'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

14 January 2013

Kids Room Part II

First a note on doing remodels, especially on older homes like this one. Take breathing precautions and clean up as you go. There's an awful lot of crap in those walls and attics and most of it is going to end up as particulate matter in the air and your eyes, mouth and lungs. I've taken out fiberglass insulation, blown in cellulose insulation, bug carcasses, mouse turds, ancient dirt accumulation and even a dead bird. Breath masks and a hepa filter on your shop vac will go a long way toward keeping your lungs happy. Also take care to insulate the room you're working on from the rest of the house. That's especially important if you've got young ones at home.

Ok. First up was taking out the carpet, removing the wood burning stove and excising all those bricks. I took care to take them out as intact as possible. I have plans for those bricks down the line. The carpet is old but still serviceable. The best chunk is going into the gym. I tossed the rest.

I ended up with a nice pile of clay fireplace bricks. A little clean up and they'll be perfect for a brick BBQ I'm building this Summer.

Ok, bricks out it was time for the ceiling. It was composed of pressed cellulose tiles. It came down easily but I had quite a pile when I was done. I wanted to rent a small dumpster but the smallest I could find was 10 yards for 375 bucks. Yeah, I'll just load up the trailer and haul it myself.

When the tiles were down I was left with the support lath and the underlayment consisting of an insulating board over eighth inch thin plywood.

Under that was the insulation. It was a combination of fiberglass batting with blown in cellulose on top of that.

Oh, and one dead bird. Seriously. In my attic.

It made a hell of a mess. By this time I'd cleaned up bricks, mortar dust, wood, paneling and now insulation.  It took 5 large garbage bags just to pack out the cellulose insulation. Remember, clean as you go lest you get buried in demo.

As I was cleaning up it dawned on me that the whole thing would go faster if I just took out the slider door that I needed to remove anyway so out it came. Plus I really needed to see more of the framing to see if that wall is load bearing. It isn't which is both good and bad. Good because it means I can enlarge the room without worrying about shoring up the roof structure first. Bad because it really should be shoring up the roof structure now. It will be when I'm done.

Remember, in any remodel and certainly in one done on an older house you are going to run into...issues. Case in point. First, the ceiling joists are butted and toe nailed into the header. Maybe Ok 50 years ago but a no no these days. Plus there's no support from the joists to the roof structure as there would be in modern rafters. Add in that they're 24 inches on center and the whole thing is pretty much a mess. I'll end up replacing all the joists with 2x6 dimensional lumber put in with joist hangers at 16 inches on center. Then I'll run supports from them up to the roof. It'll add strength to the whole roof and tie everything together for a more sound structure. It's a pain but beats tearing the whole thing down and starting from scratch. Barely. 

You'll also find stuff that just makes you scratch your head and mutter WTF!? Like this. Don't ask. I have absolutely no idea and I'm not even sure I want to know. I'll just repair it and move on.

I ended the day with another good clean up. Since the temperature has been down in the single digits at night I changed out the light cover over the kitchen door with an old quilt for better insulation. Nothing you can really do. Remodels are controlled chaos and some things just have to be lived with temporarily.

Next up on the list is to get the walls down to the bare studs. That means taking out all the sheetrock and more clean ups. Sigh. Still, it has to be done before I can start building. I need to see the wall structure so I can determine what can stay and what needs to be repaired. I already know there's some wood damage from a flood in 1981 that was never fixed. There's definitely some rot and termite damage. Cross your fingers on that one please. At the same time I'll remove the large south facing window and take a look at that structure. I'm expecting the worst.

Still, it's a very good start. Nothing can be finished until the job is begun and at least I have done that much. More later.



Old NFO said...

Patience and a healthy wallet WILL be required... And I'm guessing a lot of WTF comments to come...

Six said...

Oh I think you are absolutely correct on both counts NFO, with the one leading inexorably to the other.

Keads said...

Uh, dude, seriously?!?!? I have a hard time with drywall, LOL!

Six said...

I'm with ya Kelly. I can do it but that don't mean I have to like it!