Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Walls are Coming...The Walls are coming

It was a good week in remontel land as a lot of progress was made. At the beginning of the week, the foundation work began while the electricians finished their pre-insulation tasks and then the insulators stuffed all of the exterior walls.

Here is the view from the closet into the bathroom.

Here is the view of the bedroom with the drywall waiting to be hung.

They also chipped out the foundation near the bathroom door so they will be able to patch in the hard wood floors.

Once the foundation work was done and we partially passed inspection for the insulation (we learned they don't fully pass you until there is insulation in the ceiling which obviously can't happen until the drywalling is done) the walls starting forming. They even came in on Saturday to do the taping and bedding.

Here is the view of the bedroom with actual walls. The bed will be centered under the raised portion of the ceiling between the outlets.

Here you can get an idea of the tray above the bed. It will have 3 inch tall beams in a grid pattern eventually.

The shower hasn't been done yet since they will be putting cement board in there instead of drywall.

The reading nook turned out to be a really good size even after my initial hesitations at the framing stage and I really like the new window placements.

They did pull the electrical out too high since the outlets will be in the side of the vanities and here it would be in the backsplash. They say its an easy fix.

Here is a view of the closet from the doorway.

They also added the wiring for the chandelier in the guest bedroom since one of the oddities of the house was no overhead lighting in the guest bedroom at all.

It will be a lot of progress for Jami to see when she gets back tomorrow.

They will let the bedding dry over the weekend and then start sanding and texturing. They hope to complete this by the end of the day Tuesday. Then I think the next step is the trim guys and tile guys. Hopefully next week will be as successful as this one.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rough In and a Minor Setback

So as noted it has been a little longer than anticipated for the next post but things are back on track after another week. We'll start with the rough in....

We went out to the house and met the plumber and our contractor to determine the placement of the faucets. Since we are converting a dresser into a vanity for the bathroom, it isn't as deep as a typical vanity, so we are wall mounting the sink faucets. Although we got the valves in on time, we didn't have the faucets themselves, so Jami went to the bath supplier and make a cardboard template of the faucet, which the plumber thought was very clever. If we would have only gotten a folding rule for the measuring, Grandpa would have been very proud. We made the decisions and then they came out the next day and "roughed in" the valves. Our friends who are doing the stone top and backsplash also came out for the placement and took the vanity to their shop to start on the work.

Here is the plumbing for the double sinks in the vanity.

Here is the shower rough in... we will have a thermostatic valve with a dual diverter (so you can run the rain shower head and hand shower simultaneously if needed), a slide bar with hand shower on it that Jami will likely use as a shower head most often, and a rain shower head in the ceiling for me. Here you can see the thermostatic valve on the far left. We decided to put it there so you could open the door and easily reach in and get the water going before you got in. The right hand side is where the water will come in and go through the hose to the hand shower, which will be on the slide bar centered on the wall. Not pictured is the valve in the ceiling for the rain head.

We were cruising along and getting ready for our next inspections when we got an unpleasant surprise. Apparently during the installation of the tankless water heater (something we were very excited that the previous owner had taken care of), they had only placed the appropriate sized gas lines where they were visible. Under the house, the lines reduced to 1/2 or 1/4" pipes, which wont support our needs nor pass inspection. As the old saying goes, nothing time and money can't fix. We had a "variance" allowance in our estimate that will cover the cost, but it did cost us a couple of days of work to replace all the gas lines under the house (see below in the wall - larger pipes).

After the pipes got fixed we passed the second inspections for electrical and plumbing. So we are back on track.

Other things that have happened since the last post are...

The mason came out and re-stoned the outside of the house for the windows that had been moved.

They cemented in the water and drain lines in the bathroom.

They capped off all the old lines behind the walls in the reading nook.

One other thing that Jami noticed with the help of our friends who are doing the stone is that the light wasn't centered over the window in the bathroom. So we had them move the joist over so they will be able to center the light on the window.

Our contractor also suggested we add blocking in the shower and water closet so if we need to add bars later in life we will have the support in the walls to secure them. Always good when your contractor thinks of the little things.

Since the washer and dryer will be "built in" to the cabinets, we also planned an easier way to access the cut-off valve - turns in the left wall behind a false wall in the broom cabinet.

I'm sure I'm missing things, but that at least gives you an idea of where we are in the process. The schedule for next week includes the foundation company out at the beginning of the week. There are repairing or replacing 6 piers and sistering or replacing over 200 linear feet of wood under the house. This is stuff we got compensated for after the inspection as part of the purchasing contract. The electricians are also coming out early in the week and making some adjustments and finishing things up. Then the insulation will go in and get inspected. After that drywall will hopefully start to go up at the end of the week. So if all goes well, when Jami comes back from her trip we may have solid walls.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Plumbing, HVAC and Electrical....Oh My

This week is a week "behind the walls" as the plumbing is being laid, the new HVAC system installed and electrical run. As you can see they have laid the plumbing drains under the pier and beam and then jackhammered through the slab. Then they brought in most of the hot and cold water lines.

Tomorrow we will travel out to the house for placement of the "rough in" for the plumbing. I'm a little nervous about selecting the location for the wall mounted faucets since if you put them too low it won't allow you to get your hands comfortably underneath but if you put them too high the water apparently splashes out of the bowl. So we will be crossing our fingers when we choose tomorrow (as well as relying on our plumber and stone guys to guide us in the right direction). We will also get to see the vanity and tub in place when we do the rough in so we get a sense of what everything will eventually look like.

The next big thing that has been moving along is the HVAC system. We decided to make our current system less "unique" by removing the daisy chain system we had in place and going to a more conventional dual zone system. So we have had a brand new unit installed, replacing one of the old units (they estimate it was close to 20 years old), in addition to all the new vents and duct system. We are hoping this, along with the new insulation, will make a large difference in our energy efficiency.

The electricians have also been busy. They have run all the recessed lighting as well as the electrical for the chandeliers. I don't know if you realize this or not but I have learned from Jami that it is very important to have one of those in each room :). All of the wall outlets have also been run. Another really nice thing about totally redoing a room is that you can customize certain features. Jami has always wanted reading lights over her side of the bed. So in the ceiling over the head of each side is an adjustable reading light (first picture below) with a dedicated switch at that side of the bed. Although I read almost exclusively on my iPad now, I still apparently needed a light.

Finally, the electricians and HVAC people removed all the stuff next to our existing bedroom door. Then they began to make way for new double door entrance to our room.

As you can see things are moving along. I should have more pictures from the rough in tomorrow to share as well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Framing Up

So the framing has already gone up. The majority was done by the end of day 2 with day 3 mostly being checking to make sure everything was plumb and finishing off some details. When I walked in initially by myself I had a minor freak out that the rooms were too small but after spending some time in them and Jami talking me down, I think everything is ok. The builder also said that everything looks smaller when the only the framing is done and that everyone says it looks much smaller than it turns out being.

Here is the view from the bedroom looking back through to the closet. On the left is the shower with the water closet next to it. Behind that is the bathroom and to the right is the walkway followed by the utility room. Finally the closet is in the far back of the house. You can also glimpse the original hardwood floors that will be patched and refinished.

Here is the view from the bathroom into the closet. The closet seems to be a really good size assuming the island doesn't take up too much space.

Here is a view from the bedroom looking back towards the reading nook. You can see the remnants of where one of the windows was relocated and what the new window layout looks like.

Here is a view from the closet back into the bathroom and shower.

The other big news from day 2 was the arrival of the bathtub. After 3 days, a sick driver and a truck breaking down it finally arrived. I am looking forward to unpacking it and checking out the pedestal and tub. I think it will bring a great look to the bathroom along with the dresser we are turning into the vanity.

The other big news from day 3 was Jami finalizing all the plumbing choices including the cross handled wall mounted faucets, the rain head shower and vertical sided undermount sinks. Hopefully we will get the valves in so we won't hold up the plumbing rough in.

Day 4 brings the arrival of the electrician and HVAC workers. While the changes won't be as easily noticeable, we look forward to more progress.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 1 - Big Results

So here are the results of just 4 hours of work. I will try to put them in the same order as the previous post so you can see the change. Also we went back over at night but couldn't take pictures because of the lack of lights, so I will note after each picture the stuff that changed even in the afternoon. I guess there's no turning back now.

So really this picture encompasses the first two views on the previous post since there is just studs. In the afternoon they removed the wall all together so now it is just one huge space. They did cut through a couple wires but since they are running new electrical anyways that shouldn't be a big deal. The ceiling was also removed leaving it wide open and ready to bump up the tray ceiling in the bathroom and bedroom. The blown in insulation was retreating down the walls so the new insulation should certainly help with the energy efficiency.

Here is the view back towards the closet and bathroom. In the afternoon, they tore down the entire closet that you are seeing here so tonight there was just the studs of the wall into the bathroom but they will apparently be gone tomorrow as well.

Here is a picture of the bathroom sans tub and shower fixtures. It also shows a great discovery of what we are assuming was the original tile that the previous renovators just put the shower over. Jami really likes the green and white tile and said we should keep it (I'm afraid she was only half kidding). They also took out the vanity, mirror and toilet already.

It's astonishing to me how much they accomplished in Day 1. I know that the beginning will go fast and then it will slow down but I can't wait to see what they accomplish tomorrow.

Demolition Nears

So with demolition approaching I thought I should get some before pictures up.

Here is a picture of the existing study which in the end will be mostly closet as well as part of the bathroom and utility room.

Here is the view standing in the bedroom looking back towards the study. Most of the left hand side will become bathroom while the right hand side will be utility room.

Here is a picture looking back the other way in the bedroom towards the exiting closet and bathroom and including a very confused Hobbes. This will become the bedroom.

Here is the bathroom which will become what I am refering to as the reading nook.

Let the craziness begin!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So Here's Where We're Going

Here is a picture of the plans of what it will look like after the remodel.

We will have a reading nook in place of what used to be the bathroom and wall off the guest bathroom. The windows in the bedroom on that side of the house that will no longer work in the new configuration will be moved to add light to the reading area. We will raise the roof slightly and add a beam look over the bed. We will also make a double door to the living room and move it down slightly from where it is currently. The carpet will be removed to expose the original hardwood which will be refinished.

A utility room will be added to get the washer and dryer out of the garage and act as a sort of mudroom since it will incorporate the existing door to the backyard. It will also hide Hobbes' litter box.

The bathroom will be moved to the back of the room and enlarged so we can both fit. Jami is doing a great job finding materials that will stay true to the era of the house (more on that later). As a preview it will have a freestanding tub, a dresser converted into a vanity, pivot mirrors and vintage cross handled fixtures.

And finally, one of the things we looked at in every house in our hunt was an area we could convert into what our builder has accidentally dubbed a "shameful closet." It will include a window seat to sit on while you put on your shoes, an island for Jami to pack her suitcase on and a section for my tennis stuff.

As you can see we have some grand plans so it should be quite the adventure.