Saturday, May 23, 2009

weeks 7 & 8: egress window wells & new stair footing

Next up was the egress window wells, which meant it was time to move some existing plants that were in the way. We spent an evening transplanting the azaleas, irises and roses. We could not have done it without the ample help of friends. Thanks guys!

We saw a lot of Daniel and Nick of Premier Plus Construction Inc. the last couple of weeks. They dug out the area for the new egress window wells, placed the rebar and framed up the walls. They even framed the foundation stem wall for the new stairs. After the inspector stopped by to approve the work, Daniel and Nick poured the concrete provided by Miller’s Mini Mix Concrete. After twenty-four hours, they removed the forms, finished framing the laundry room and stair walls and added the positive bracing at the existing stair connections.

Randy of Brothers Concrete Cutting, Inc. spent the morning sawing the existing foundation walls for the new egress windows. Now we’re all ready for the new windows.

Tune in next time for window framing and knob & tube removal!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

week 6: MEP rough-in & stair framing

There was a lot of action this week. With the HVAC guys, plumbers, framers and electricians all hard at work, we had a full house!

Minh and Ron of Anctil Heating and Cooling finished the ductwork, installed the thermostats and relocated the dryer vent. Yay, I could finally do some laundry! After the inspection, the furnace was turned on. We were happy to get warmed up finally after almost two weeks without heat. It was a good thing that we did not start the remodel any earlier in the year or that there hasn’t been a cold snap; I’m not sure I would have made it. The new furnace is incredibly quiet, and efficient to boot. Thanks guys!

Daniil of Anctil Plumbing moved the water heater to its new location in the laundry room, moved some existing drain lines that interfered with proposed cabinetry and wall locations, replaced the soil line from the existing toilet and replaced all the galvanized lines to the existing fixtures. He also finished the rough-in plumbing with a little help from Jeff. With the new water service, all new supply lines, replaced galvanized pipes and new drain lines, the house is definitely ready for the next 100 years. Daniil, Jeff, Ben and Andy, you rock!

, Nick and Ralph of Premier Plus Construction Inc. began preparing the new stairs. They removed the existing stairs, walls and flooring, dug out under the existing deck for the new footing, placed the rebar, cut out an opening for the new stair run and laid out the new treads and risers. As working with existing stairs in older homes tends to be tricky, the inspector was called for advice on the constraints posed by the preexisting stair well. We were lucky that the stairs did not require any major structural upgrades or reconfigurations. We were given the go ahead to pour the new footing. Whew!

I felt even more relieved when our structural engineer stopped by the following week to take a look at the existing stair framing. The stairs were framed out with single 2x10s. There were no straps connecting the headers to the post, the joists were not on hangers and nothing was even toenailed. Seeing all of that had made me nervous. Granted, the house has stood for nearly a hundred years without incident, and the lumber used in its construction are larger and far denser than what is used today, but it seemed as if gravity and friction were what was keeping that corner of the house together. After assessing the now exposed framing, the engineer felt that we had nothing to worry about. Still, a few positive connections of hangers and straps wouldn’t do any harm.

Aaron of Portland Metro Electric began removing all the old, crazy wiring and weird junction boxes. He also started placing the recessed cans, outlets and switches. With the electrical in place, the spaces seem more and more real.

I talked to Tom from Western Pacific Building Materials Inc. about the door order. We walked through the framed-in basement and reviewed each door location, swing, style, threshold, jamb, hardware and detailing.

Tune in next time for the egress window wells & the new stair footing!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

week 5: framing & rough-in plumbing

The basement has finally taken shape! Daniel and Nick of Premier Plus Construction, Inc. framed out the space in three days. The wall framing makes the project seem all the more real. It’s very exciting to see the different spaces in real life after almost three years of dreaming about them on paper.

Minh and Ron of Anctil Heating and Cooling installed a little more ductwork. We are patiently waiting for our heat to come back on. Daniil of Anctil Plumbing rerouted more plumbing and continued the rough-ins.

Tune in next time for the electrical rough-in & stair framing!