Room Renovations

Office: Phase I

It’s truly amazing how thing’s always happen to come full circle. The project that we started on Day 1, is now the last project that we’ll complete. When we bought the house, there was a make-shift divider wall in the middle of the room. Day 1, we decided to have a bit of fun by celebrating with pizza, champagne, and a sledge hammer. All we had to do was take down that middle wall, and wallah! one big room.

Left and right side. All we had to do was take down that middle wall, right?

That was on a Friday. By the end of the weekend, that plan had changed. To summarize from one of our first posts, removing layers of paneling revealed more paneling, and removing drop ceiling revealed even more drop ceiling. Peeling back layer by layer, the room ended up down to the studs. And we were left with a pile of drywall and plaster that weighed a ton. Or rather, 5.5 tons (seriously).

Day One Demo
What we found underneath all of this rubble was a roof/balcony being held up by 2×4’s. Which apparently isn’t a good thing. We knew going into this that we’d have to replace the roof, but after a few outside opinions, it turned out that we would have to resupport the entire thing as well. Now, contrary to the rest of the house, this room is only one story high. Above it is a walk-out balcony off of the master. So we had two options:
Option A: Resupport the flat roof, keep the walk-out balcony, and add a railing. May pose issues in the future with water and snow. But would be a great little hangout spot.
Option B: Tear the roof completely off and rebuild it with a pitch. This would remove the balcony. but would be a reliable option against Mother Nature.

2015080595123839And so that work began. Contrary to the rest of the projects, this one was done in no time. My cousin’s friend is a carpenter, and was able to have the roof torn down and back on in one day.

We had him come back out to help with the finishing touches – window trim, siding, soffets, etc, and it was done.

After weighing our options, we took the route that you likely wouldn’t expect, and one that wasn’t favorable to most of our family. We decided that it was more important to have a rock solid structure, and we pitched it. While the balcony was great, it literally overlooks our neighbors roof, and we have a great patio out back for us to enjoy.

Something else to note, the front of the room had one window, while the back had two. Dan, and his need for symmetry, wanted to open the front back up to two windows. From what we can tell, the room may have originally been used as a sun room with full walls of windows, so the framing was already there. This definitely helped to bring more light into the room, as the sun rises in the front and sets in the back of the house.

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Outside view. Pitched roof, double window. Waalah!

The only thing left to do for the foundation of this room was add baffles for air flow and insulation to the walls, which was really easy to do. You know it’s easy when I’m able to do it without Dan’s supervision.
20151009_194737Now, for the finishing work. Drywall. This was our first attempt at drywall, and I’d have to say, it went pretty smoothly and came out great. My dad was a big help with this, especially with the ceiling. A few funky cuts, a few beers, and a few hours later, and the drywall was up.

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My two favorite guys =)

Now to blend the drywall together and make them seamless. Mudding and sanding. Dan’s favorite. Or rather, a killer on his shoulders, one of which he had surgery on a few months ago (the other, he had surgery on last year). My cousin, Steve, helped with this, as he’s had experience from fixing up his own house.

20151023_233057After a lot of sanding, the walls were ready for priming and painting. Which is my job.

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If you’ve ever painted a ceiling, you know that it sucks.

Dan picked out a lighter color, as the main feature of this room is the brick fireplace, and we didn’t want to take away from it. What fireplace you ask? I haven’t mentioned this until now, as I wanted to save my favorite feature for last. Back to when we were knocking down the walls, we knew there was likely a fireplace hiding behind the bump-out, since the living room fireplace was directly behind it. What we didn’t know is how massive and awesome it would be. Or that it would have an insert of it’s own with a gas hookup that we can use in the future. Definitely the best surprise we came across in the house. To me at least.

“I just want brick!”
The beautiful monstrosity

And here we are, full circle. The project we started on Day 1 turned into one of the biggest “surprise” projects we had, and one of the last major projects completed.

Overall, this room has gone through a major transformation. From two small, closed in rooms, to one large room with natural light and cool features. And while there’s still a lot of finishing work to do (i.e. window trim, door trim, baseboard, and furnishings), Dan has already deemed this space his “office.” But I think we might be fighting for the space.

before and after

Inside view of the new double windows




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