Back in the Closet

Well, we sure get distracted, don’t we? Trying to get this closet wrangled into shape is quite the experience. So, we have the exterior wall, door and window sorted out. We have the exterior sheathing on and wrapped the chimney in a new copper flashing. Sometimes you gotta do a lot to have a place to hang some clothes. 

under-eave-framingHere we are looking at the front eave area to the left of the closet. Originally this area was a ‘cold zone’ with side wall vents to allow the roof area to be vented. I decided to maximize all of the space in this house, so these will be conditioned spaces. You see unfaced fiberglass batts on the exterior wall behind the chimney and on the floor. The new framing will have additional insulation and the styrene vent chutes have been stapled to the bottom of the roof deck. This will allow for vented air from the eaves to the ridge vent.

The ceiling insulation is in and nylon straps are stapled to the roof rafters to keep everything in place. This is unfaced insulation because foil faced insulation board is going over this. You want to be careful not to create a ‘moisture sandwich’ that would trap water and cause all kinds of problems. To the right you can see that the area behind the knee wall has blown in insulation, so everything is fully insulated.

foil-insullationThis is the foil faced insulation with foil side up to act as a radiant barrier. This photo is of the utility area eave that is at the back of the house. The new HVAC unit will go here.

eave-drywallThe drywall is going in. I used 5/8″ Firecode X on the ceiling in all of the eave and closet areas. It’s not required by code, but a little extra fire protection isn’t a bad thing. 

Now let’s take a look at the closet.


Honestly, I just wasn’t feelin’ it. This closet needed something more, design-wise – especially since I added the new 3′ window. You can see that I had already redone the ceiling and put some nifty low voltage halogen cans in there. Ductwork was run and we were ready to go. But it looks like it’s time for some freestylin’ design revisions. I started by moving the walls out at the bottom – you can see the little paint line on the floor to the right. The walls came down from the end of the drywall ceiling to the floor –  a total of 3′ of wasted space, if you ask me. So I added decking and framed it out.

I couldn’t take it anymore.


The clipped off ceiling just didn’t look right. So out with the demo hammer and a few seconds later – you have to do something new, because there’s no turning back. I took down the old drywall and poorly installed insulation. And of course my lights and electrical stuff I had put in previously.


In defense of previous owners, they really couldn’t do what I’m about to do. The clipped ceiling was needed because collar ties were used to tie the roof rafters together. Now, with the reconfiguring of the building and new sunroom, these rafters are supported by new outside walls.The big problem was that the rafters were all over the place. If you placed a straight edge across the rafters they were out by several inches. To remedy that I made a story pole 9′ long to reference the height of the ceiling. The strip of plywood at the top is used to align the sistered rafters – you’ll see.


The strip is set level at 9′ to the floor. The triangles are plywood collar ties to secure the roof rafters together. You can see how far out the original roof rafter is with the sistered new piece in place.


 Vent chutes are put in place and each rafter gets a ‘sister’ to even the wall surface.

closet insullation and drywall

After the new unfaced insulation is installed, 3/4″ foil faced foam insulation is nailed to the new rafter sisters. 5/8 Fire code X drywall is installed. See the little plywood protrusions from the wall? Those are the supports for a closet rod that will line both sides of the closet. I’ve removed my double sconce wiring and fixtures from the end wall and will install a single over the window sconce.

closet end wall

The end wall was also insulated with unfaced fiberglass and topped with 3/4″ foil faced insulation. The ceiling surfaces are now dead flat – which is a good thing because I’ll be installing a beadboard ceiling in here and any wave will show.

I feel so much better now. I’ve always wanted a pointy top closet.

A dream come true.



7 thoughts on “Back in the Closet

  1. I can tell right now that I am going to have a lot of questions for you as time goes along. I hope you don’t mind. First question: Can we use your “sister” method to level up some misaligned floor joists? in our dining room? We have to pull up the subflooring and replace it, so we figure that would be as good a time as any.

    • Lynda – I would be delighted to help in any way I can. I have made a lot of mistakes along the way and if I could do it over I could have saved tens of thousands of $ and a year or more on the renovation. I spent months and months on research and have done and re-done many, many projects (like this closet). I can give you guys my cell number and you can direct email me on anything. My house will have everything new. All plumbing, electrical, HVAC with all ducts. So ask away. Now about the floor – yes, this is the way to go. Get the two joists closest to each opposing wall level to each other and then run a string line across and bring the new sisters to touch. What is the material going over the floor? If the original floor joists are minimal, you may want to use a larger sister to gain some floor strength to make the floor more solid. If it’s really spongy, you can use lvl’s and sister them to the joists. I did that with the upstairs floor system here because I needed to strengthen the floors for installing stone tiles. Ask away. I’ll be here.

    • Thanks so much for stopping in. Reading your blog, I know you would like a pointy closet. I have some detailed plans for that space – with bead-board ceilings and whitewashed paneled walls. We’ll see how it goes. And I’ll be watching to see if you can add some ‘hobbit chic’ to that kitchen of yours. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Sunroom Window Trimming | Adventures in Remodeling

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