Wednesday, May 7, 2008

First floor takes shape

The First Floor is starting to take shape as the perimeter walls at the rear addition are complete. We don't have any interior walls up yet for that will come later...although, on the First Floor, all we really have is a powder room and a closet (along the left wall). The door opening you see is about 7'-6" high and there are window openings (boarded up) behind the the step ladder. You can also see that the contractor parged (covered with
concrete) the party wall on the left. After it was uncovered during demo, we found this existing brick wall to be in really bad shape, so we had to take extra measures to ensure that all the bricks remain in place. The top plate you see running horizontally above door and windows represents the ceiling height.

The next task (which is probably complete by now) is to realign all the floor joists on the Second Floor. This was necessary due to the fact that most of the floor was out of level due to settling and sagging over the years. Also, many of the joists needed to be replaced. So, we figured that since we need to move all the joists anyway, we might as well bump them all up about 6". This gave us more ceiling height on the First Floor but still kept a nice height at the Second Floor without changing the height of the Third Floor. As you can imagine, there was some redesign needed for the stair but it all worked out beautifully in the end. After this is done...the roof comes off!

Here you can see one of the compromised joists we found (on the left) that needed to be replaced. You can see where it is split due to the fact that header beam from the old stair was notched into the middle of it. A nice detail but obviously too much weight over the years for this joist. The image to the left shows all the old Heart Pine floor boards from the Second Floor. These will be cleaned up and stored in the basement for future use.

And there's Emily talking with the contractor (that's Merlin's business partner, Alex...he is also the electrician) and the rep from Kolbe Windows & Doors (Steve Thompson). And if you look closely (near the center right edge of the picture) you can see Nicholas chillin' in his car seat. He likes to come to the job site and monitor the progress and he gets upset if we don't bring him. :)

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