Our Home Remodel

The before, during and after of remodeling our home to: level the floor throughout, add a bathroom, create a larger master bedroom, add a second bath with laundry space, add an atrium for a hot tub, add a sun room with yard utility room under, create a walkway around the house, expand the living area to include a foyer and closet, and improve and add decking.The roof will be entirely new, with bath and atrium skylights. We have already remodeled the kitchen, encapsulated the basement/crawl space, and upgraded the HVAC.
IMG 3299  Front "before" view. The crappy old hot tub is near the entrance, exposed and rain from the roof has ruined its cover. IMG 3300  Close-up of the crappy hot tub. IMG 3301  Notice there's no way around the house on the left side. The only way to the back is through the house or around two flights of stairs on the right and then up and over a retaining wall. The chimney is for a bricked over fireplace. IMG 3302  The rickety deck. Rotting and carpenter bee infested.
IMG 3303  The white stuff is filling over carpenter bee holes which the deck is peppered with. IMG 3304  The greenhouse window is a real heat-loser. The yard/planting room wil go underneath; the sun room and a small deck for our gas grill will go above. IMG 3305  The atrium and a small rear deck will go here. Note the crumbling retaining wall. IMG 3306  The present door is improperly hung to open outward, exposing the hinge pins.
IMG 3307  View of the no-way around left from the rear. IMG 3308  Inside the family room, on a slab that was the carport floor and very cold in wintertime. The windows are single-pane heat-losers. We hate the concrete step. Bricked-over fireplace with intrusive raised hearth. IMG 3309  The drab laundry room. IMG 3310  Step-up from family room to kitchen/dining area.
IMG 3313  Side entrance to rickety deck. And the greenhouse window. IMG 3314  Small and inconvenient laundry closet. IMG 3315  Small closet in present guest bedroom. The laundry closet is behind the wall on the left. Both closets will be removed and this will become the master bedroom. The present MBR will become the guest bedroom. Behind the present headboard will be two closets and entrance to atrium and new bath/laundry. IMG 2564  A step back 9 months in time. Starting to remodel our kitchen. We removed a 36-inch wide refrigerator and built out to place a 28-inch one turned 90 degrees.
IMG 2565  Building out the wall. IMG 2566  The wall, padded out. IMG 2567  And the knee-wall framed. IMG 2568  Ruth managed duing the mess!
IMG 2569  The knee-wall gets outlets. IMG 2570  The jury-rigged sink unit that had been a cabinet and counter will go. IMG 2628  The impossible to use sink unit had been a "island". Now gone. IMG 2573  Knee-wall is drywalled.
IMG 2572  Prepping for old cabinet removal. IMG 2571  Last look. IMG 2624  The new stuff: cabinets, sink, hardware. IMG 2625  The new countertops.
IMG 2626  Ruth helps with the clearing-out. IMG 2627  The underneath space on the right had been "dead" and wasted. And look at the ridiculous narrow cabinet. IMG 2629  Ready for new cabinets. The white space in front of the refrigerator was where an above-range microwave with a broken door had been hanging. The open wall was in former dead space. The plumbing is very ugly. IMG 2630  Looking better from the start!
IMG 2631  The long counter fits perfectly. IMG 2632  The hole in the wall is for access to power, and will be closed.The right counters fit perfectly too. IMG 2633  Pretty good job, John. IMG 2634
IMG 2637  Ruth rearranges... Ruth and Mathilda  Ruth and mathilda toast the job. IMG 3316  The remodeled kitchen. Galley design, no wasted space. IMG 3317  The remodeled kitchen.
IMG 3318  Encapsulated basement. Clean, efficient electric heat pump HVAC. The former terribly inefficient electric A/C and gas furnace had taken up the entire outside pad that the new outside unit takes one-quarter of, and its vents used all the space under the black vinyl. And the new heat is far quieter. In fact, we never hear it. IMG 3319  The other end of our basement. On left is a dehumidifier that keeps the space moderately warm as its by-product and holds the relative humitity at 55% - no mold. IMG 3320  The entire crawl space is also encapsulated. IMG 3342  The computer has been moved from the old family room and crammed into our bedroom.
IMG 3343  The family room slab with bricked over fireplace is nearly cleared. IMG 3344  The hot tub is empty and rady to be moved away. IMG 3345  Old carport "family room" and laundry room are sealed off from the main house. IMG 3346  The horrid concrete step is removed.
IMG 3347  The hot tup is drained and ready to be stored away. IMG 3354  The hot tub stand/screen is dismantled. It and other scrap lumber will be sawed up for fire pit use. IMG 3355  The hearth dismantling is begun and was quickly finished. IMG 3356  The wall stripping is proceeding. Before the roof comes off the entire side of the house will be sheathed in plastic.
IMG 3357  I managed to salvage 72 hearth bricks for future garden/yard use. IMG 3358  Remodeling, day 2: Dumpster arrived 8:30 AM. IMG 3359  Room gutted by 3PM. IMG 3360  Washer & dryer in basement for the duration.
IMG 3365  An indictment of capitalism from our home remodeling: The home buyer usually has no local connections and feels glad when the selling and/or listing realtor says he can refer a good home inspector. But remember, the realtors make nothing unless there's a sale. The inspectors know this and become adept at producing a nifty-looking report to the prospective buyers; it will look thorough and list numerous findings -- but none will be a deal-killer. Because if the inspector kills deals the realtors will use someone else. Ditto pest inspectors. (The bank inspectors are another kettle of fish. They always come in late when it is hard to kill the deal and low-ball the value, to get a bigger deposit from the buyer.) Here are some photos of carpenter ant damage our home and pest inspectors did not find. You can bet that once you own the home and call the same type of inspectors (who now stand to make money if they find these things) the results would hhve been different. Under a socialist system, the inspectors would work for the state and might lose their jobs for failures like this.  By the way, today's work including sawing up the scrapped beams for the fire pit (photo later when it's all done) and there will be lots more bricks to salvage. It turns out that the working chimney was not for a fireplace. It was for a wood stove, then bricked over to look as if a fireplace had been bricked over to install a gas log. IMG 3366 IMG 3367 IMG 3363
IMG 3371  The roof is starting to be taken off the family room. IMG 3372  I've salvaged 227 bricks so far. I have also salvaged framing lumber and cut it up for fire-pit use. IMG 3373  Another view of the roof. The chimney is coming down, Doors salvaged. The one in the center will become an entrance to the 3-season room (it's like the front door). The red door will be used in the plant room at ground level. The dumpster is filling. Few bricks are left. IMG 3374  Another view of the roof.
IMG 3375  The chimney is coming down, IMG 3376  Doors salvaged. The one in the center will become an entrance to the 3-season room (it's like the front door). The red door will be used in the plant room at ground level. IMG 3377  The dumpster is filling. Few bricks are left. IMG 3382  The family room is GONE!
IMG 3383  And the west side deck is going. IMG 3384  Had to pause and hook up a proper outlet for the washing machine. And get the dumpster removed and replaced with an empty one. IMG 3385  Finished demolishing the deck. It was rotting anyhow, we learned. IMG 3386  Lots of wood to saw up.
IMG 3387  Wrapping it up for the holidays. Josiah (left) and Brian put plastic up. Unless (and it's unlikely) the subcontractor shows up to excavate a pathway and foundation footings, that will be it on work until 2016. IMG 3408  All the wood sawed and stacked for fires. IMG 3405  Ground-breaking tomorrow, January 7, 2016. IMG 3406  Footers, etc. will be dug.
IMG 3409  Starting the dig. IMG 3410  Nearly finished with the dig. IMG 3411  Grading the excavated earth into the back yard. IMG 3412  Interesting geological feature: a deposit of white clay in the usual red clay.
IMG 3413  Another interesting geological feature: some very soft coal. IMG 3417  Trenching for footers done. Placing re-bar. IMG 3419  Footer trenches for the plant room and sun room above. Making them broke our water line and cut the internet cable in two places! IMG 3425  Repaired internet cable. There's an itentical repair around the other end of the trench.
IMG 3421  Two such cement trucks delivered. Each held 7 cubic yards of cement; three less than capacity but the most each could carry and be legal on the interstate highway. Gross weight 64,000 pounds. The trucks couldn't turn and had to back in for a quarter mile. Notice the yard damage from trying to turn. IMG 3422  Turning damage. And the trucks also broke a garden wall tyring the turn. IMG 3424  Pumping and smoothing. IMG 3427  Footer for the new front of our house.
IMG 3445  Our material arrives, after a 6-day blizzard delay. IMG 3448  Off-loading block. IMG 3450  Capstones, mortar, and sand. IMG 3449  Blocks at the ready.
IMG 3451  Starting the masonry work. This is the corner of the retaining wall. IMG 3452  Marvelous! Wall practically complete in a day. There will be a French drain behind it so that we won't have to look upon ugly water pressure relief "weepers". IMG 3453  First blocks of the new east wing Will be family room, bath/laundry and hot tub atrium. IMG 3454  First blocks of the new west wing. Will be garden room with sunroom above.
IMG 3455  Now the extensions to the old "family room" (actually the carport) slab have been excavated by hand and filled with about 6" of gravel. It will be treated for termite prevention and then new slab poured over it. IMG 3456  Seme thing on the west side. This will be a "yard room" under our sun room. IMG 3458  Here we go! Pouring the floor slab on the west side, the floor of our garden room that will be under our sun room. Similar slab pouring will take place on the east side for the family room/bath/atrium wing and into the hollows of the retaining wall. Then the framing can commence. IMG 3465  A birthday present of sorts. The materials for framing have arrived.
IMG 3479  First day of framing (weather was awful, did not get much done.) IMG 3480  Floor joists in place. Also, back of retaining wall tarred and  French drain" installed. IMG 3481  One of three heat transports installed. One of two returns in in the white plastic. IMG 3482  Start of plumbing drains for washing machine, face basins, commode and shower.
IMG 3485  Plumbing test: drain line under 7 lb/sq. in. pressure, the supply lines under 100psi, waiting for inspection. Red (hot) and blue (cold) joined for test, will be split and hooked up later. IMG 3486  With a weather letup, framing has started, on the smaller west side of the project. This is the gardening room whose real purpose is supporting the sun room that will be immediately above it. IMG 3490  What will be the gardening area. IMG 3491  The sun room is floord and a wall that will be raised soon rests on it.
IMG 3492  Insulation awaits inspector's approval. IMG 3494  Sub floor down, plastic sheeting protecting it from the rain. Partial wall up. Family room/master bath/laundry/hot-tub atrium/ IMG 3493  Partial wall up; sun room. IMG 3495
IMG 3497  I was framed, I tell you, I was framed! IMG 3498  The framing crew, with our job supervisor Brian on the left, then Kyle, Nate, Paco, and Ryan. IMG 3504  Sun room deck frame. IMG 3506  Atrium deck frame.
IMG 3507  Some interior framing. IMG 3508  Roof rafters! IMG 3509  The overhang provides rain shelter on the walk. IMG 3512  The rear (north) side of our house. On the right is the hot tub atrium. The window in the existing section is now in our guest bedroom, which will become the master bedroom.
IMG 3513  Full frontal view of the north side (front) of our house. IMG 3514  Windows! IMG 3516  Stud walls and ceiling joists. IMG 3520  Now we have a proper front porch.
IMG 3522  And the sun room deck is neatly "picture framed". IMG 3523  Re-using existing doors. IMG 3524  Electricity coming! IMG 3525  Atrium deck.
IMG 3529  Hard to show, but this is electrical and plumbing. Heating ai return ducts went in today too. IMG 3530  Front door relocated. IMG 3532  Skylights. See them? IMG 3533  Skylight
IMG 0004  Progress in wiring. IMG 0005  Some doors are in, but the sliding ones are late (rookie salesperson) but should be in three more days. The closets are out in the new to-be master bedroom and the doorways will be cut into the wall on the right for hall and two closets. IMG 0006  The windows to replace the damaged ones will be in on April 15 (17 days from now) but temporary ones will be put in (no charge) so that interior work can progress. IMG 0007
IMG 0008 IMG 0013  Installing ceiling isulation, Mike doen'tt climb a ladder for success, but  takes a rather stilted apporach to his task. IMG 0014  We have the doors. But, sadly, not Jim Morrison. IMG 0023  Got our sun room slideing door.
IMG 0022  Sun room sliding door from the inside. The hole where the greenhous window was will be closed up. We also plan to replace the clunky fan/lights. (See the miniature schnauzer on the pull chain?) IMG 0024  Sheet rock stacked near our family room/kitchen door. To the left is the pass through window, which is over the kitchen sink on the other side. IMG 0025  Brian, job supervisor, is marking the interior door frames. Left openig is my closet, center is to hallway leading to master bath and hot tub atrium (sun-filled on the right), right opening it to Ruth's closet. IMG 0026  Gardening room I made for Ruth below our sun room.
IMG 0027  Gardening room. IMG 0028  Gardening room with door to basement on left, door to yard on right. IMG 0030  Wallboard (12-foot sections) ready to be put up. IMG 0029  Bad luck! First the shower base arrived in a carton marked "bow front" (to match the curved glass doors) but was straight front. The replacement arrived damaged as you can see.
IMG 0031  First day of dry-wallng. IMG 0033  First day of dry-wallng. IMG 0032  First day of dry-wallng. IMG 0034  First day of dry-wallng. Ths is the family room.
IMG 0035  Drywall taping begun. This is the sun room. IMG 0036  Starting to patch where the new section joins the old. Also got our first new item (for the master bedroom , a valet chair) out "antiquing" with Mathilda for her birthday. IMG 0043  Shower base. Third time was the charm! IMG 0044  Roofing starts.
IMG 0045  Patched walls repainted. Ceiling fixtures to be replaced. IMG 0046  Flooring material is here. IMG 0047  Roof nearly finished. IMG 0050  Textured ceilings are done.
IMG 0145  Hardwood floor is down in family room. Took a morning. Will be sanded, staned, and coated. IMG 0147  Tile is here. IMG 0148  Front stripped for new siding. IMG 0149  Floor "woven in".
IMG 0150  New porch ceiling. IMG 0151  Siding started. IMG 0152  46-foot long by 4ft soffit for the walkway overhang. IMG 0230  Siding progressing. Getting porch railing and step.
IMG 0232  Tile underlayment in. IMG 0233  We'll store spa supplies under our bench. IMG 0236  Looking good. IMG 0237  Really impressive from the west side, even though these are unheated spaces.
IMG 0238  Crappy old electric panel will be replaced. IMG 0239  Grilling deck. IMG 0243  Got door trim and closet doors. IMG 0240  Got window & door trim and baseboards.
IMG 0242  Floor tile in bath, hall, atrium ready for grouting. IMG 0252  Starting shower wall tiling. IMG 0253  And entrance foyer tiling. IMG 0254  Floor tile grouted.
IMG 0255  Foyer tile grouted. IMG 0256  Pass-through framed and shelves in. IMG 0258  I's wondered how they make seamless gutters. There's an extruder on the truck. This one is 49 feet long. IMG 0257  49 feet long.
IMG 0259  Shower tile grouted and shower seat installed. IMG 0260  New kitchen cabinets. Missing only the toe kick (where I have installed and will need to re-install a HVAC vent), the plugs to install the shelf, the door/drawer pulls and the countertop, for which we must wait three weeks. IMG 0261  Walkway will go over the gravel. IMG 0262  Nice job on the roof and rain gutters.
IMG 0263  49 feet of rain-gutter! IMG 0264  Painting starts with preparation and primer, which is tinted to match the final color. Family room loking onto the master bathroom. IMG 0265  Color of master bath, atrium, hallway, sun room and our guest bedroom. IMG 0266  New master bedroom will be blue.
IMG 0335  All painted. IMG 0338  Family room. IMG 0334  Sun room. IMG 0336  Atrium.
IMG 0355  Floor done in new family room to match existing floor. IMG 0354  Sun room floor is clear-coated. IMG 0356  New master bedroom color. IMG 0400  Shower in master bath.
IMG 0399  Master bath shower als has a seat. IMG 0401  Commode "floats" from the wall. IMG 0402  Sunroom has light/fan with memory remote. IMG 0408  Hot tub installed in atrium.
IMG 0398  These were replaced. IMG 0403  With these in over our dining and sitting areas. IMG 0414  And these over the kitchen area. IMG 0415  This is where the crappy. unsightly, unreliable, and possibly unsafe electrical panels had been. The holes will be filled and the sided area made attractive.
IMG 0416  This is the neat, safe, reliable new electrical distribution panel. IMG 0425  Washer and dryer upstairs at last! Overlap sliding doors will be added. IMG 0424  Vanity top, two vanities, faucets. Wall will be paintes blue. IMG 0426  Now the right color. And with drawer/door pulls. and doors!
IMG 0428  Doors. Except for the atrium spa, which needs windowed French doors. IMG 0429 IMG 0432 IMG 0433
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