Friday, May 30, 2008

Framing continues & the roof comes off

The walls at the First Floor have been framed out. We tried to pack a lot of amenities into a small space (less than 3 feet wide by about 17 feet long) in order to maintain the 'openness' of the First Floor. These are the only walls at this level. They are 'in line' with the stair so they do not interrupt the long rectangular space of the living/dining/kitchen area.

Here's a view from the front door (looking through where the stair will be) towards the newly framed walls on the left. Beyond are the windows and door in the kitchen. Also, in between the wood studs (the ones spaced about 3 feet apart) on the brick wall at the right of the picture, there will be two 3' Wide x 6' High windows side by side - triple high units with the center unit being an operable awning. This will being an incredible amount of natural light into the center of the house. Although the wall faces west, the 3-story houses next door (about 15 feet away) will provide shade in the late afternoon and prevent these windows from getting too much of the harsh exposure from the western sunlight.

So this was very exciting to see. In less than two days, they removed the entire roof and began to cut the top of the brick down in order to create a level surface to place new concrete block. The mason will lay CMU up a few courses and match the height of the tall wood stud wall that you can see in the back of the bottom image. After this, the framer can install the joists for the third floor and immediately begin framing the third floor walls and the new roof.

What a mess! They had to drop sections of the roof down through the stairwell and carry it out the front door. Talk about hard work. Since most of the existing roof was garbage (and very heavy) and could not be recycled, we had Construction Waste Management bring a dumpster in order to haul all of this away. Although, they will still bring the dumpster to their yard and separate the material in order to try and recycle what they can.

We are saving the existing cornice. Above, you can see the entire piece being removed. The cornice will be cleaned up and repainted black (to match the color of the windows) and then reinstalled at the top of the new 2-story brick facade. It will be about 2 feet higher than it is now due to the fact that we raised all the floor-to-floor heights.

At the end of the day, the crew had cleaned up the site nicely. You can't see it yet, but beyond the trees and facade across the street, is a spectacular view of the Philly skyline. This will be visible from the Master Bedroom and even more so from the roof.

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