Before & After Photos: Smallest Bedroom

Smallest Bedroom

BEFORE: March 2015

When this house was constructed in the 1950’s, the interior/perimeter walls were constructed with 2″ wide wood strips which were less than an inch thick. They were nailed to the block cavity walls with cut (concrete) nails. It was done this way because walls weren’t insulated back then.

When John gutted the rooms in the house, he discovered a paper thin vapor barrier under the old-style drywall– it was the extent of insulation which was basically nothing.

In 1965 wall insulation became code, but back then, the insulation was 2-inch thick R-8. 

When we renovated our previous house, which my Grandfather built during the depression, we discovered a wool-like material in the walls. Someone told us that it was rock wool aka slag wool and that it was used as insulation in the late 1800s and then as batting insulation in the 1950s. 

BEFORE: 2016

After John gutted the rooms, he added 2×4 walls so the bays had plenty of depth for the R-15 insulation. 

R-value is the measure of resistance to the flow of heat; the higher the R-value, the better insulation.

AFTER: Yesterday

BEFORE: March 2015

I took this photo standing in the bedroom with the south wall to my left.

And, yesterday, standing in the same spot. 

The very same spot where Coco is lying down curious about the new floor.

The closet door required extra shims to achieve the 1/8″ reveal on the handle side.

We exclusively shop at Home Depot because it’s close and convenient, but in October, we went to Lowes for fencing where we discovered a better selection and much better prices. So yesterday, I said to John, let’s go back to Lowes to see what they have in stock for baseboard and trim. We found what we wanted along with better prices. So off to Lowes we go… 

Wi-fi Thermostat, Electrical Inspection & Insulation

Waiting for the wi fi thermostats…

imageI can’t  wait to see the wi-fi thermostats installed. We’ll have two zones; this thermostat  is in the new master bedroom hallway and the other thermostat will be downstairs.

HVAC will return on Monday to do the duct work for the furnace. It has to be bent at their shop and brought over.

The furnace will be installed soon which is very exciting!

Dale, the electrician, was at the house yesterday and we’ll return today to check on John’s work and place wire nuts in all the outlets. By the end of today, ninety percent of the electrical will be completed.

We can then call for the electrical inspection. Once we pass, we can insulate.

We’re looking forward to insulating so we can turn the new furnace on.

Take a Look at The Architectural Plans @ Brick House 319

I’ve been meaning to post the final set of architectural plans. Ignore, the vinyl siding since we will have wood siding.


We’ll mostly have double hung windows. However the large window on the right (living room) will more than likely be a casement window. The windows above the front door will be fixed windows– due to the vaulted ceiling upon entering the house. The front porch will be large enough to place a bench on one side. As I have mentioned before, the front door and garage door will be replaced.



This is the back of the new addition which is the kitchen and master bedroom above. The kitchen sink will be under the window to the left of the kitchen French doors overlooking the back yard and future garden.



This is the east side/chimney side with the new addition and shed dormer. The windows in the shed dormer will be in the master bedroom above the kitchen. The window closest to the chimney will be in the master bathroom.



This is the west side of the house. To the left is the walled-in sunken patio with the kitchen box bay window overlooking the sunken patio. The box bay window will be big enough to sit in with a good book and a cup of coffee.


The west side of the house will remain the same with the exception of replacing the roof with new shingles and installing replacement windows. If we could, we would make this side a gambrel roof too but we would burn through our budget and have nothing left over for kitchen cabinets, appliances, fixtures, tile, etc. The bathrooms need to be done as well.

A percentage of the budget is set aside for these purchases. Keep in mind, when we get to the landscaping phase, we’ll purchase flowering shrubs, arborvitae, pavers and rock for the patio wall. The front walkway will have to be done. And furniture, blinds and drapes will have to be purchased.. Budgeting is constantly on my mind and it’s stressful to say the least.

Next post: The plans for the 1st and 2nd floors.

Ripping out the Wood Floors at Brick House 319

The wood floors at Brick House 319 were rips 2″ wide x 5/16″ deep, as a result they were not tongue and groove. In March, John used a shale bar and ripped the wood off the sub floor. In doing so, it caused another problem which exposed the finish nails (they were #8 x 1 1/2″). The wood floor in the entire house came up in one day but left us with thousands of nails in the sub floor; they had to be pulled up with a flat bar and/or wire cutters.


On Saturday, John removed the nails, and I went over the floors and took out the ones that he missed.


We tried to save the existing floor but the fact that it wasn’t 3/4″ T&G made it impossible to save it.

Phone photos 816Phone photos 860Phone photos 858The wood and carpeting in the Blosenski dumpster created an overweight charge. It was a coincidence when the Blosenski driver showed up to pick up the dumpster, he saw the last name on the invoice and said to John, “I went to school with someone by this name that lived in the big white house down the road; I used to play football at their house when I was a kid.” John said, “That was me!” John vaguely remembered him (it has been 37 years since he graduated high school). I’ll post about the house John grew up in soon; it’s a special house that everyone in the area knows about.

Phone photos 859