It’s time to do some framing work to attach the old part of the house to the new construction.
The stairs in this photo were the stairs that led to the attic in the original house. Now they lead up to the new master bedroom wing. They’re the wrong pitch and therefore need to be replaced with new stringers and oak treads.
When we walk upstairs, the balcony overlooking the living room is immediately on the right.
Here’s the view at the top of the stairs. Having these two big windows high up and facing south heats up the vaulted ceiling. It’s very toasty. John insulated the house so well that the thermostat is set at 53!!!!!!! Unimaginable, but true.
This is the one area where John had to wait to hang the drywall because of the framing that needs to be done first. To the left is the original hall bathroom. The plumbing is complete and the vanity will be where the paint pan is on the floor.
Yesterday, John removed the stairs which left a gaping hole/8ft drop leading down to the main level/living room and directly below is another set of stairs leading to the mudroom level. There are 5 levels to the house including the basement.
I asked John how much the stairs weigh and he said about 100 to 110 lbs.
This is another big project. It crosses our minds everyday how much it would cost to pay someone to do these jobs that John does on his own. Imagine the cost in restoring Grey Gardens? And did you see the gorgeous garden and landscaping?
I took this photo standing in the living room and looking up to where the stairs had been removed. Below me is the floor with the mudroom, a “bonus room” as well as the entrance into the garage.
The first thing John had to do is connect the old part of the house with 2x4s and blocks of 2×10 framing.
He made new stringers over a year ago so that the stairs will have the correct pitch. This is another good winter project, however not exactly a fun project. Believe me, if we had the luxury of hiring a good carpenter, we would.
When people ask me, “Would you ever do this extensive renovation/rebuild again?” I say “No.” Once is enough but doing it a second time, there would be no reason (for us). When this house is finished, it’s our house to live in, and there’s no reason to do it again. But, I guess my point is that once is enough but definitely worth it in the long run.
Of course, having fire extinguishers throughout the house is mandatory. John said to me the other day, “Sue, I should have you practice using one of the fire extinguishers.” I said, “Yeah, I’ve been practicing using them at recurrent training, at my job, every year for the last 20 years.”
It’s actually kind of fun. I have to put on a PBE (Personal Breathing Equipment) and enter a small room where there’s a flame. I aim the fire extinguisher at it, press the handle and extinguish it.
Back to the stairs–there’s a total of three stringers. One is dead center.
Where the old framing meets the new, John had to cut it away with the sawzall because it was jagged. Once he finishes the framing, he’ll hang the drywall, spackle, sand, prime and paint. And install the new treads for a perfectly pitched staircase.
It will be a treat to walk up stairs normally, up until now, it’s been awkward.
John just took this photo at 11:50am (this morning).
Followed by this one with a constant parade of clouds floating by.