Making a Grand Entrance

OK, so perhaps the above statement may be a little too strong on hyperbole. It’s actually the mudroom entrance. It was a design that evolved from one of those ‘what if we did…” kinda moments. I thought I would take a break from the foundation drama of the past few posts to get back to room addition #1.

Here’s where we left off. The back entrance.

The original plan was to make a small entrance to allow the removal of the stair landing to the basement. It would create two paths – one you would enter and go down stairs to the basement – the other you entered and went up a couple of stairs to the kitchen. This would allow for adding the now ex-landing to the horizontal length of the basement stairs – which as illustrated in an earlier post were extremely steep and narrow. This is getting confusing with words. I’ll illustrate – but it might take a few posts to make it not so confusing.

Please try and pay attention.

Here is the start of the demo – this poor canopy was patched and re-patched, and it still leaked into the side wall. The reason is simple, caulk will not do a job designed for flashing.

This view illustrates the game plan. The wall will be opened up to the right hand edge of the new slab foundation. You can see where the existing back door stair landing was located and the steps to the right that went up to the kitchen. The other side of that small white door is the back of the new bathroom shower.

To make this happen I needed to install a double 2X12 header over the entrance. Luckily neighbor John saw me struggling and came over to help me get this beast up where it belonged. What’s not shown is the support wall that was needed to keep the load bearing wall from collapsing until this element could be placed. One other note: This house is constructed with the interior surface of the exterior walls sheathed with 3/4″ tongue & grooved wood – then plaster over that. The exterior has no sheathing – just clapboards and that’s it – and lots of blown-in insulation. More on the sheathing in a latter post.

A side view. Originally this was to be a very small vestibule. 7′ wide and 4′ deep, just enough space to remove the stair landing. Think of this procedure this way – take the inside stair landing outside and build a little shed around it. But I had one of those freestylin’ design moments and thought this would be a nice place for the washer and dryer as well. I roughed in the plumbing in the basement for this, but I thought this might be much more convenient. And Francia agreed.

So the little room grew from 7′ wide and 4′ deep to 7′ wide and 12 1/2″ deep. Here you can see some of the framing details.

No matter how it comes out – one thing I want to make sure is that proper building techniques are used. Here you see tar paper that covers the 1/2″ ply backing that abuts the house side. A pair of roof rafters will be attached here, so we need to make sure we make this area as watertight as possible. Flashing will go over this when we re-side the house.

Here you see the roof framing and details. The rafters are cut 6/12 pitch and you can see the wall framing for a 2 foot octagonal window. I just love making my interior trim more complicated.

Here is a shot of the fly rafters. Those are the ones that hang over the front. This is called the “rake”. These are attached to outriggers that are attached to the side of the fly rafter and then get notched into the tops of the roof rafters. Did you follow that? This makes a very strong roof structure. The flat elements that are parallel to the ground are the ‘eaves’.

So here is the framing finished and ready for sheathing.  A 7′ wide room?  This will be a challenge to design. The kitchen floor level is 22″ from the mudroom floor. The ceilings are 9′ in the kitchen. The existing roof overhang is 7/12 pitch and how am I gonna make this thing work and not look stupid?

Well, we’ll see what comes of this.


4 thoughts on “Making a Grand Entrance

  1. The more the…muddier! 🙂

    As someone who doesn’t have a mud room and has to pile grassy sneakers, snowy boots and wet umbrellas right in our pristine front entrance, I applaud you.

    I say go big or go home – you will figure out how to make this look cool – it seems you are well on your way!

    • Thanks so much! Well there’s only two of us, but my wife seems to have more shoes than a centipede, so I suspect this little area will be covered with shoes before long. Maybe instead of go big – I’ll have to settle for “go tall” in this space. Thanks for stopping by – you guys are the best!

  2. WOW! You’re weren’t joking… that’s BIG! Can’t wait to see the final product! Our house is the same layout I think because we walk onto a platform, straight up two steps to the kitchen or turn right down to the basement. I’d LOVE to be able to do THIS!

    • Hi Meghan! Well, it’s kinda a little room – skinny to be more exact. Yep, just like a lot of old houses- it’s in and down or turn and go a couple steps up. The original plan was to make a little entrance outside to give more space to create normal basement stairs.The afterthought was to make it a laundry room. You’ll see – it’s a trick to make it visually work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.