In my remodeling business I tear people’s houses apart all the time. My standard line to my freaked out customers is… “I know it looks scary but I promise to put it all back together.”
Well, we finally reached the point in our own remodel where it was “time to put it all back together”. We had stripped the house of virtually everything. It looked like a war zone. With the exception of the demolition (which is always fun to see), and the fireplaces (which were a bright spot of beauty amongst months of dirty, ugly work), everything else had been the boring, behind the scenes type stuff.
My “customer” on this remodel (my beautiful wife) was a trooper throughout all the boring stuff. She was very patient while me and my guys ground our way through the first couple months of work. But she needed to see us turn the corner. She needed to see something that gave her hope that one day this house I shredded would be a beautiful home. Fortunately, we did turn that corner. We started the re-framing.
When you take out walls on the first floor it is generally advisable to have a plan as to how to keep the second floor from falling in. With a scaled drawing in hand I made a visit to a structural engineer here in our town. A couple weeks later he told me what size beam I needed to use in place of the center bearing wall I was taking out. He also told me I needed to pour two 2’ x 2’ x 2’ concrete footings underneath the house to support either end of the beam.
Oh boy. What fun.
Ever try to dig a 2’ x 2’ x2’ hole under a house? Go on, give it a shot…it’s a blast.
But, as usual, we got it done.
Next we had to build two temporary walls…one down the middle of the kitchen and one down the middle of the dining room. These gave us enough support to entirely remove the wall that ran down the center of our house. In its place we installed a hefty beam. Once the temporary walls came down, viola…an open floor plan downstairs!
Kitchen, dining room and living room…all one big open space…
We also framed a new closet downstairs to house a new heat and AC unit.
Boring….yes. But I sure am glad it’s there so I can write this post in comfort while it’s HOT and HUMID outside. I will skip past any other details about the central heat and AC system. I could ramble for a good solid page about how they were integrated into our old house to function at maximum efficiency…but Courtney would delete it before it got posted to the blog so I would be wasting my time.
We also got rid of the “tornado damage” look on the back of the house by framing some new exterior walls for our laundry and back entry.
Which prompted an inspection by this guy (in a cape)…
And this girl (who was way too little to be on an extension ladder)…
Around front, we re-framed our door opening….
which allowed us to install our new wood porch and new front door.
We debated long and hard about a concrete porch versus a wood front porch. Ultimately the wood won out. We like our simple little porch.
Upstairs there was not nearly as much framing to do. Only a few slight modifications in the bathroom. Which allowed us to bring our tub in….
which (of course) led to more shenanigans, like this….
and this (using the empty bathtub box)….
I swear that box stayed in the backyard for two months and provided hours of entertainment for the kids. We hope they look back upon these days with fond memories and don’t grow up thinking their parents are nuts (at least not because of this).
Anyway, we got all the structural modifications done without any of the second story caving in and without any trips to the ER.