Friday, April 30, 2021

Remodeling Update - Week 5

 This week was all about electric.  The electricians and our contractor and electrician did the final walk through to confirm where we were putting all the lights and switches and outlets.  The architect and I spent two hours doing this weeks ago, but the final step is going in with the actual electrician to confirm it would all work.

We did meet for 2 hours with the architect a few weeks ago to draw up where we wanted everything.  And Monday this week during the walk through we made some slight changes in real time.  I think we have a good plan now.

Monday and Tuesday the electricians were here full day.  On Wednesday the rough electric was inspected and passed.  Also on Wednesady, the start of some spray insulation was done around a few openings to the outside that needed to be done for the exterior inspection. Thursday the inspection for the exterior was completed. Then Thursday afternoon the interior spray insulation in the walls was done.  Quite a stinky process that is - literally!  It didn't come into the upstairs, thankfully, since the construction zone is still walled in.  

Electric wires everywhere as they start to piece together the rough electric.  The wall around our main front door was removed for that switch installation.
The wall to the living room was pushed back so they could get the wall around the basement door prepped for new wallboard.  That "nook" is not something we are putting in - it is temporary.
Every time we inspect the construction zone, we have more holes.  Holes everywhere!  However we view it as progress to the end result, so we don't mind.  The put quite a few holes in our living room today as they re-route electric
We wanted a 4 switch here, but as you can see - it didn't quite fit between the wall and the central vaccum tubing.  So......

The last part of the week after the electric and framing past inspection, they started the insulation.  It is a spray foam.  While they put it in, they were putting wood around it - filling in every crack and crevace to seal it good.  After 30 years, it is nice to have at least have of the downstairs reinsulated.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Remodeling Update - Week 4

 Not much happened this week - we are waiting for the electrician, so this week was pretty quiet.  We didn't mind.  We know there will be weeks where there is just.......well, waiting.  Remodeling in the time of Covid doesn't make things go faster either as we wait for supplies to be available.

The plumber finished up and finally figured out what was going on with our shower.  We had to unfortuantely make a much bigger hole and put in a not so pretty shower replacement to get the leak controlled.  We plan on remodeling this bathroom in the near future, so we will deal.  The plumbers got the leak fixed which was the goal.  And even put in two shut off valves for the future.  The black in the picture are burn marks from the soddering.  All of this will be replaced.

Our bay window is getting outside supports to hold the very heavy sink, cabinets and dishwasher that will be going in this spot.  They are digging out places to put the post and soon we will have a very safe bay.

We also had to put in an outside exhaust for the enormous stove but they did a good job putting it somehwere that will be concealed.
Finally the plumbing went in for the sink and dishwasher.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Remodeling Update - Week Three

 Three weeks down.  Changes are more minor and less often now, but that is because they are finishing up the "behind the scenes work" of plumbing and electric.  Electric will happen more next week and probably the week after that and then once all of that is permitted and in place, then they will start the next big change - the wall boards.  

The plumbing is donw and so the last of the walls is GONE.  Now we can see directly into the pantry with no barrier.  

The pot filler plumbing was put in.  We are putting it in above our stove. Mat and I saw one in a house we toured years ago and it has always remained on our wishlist
The floor was raised where the cabinets, sink and dishwasher will go and plumbing completed.  We have discussed with the contractor that this bay will probably need outside support to carry this much weight since it didn't have it before and the beams below this area are not the length of the house.  We wait on the architect's decision on that one.
Due to the size of the beam and the need for significant support, we had to make a decision around the wall near our basement.  A decorate post was brought up, but then we would not have been able to swing the basement door more than 90 degrees.  So we said no to that and asked them to bump out the entrance to the basement instead.  The door and framing will be saved and put back on.  The framing of that new entrance was done this week.  

The shelf for the window in the pantry was built.
The wall that will connects the doorway into the mudroom and the built in area in the mudroom was reframed.
Due to all the weight our new beams will carry to support the second floor the structural enginneer insisted on a steel post in the basement as a secondary support.  Since our basement concrete is only 3 inches, a whole and new concrete to support said beam had to be poured.  We have holes everywhere

They put a pole in - and its placement isn't ideal, but not much we can do about that.  Once all the tape is down we will have a better idea

The contractors framed out the two recessed spaces in the mudroom on the back of the pantry.
They took up all the cement from the old tile that was in front of the garage door and Mat's office
The last central vaccum is out of the way

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Remodeling Update - Week Two

 We are now 2 weeks into the remodel of our first floor and daily changes begin to happen.  We spoke to the contractor, and things will take a bit of a slow down soon as we wait for the next steps to be able to happen.  So far our house has been an active construction zone from 7am-4pm each day, but we don't mind.  We love going into the first floor area after the contractors leave for the day and discovering what has changed.  We have been photo journaling the changes so that we can always remember the process.  

First - for dust and Covid protocol - the contactors have walled themselves in. We are able to go up and down to our second floor completely separated by the workers, which has been excellent.

They have now taken down more walls and supports from where the old kitchen was and where the new one will be.  Only this small area remains to be moved by the plumber

They took down the last of the walls in the upcoming mudroom early in the week.  Those three doors in a row look weird in this view, but soon this space will be broken up by new walls
Look at that now - no more wall.  The middle door there is to Mat's office.  The door on the left is to the garage, and the door out of the picture on the right is to our backyard.
The walls and doors that were to the small pantry we had are gone!  This area will become built ins (eventually) in the mudroom.
They have closed off the windows and framed them for the new windows that will be installed.  This area had to be raised since it is where the dishwasher, cabinets, and sink are going.  Before it was just a bay window.  The floor also had to be raised to support all that weight.
By mid week the pantry was framed!  This was so exciting.  We are putting in an 11 foot pantry with cabinets and shelving - my dream!  It is going to be amazing.  It is right in front of the fire place
This is the doorway that is going into the pantry from the mudroom.  We are going to install a door on this side so that we can close off the pantry from the mudroom when we have guest.  But it will be nice to have a pass through when we come in with groceries from the garage.
Me in the pantry!
There will be a small window in the pantry.  We had a large three framed window that was here, and we really didn't want to change the layout of the outside of the house by closing it off.  Too costly.  So we are keeping part of the window and the contractors will box it in and build a nice shelf from the window to the counter.
How our windows look from the outside.  They will both shrink significantly

We had a leak that was occuring a few weeks before the remodel started (thankfully before and now after it was complete is how I look at it) from a pipe in the upstairs kid's bathroom.  The plumbers have discovered where it was and had to make two holes in the kid's bathroom walls to fix it.  The part has been ordered, and we are grateful that it will be resolved quickly.
The contractors gave us the great news that we will NOT need posts in the living room to support the beam - that we will be able to have the open concept we desired with thicker LVL beams.  YAY.  We signed off that with a big YES PLEASE - and the contractors built temporary walls in the living room to place those enormous beams.

The doorway into the mudroom got framed.  We are starting to see that space come alive
Midweek they also finished framing the doorway into the pantry from the mudroom.  The two small framed areas on either side are going to be recessed for storage/knicknacks.  That was Mat's idea.
Looking into the mudroom from the pantry
Beam one goes in. It is HUGE.  It is spaning the entire length of our living room and it has been facinating to watch how it all works.
They support the beams like the picture below while they get everything in place
Near the end of the week the last of the plumbing was removed from the area that used to be the backwall of the old kitchen.  We are SO CLOSE to having the last of the walls down.
They finished framing the doorway from the kitchen into the pantry.  We decided to make the doors into and out of the pantry taller than the average door since they will be mostly openings.  Wanted the space to look as big as possible.
Most of the plumbing has been rerouted.  We only had to be one day without water - and only for a few hours.  They did a great job of not inconveniencing us.  With the kids at school we hardly noticed.  The new plumbing is all Pex - bendable and plastic - it is wild.
At the end of the week beam one has been secured and the temporary walls come down.  I cannot tell you how amazing it is to see that space.  It is HUGE.
Beam two goes in and will be connected with a U shaped metal piece to connect one beam to the other and they are supported on both ends.
During the week I went with the designer to pick our soap stone.  We are securing 4 pieces of stone, but probably only need three.  We chose soapstone for a number of reasons: It is evironmentally friendly, it is locally mined, it can take a lot of abuse, and nothing stains it.  Plus - I really didn't want granite.  I wanted something different.  It is more us.  It is gray when it comes out of the earth and you can either leave it gray, or oil it to turn it black.  Our plan at this point is to oil it.  But look at it - isn't it gorgeous?  We needed a huge piece for our island, and were very excited to find they had enough to do one solid slab for that.
The stoneyard put a little oil on it to show us what it would look like black.

On Friday the last of the support walls came down and we have a complete open concept in our living room.  I wanted the pantry and Mat wanted this.  It is not easy to describe or photograph the difference from what we had
This is how the two beams were secured.
The look from the living room into the kitchen area.  That central vac piece there on the floor to the left will be gone - they just haven't moved it yet.
What I will see from my sink area