Sunday, September 2, 2012

Le Cotage Conversion- Breaking Down Walls

Originally, when you walked in the front door you saw this. This is the living room. To the left of the window was a gas stove. Through that arch and to the left was a bedroom. Through the arch straight ahead was the bathroom and to the right was a bedroom. Now, imagine being on the other side of this wall in the bedroom...
That wall is now bare naked studs. Harris is in the bedroom and Morgan in the living room. They are tearing down plaster walls which is not like modern dry wall. Tearing down dry-wall is like a vacation after tearing down plaster walls. 

 Here is the before picture of the corner with the gas stove. It will be moved downstairs.
Here is the after picture of that corner. If you've ever built a house, you may notice something missing inside those exterior walls. If you said insulation you were right! I bet this house was very, very cold in the winter. I bet the inhabitants stayed right next to that gas stove.

Before that bare naked stud of a wall could come down, Jake had to install a beam up in the attic. (No, this is not the beam, or the attic.) While he did that- and Harris said it was very hot up there- I and the tweeny-boppers got to vacuum the floor joists in the basement. Those are the up and down boards of wood that hold up the floor on the main level. You probably have some in your house, too! To be more clear, this is the ceiling of the basement.  I took this picture to show something that I don't think is done very often any more. See the gray stuff on those boards? That's concrete. Any guesses as to WHY floor joist boards would be covered in concrete? They were first used to form the concrete foundation walls, then used to hold up the floor. I know my environmentalist friends are feeling all warm and fuzzy right now. We cleaned up all the cobwebs and dust so that Jake can spray Kilz on the wood to kill the smell of a damp 1937 basement.

Here is the new beam in the attic.

FINALLY the wall could come down. We are so happy about how this has opened up the space. A little recap: The original bedroom had two windows. We closed them off (I'll explain why in a minute.)--- you can see them in the walls. We cut out part of the wall and added double french doors. The french doors open up onto the back deck. What once was a bedroom will be our kitchen. That's why I needed to get rid of the windows, so I could have cabinets on the walls. The original living room will still be the living room.

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