salvaged for other projects) I first needed to reinforce the point of transition from the old kitchen to the newer section. First I made a nice straight clean cut for the transition. Then a filler piece was cut to fill the gap between the sill on the main foundation and the ends of the floor boards. Once everything was nailed in place, I had a rock solid edge and plenty of meat to nail a 2x6 leader to support the edge of the new sub flooring at the transition. Then after marking a level line to the outside wall, I found that each joist dropped another 1/4 inch from the previous one. So to shim everything up, 1 piece of lathe (I have plenty!) was added to the first joist, then two, and so on till I reached the wall.

Next I had to add 2x6's along the outside perimeter so that I would have support along the edges for the new sub floor. As an added support, cross pieces were added to take any twist out of the original 2x8 joists since they're about a 16 feet long run with only one support point in the middle. They also help support the floor insulation. With the framing for the floor complete up to the old porch I could start adding floor insulation and 3/4 sub flooring.

Once I reached the old porch floor it was time to demo what remained of it and start building a new floor flush with what I just finished. In the original porch floor you can see where the first bathroom was added ( I think in the 1940's), that only part of the porch was sacrificed for. The 1971 conversion would make this entire area into a bathroom.

I continued adding support around the perimeter and for the center joists, I sistered them to the others and extended to the south wall. Cross bracing was also added here as to prevent twisting as well as for support where the dividing wall will be located and toilet/tub locations.

I continued with the sub floor installation, but held off on insulation until the plumbing is complete. I added 1/4 inch backer board to the sub flooring in the powder room area for a tile floor and then built a dividing wall to form the powder room. The ceiling framing you see was from the 1971 bathroom, which I demoed only up to this point. It was pretty straight, so this saved me building a flat ceiling in there.

Now I have a new solid floor with a smooth transition to the old kitchen and to our new powder room. This completes the structural changes for our new kitchen/powder room. Whew!

Structural changes complete - staging items for new layout.

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