Home Renovation 3: New Sticks

One thing for sure about this home renovation project – it is completely messing with my sense of time. The past eight (8!) months have swept right by me. It doesn’t help that Chicago’s weather has been very kooky, with a long summer, mild fall, mild winter, and last week was more like May than February. So my inner clock is all messed up. But anyway, at the last update, yes, over four weeks ago, the first floor demolition was pretty well wrapped up. The project was on to the next stage: first floor interior framing.

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“Great Room” and view of foyer/front door (will be drywalled)

It was fun to walk around the house and see it start to take some shape. The Architect and the Contractor warned me that the space would still feel small and out of proportion at this stage. They said it wouldn’t seem right until the drywall set the arrangement. The space did feel confusing, but it did not feel small to me. Because the framing was all sticks (okay, technically 2 x 4’s), all doorways were optional. So I kept walking into rooms and closets through the walls. Again, the space was just a bit confusing.

Kitchen View 1

Kitchen View 1

Kitchen View 2

Kitchen View 2

It’s always good to stop by the house and see progress. This is nice and dramatic. So a couple of details from the photos; the green behind the framing is foam board. It is mounted to our brick walls on furring strips, setting up an air gap to allow the masonry to breath. Spray foam will eventually go over everything, insulating the first floor way more than the original plaster & lathe + air gap insulation. And yes, those sticks are turned on their faces to minimize the loss of space in the rooms.

Looking in from the back porch

Looking in from the back porch

Some notes on this window opening.This was once a window opening that was filled with plywood when we bought the house. It was in our old pantry, so when we remodeled our back porch I installed a homemade blackboard for the girls. You can see how the masons squared off the top of the opening, removing the arch. Then they doubled the width of the opening. An open cabinet will be installed on the stone sill for books or maybe a television. The kitchen sink will be on the other side of the opening with an unobstructed view of the porch and into the backyard. This opening, coupled with the removal of our old kitchen door, will incorporate the back porch into the house and bring lots of sunlight into the kitchen area.

Now the first floor is framed and the structural supports are installed in the basement. The house is now ready for the second floor work. That’s where we’ll pick up the project next time. And I’ll try to get that up in fewer than four weeks!

What is that? The ground floor bathroom re-imagined

What is that? The ground floor bathroom re-imagined.

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