Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back Inside

Last time I blogged I was wrapping up the siding job and working on the soffit. Well lets just say scaffold was not the best place for me to be working so I decided to throw myself into a new project. First I gutted the master bedroom add-on closet which opened up the doorway between the 2 front bedrooms. Nothing like good old sledge hammer swingin for some therapy! I think the neighbors thought I had finally lost it as debris began raining from the second story window. Well that didn't take long so I had to come up with something bigger..... the 3rd floor.

This was the area I had been using as a tv/computer/living area since I moved in. It had been somewhat redone with all new drywall, but it was still not up to my standards. The 3rd floor consisted of a staircase that led up to a entrance hall with entrances to each bedroom. The back smaller room has a closet which will eventually house the AC unit for the 2nd and 3rd floor. The front room is much larger but no dormer closet. So I kicked around several plans over the years and finally I decided to open up the entire floor as more of a loft, open up the staircase to the upstairs more, add a dormer closet to the front area, and build a chase for the fireplace chimney.

So first step, break out the sledge again!

Next I built the framing for the chimney chase. The angle makes it so that it's about 5 feet wide, but this is just the right amount to break up the front and back areas a bit. On the front half I can put a TV setup and on the back I can set up my desk for an office area. Then I framed out a dormer closet next to the stairs for more storage, especially since I will lose the existing one to the AC unit.

Also notice I cut out the wall enclosing the stairway, which created a kneewall and opened up the two windows in the stairway to the rest of the upstairs.

Next step was dealing with the wiring. There were 3 existing Halo recessed lights in the front bedroom. I removed the closest one to the center of the loft and replaced it with a ceiling fan. On each side of this fan I added two more lights. On the back area I added two more. Each area is controlled by a separate dimmer switch. I then installed the subpanel in the AC closet and refed all the 3rd floor circuits from here. I also added a few more outlets throughout, and a light in the new closet.

The next challenge was all the wiring coming out of the floor where I removed the wall. An old gas lighting line was there too. So up came the floorboards and was able to remove, reroute, or kill all but one old knob and tube circuit. That will go away when the bedrooms downstairs are gutted. Then to fill in the missing boards I removed some boards from the AC closet and used them to do my patching.

Then it was drywall time and some mudding. This was a bit of a challenge since the front room appears to have been gutted to the studs and the drywalled, but the back room was rocked right over the plaster. So now I'm trying to blend two different thickness in walls. Most areas I was able to gut down to studs to a corner and then blend in a new piece. Over the stairs though was pretty damn tricky. I also created an access to get above the ceiling. This will come especially in handy when I install the AC system.

Tomorrow I'll finish updating to where I'm now.

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