The Great Wall

She Says:

The time came for us to blow out the exterior wall of the great room.

So we did.

We took it down and got it back up within 48 hours.  I only had to spend one night with only a thin layer of plastic sheeting protecting me from all manner of raccoons, possums, wild pigs, and other critters that go bump in the night.

He Says:

Obviously, this house has major problems.  And it was major cheap.  It's thrown several dozen curveballs at us already, but we're confident now.

So, we wanted a really dramatic wall of windows in the front, and we wanted to relocate the front door, and we wanted a much larger and better-looking front door...all of which adds up to a complete new front wall.

We added several temporary ceiling support studs and then removed the front wall.

The Woman really got into it with the sawzall and ripped down the studs.  Indeed we did get the entire job done with 48 hours...it would have been 24 except for the mushrooms.

Mushroom!  Mushroom!

The rotten area behind the old front door, when excavated, revealed these:

Yes, those are the black mushrooms of death.  they were growing, upside-down, under our subfloor.  Ugh.

We ripped out the rotten subfloor, and the rotten rim joist.  Then we repaired with new wood and subfloor.    We framed it for 5 of the 36x72" casement windows we had bought, and our new door with doorlights.

With new wood in place, we built the new wall, and sheathed it...

...cut the openings for the windows..

...weatherproofed it...

...installed the windows...

...and the new door!

We're pretty darn happy with the way it turned out!

Great Room Demo

She Says:

The Great Room demo project started big, then it just got bigger.  And bigger.

Initial plans were to tear out the interior hall closets to devote more space to the living area (open concept and all that), but one day, over fajitas at our favorite Mexican restaurant, we thought, "Heck, what do we need an extra bedroom for?  Let's take it and make it part of the great room!"

So we did.

We also decided we didn't like where the front door was located; it had to be moved.  And we (again initially) planned to just replace the existing windows with larger ones, but as the room grew, so did our imaginations.  We made up our minds to completely blow out the exterior wall, rebuild it, and fill it with windows.  Genius?  Or madness?

And then there was The Great Ceiling Debate.  More on that later; suffice to say for now that it tacked on about a month of work.

We did a lot of the interior demo in pieces, in between the other work we were doing.  A closet here, a wall there.  But then the day came that the exterior wall had to come down.  Now remember, we live in this house.  As in, all the time.  With no place else to go.  So the wall had to come down and go back up again as quickly as possible.  Stay tuned...


Great Room Beginnings

She Says:

So. The living room.  We've got big plans for this, what is right now, little room.  Here are the before shots:

The ever awesome teal carpet.

He Says:

If you look just inside that super-sexy front door, you can see an ominous damaged spot in the floor.  That was where water was coming in under the door...for years.  The house had no front porch and a very short roof overhang...so water rained onto the front porch-slab thing, and ran inside.  The floor rotted.  The floor joists, rim joist, and sill pate were involved.  Ugh.  This is going to complicate things.

She Says:

Oh, and the front door dramatically opens right up into... a closet.

I *know* our couch won't fit in here...

Here's the game plan:

  1. Tear out the carpet.
  2. Tear down the hall closets and back bedroom wall.
  3. Take whole room down to the studs.
  4. Blow out the exterior wall, move door, install full length windows.
  5. Take down the ceiling. 
  6. Install tongue and groove ceiling over beams.
  7. Build a bar into the hallway wall.
  8. Put up drywall.
  9. Design and install wainscoting.
  10. Paint.
  11. Build and install bookshelves.
  12. Lay hardwood flooring.
  13. Refinish furniture.
  14. Sleep.
That is all.