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!

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