Saturday, April 28, 2012


When we first moved into this house about 4 1/2 years ago, there wasn't an ounce of insulation in the entire house. Well, except for a pile of vermiculite ore insulation (likely laced with some tasty asbestos) in a pile in the attic above our bedroom. It was COLD. You could see the imprint of your foot on our wood floors during the winter b/c of condensation. The windows would flap back and forth, and I would shiver for about 3 minutes uncontrollably in bed before even being able to think about falling asleep.

We've taken some drastic measures folks. Drastic.

A few years back we had someone insulate the crawlspace. Now, during this major remodel, we replaced all the windows (no more flapping in the wind!) and put insulation into the exterior walls. Remember this?

The last thing we needed to do to make our house more comfortable was insulate the new addition and attic. We chose to go with spray foam insulation, which is some pretty crazy stuff.

We hired local Spray Foam Insulators to do the job, and they were great. We felt pretty bad for the guy that was doing the spray foaming because it was an unseasonably warm 80+ degrees in mid-march and he was having to spray foam that was 140 degrees in our hot little attic...with a jump suit on the whole time. By the end, he had totally soaked that jump suit through.

And here's a peek at our newly spray-foamed space:

We also put some insulation in the floors to help reduce noise between the upstairs and downstairs. You can see that they didn't shave it level towards the bottom of the roof because knee walls will be covering up that space.

Once that was done, we were able to start putting down subfloor.

In one of the next posts I'll show you the new floor along with our newly framed rooms!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sister Wives

Remember this?

Yup, that's the attic. And yes, it's part of this giant remodel project. One day this will accomodate a master bedroom, bathroom, and hallway office.

Nowadays folks see the outside of the house and say things like, "The house looks soooooo good" or "You guys really worked hard! How does it feel to be done?". I'm not sure if it's more dejecting for those folks or for me to have to tell them we are no where near finished (and that the outside changes weren't even a part of the original plan!).

The most amusing experience I've had related to this was when a friend came over, walked inside our house, and said "Oh". Yup, you heard correctly. "Oh." Ouch.

We've been working hard though and should have some big changes to show in the coming months. 

Before we could put subfloor down in the attic, we had to sister the joists. This basically means nailing boards against all of the existing floor joists in order to reinforce them and level them out:

It took Will and friends several weeks to sister all of them. And once they had them sistered they still had to level the top of the wood (i.e. lots more backbreaking work by hand):

We also had to add some framing to the roof in order to reinforce it:

 The duct work went above it, which will eventually be drywalled in:

And more will go behind the space that will be enclosed by knee walls:

Not very exciting stuff...but all of this work is in preparation for a walkable attic space for the first time in the house since it was built in the 30s.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Live Together, Die Alone

Winter came and left without a peep from me. A LOT of work has been happening since January so I will update you with a few posts over the next few weeks.

Just when I thought we were done with demolition, I forgot about this guy:

That's our laundry closet. If you've never been to our house, let me paint a picture for you about what it's been like doing business with this guy. It's right in Kevin's "bedroom", which actually has no door but is considered a "room" because there is a "closet" in it. (Please don't report me to Unnecessary Quotes, all these quotes are truly necessary). He's been living this way for a few years now so we thought it would be best to officially welcome him to adulthood by giving him a door and closet, and moving the laundry center out of his room and into the addition.

And here she goes:

This is the "closet" in the hallway to Guff's "room". This also had to go in order to make room for our new furnace and water heater.

Bye-bye "closet". The gray plastic square on the floor is a hole to the crawlspace where the furnace will sit.

New furnace. You can see the duct work to the left, which will be inside Kevin's new closet.

Framing. The furnace and water heater will go behind bi-fold doors, and one day we'll finish Kevin's closet and door.

Ain't it a beauty?

So our furnace and water heater used to be in a giant protruding closet in our kitchen. See it behind that giant dog, with the doors and the coat rack? Since we moved the water heater and furnace to the hallway, it's now giving us some much-needed extra storage space. Down the road when we have some more dough and have recovered from this remodel project, it will be knocked out during a kitchen remodel.

This is the hole left in the floor of the closet where the furnace used to be. It had to come out so we could actually put stuff on the floor. Apparently I'm not quite strong enough or determined enough to take something like this out on my own.

So once again it's Will to the rescue. Down the hatch he goes...(4 8 15 16 23 42).

And this is what we were left with.

Next post I'll hopefully have some attic pics to share.