About curt

Art Dealer and business owner by day - fanatic renovator the rest of the time. Endlessly working on a 1930 home in southern Indiana.

A quick update

Greetings fellow renovators and spectators! Sorry for the delay in posting. I haven’t given up the ghost, or finished the MisAdventures project – just yet. As I have a real job (besides doodling around here). I’ve had projects for the last few months that have taken up some of my sawdust making time. So I’ll just post a couple photos of an art display project that I haven’t had time to finish.

My original idea of renovating this house was to have a place to display my collection of art and antiques. So this project is to get this up on the wall. This is a large wood and gesso Tang Style horse that was made in the 1940’s for export. It is my Chinese Zodiac sign and was the second antique I ever purchased when I was 17 years old – that was 46 years ago.

So the plan is to get this old horse to stay way up there where my cardboard cutout now resides. When I have time, with a little experimentation and some construction, we’ll have him hanging around. It will be nice to have this old horse displayed for the first time in nearly half a century.

I’ll be back here full time soon to finish up the inside of this now nearly 9 year project.

What’s that? 46 years to display an antique, 9 years to renovate a home – perhaps I’m a little slow – but then again, that’s all relative. Stick around.

 

 

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The Pointy Closet #3 where we are as of today

Here is the final post for the pesky pointy closet. As I write this, I’m still working on this space. The final floors will go in soon on the second floor, so all is ready for this final step. So let’s finish this up, shall we?

We left off from post #2 looking like this. Well, it’s pointy enough, but this is a vintage house built in 1935. Seems like it needs a little more character than just drywall everywhere.

So since I have several rooms with wood on the ceiling and walls, let’s panel the front wall with a little board and batten. We’ll cover the surface with plywood and make it look and feel authentic. OK.

Once the front wall is done, we might as well do the back wall as well….and what the heck…

Let’s just panel the whole room. This will give it a little more of the vintage feel – and will take a couple more weeks to get to this point.

And we just keep covering the wall/ceiling with 1/4″ plywood and rabbeted wood battens. I added a light block to the front wall and a little wall sconce above the window.

In my mocked up design I’m planing to add a shelf along each side over the ‘wings’ that protrude out from the sides of the closet. I contemplated a painted shelf, or some type of wood. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the shelves. They’re 10′ long on each side.

So I went to Menard’s and looked through the lumber section for some ideas. I came up with some cedar that I thought would work, but it wasn’t wide enough.

So I went through the whole stack and found 2 pieces of 1X10’s and 2 pieces of 1X6 that were nearly a perfect match. I glued them up and sanded then down and they look pretty good. You can see the seam running down the middle.

A test fit to see if the shelves are the right width. I made these 12″ wide. The closet is not very practical, so we’re going to make it as useful as possible. I thought the shelves would be slightly helpful.

Having the shelves test fit out of the way, we can add a little finish to the sanded shelves. A mixture of boiled linseed oil, varnish and mineral spirits give the grain a little depth before the final finishes go on.

While the shelves are being finished, the board and batten details are added to the lower sections of the closet. We had to make a little do-dad detour around the vent as well.

The finishing is going on. A mixture of 50/50 latex paint and water. This is put on to allow the grain to slightly show through.

A few coats of wipe-on polyurethane and we have the shelves ready to go in. Now we just have to finish the walls.

The white washed walls are finished. The openings on either side of the wing area will get fitted drawers and shelves – something I haven’t made yet.

All of the whitewash is on the ceiling/walls. So now we’re going to add a little color.

And what would be better than a nice coat of Tiffany Blue.

The first coats go on to give the room a little color.

All of the surfaces get a good sanding to 220. This lets some of the grain show through.

This is why I paneled the whole room. The wood panel grain showing through is the vintage feel I was looking for in this pointy little closet.

The high gloss finish on the shelves enhance the grain of the cedar. Also the bottom of the shelves are recessed. I plan on using blocks of cedar that are removable that can be recharged with cedar oil to make this a cedar closet.

As usual, I looked for a long time to find this little light fixture. I thought it had a vintage, almost Scandinavian design. It has a frosted glass shade which I also like. I’m thinking this light will be used as a night light when everything is finished. Also, this blue was antiqued and over-glazed several times to give it a texture of a wall that had been painted many times over the years.

Six foot closet rods are added between the wings for hanging space.

One on either side will give us 12′ of usable hanging space.

8 coats of satin Varathane clear coating is needed to get a uniform sheen, with sanding between coats and finishing out at 400 grit. Does it take time? Yep, but that’s what this art project is all about. I modified the two pendant lights to make them fit the space.

So that brings the pointy closet up to date. I’m waiting for the floor guy to come back and finish installing the floors. And to make this space even more impractical all of the floors on the second floor are white.

Stay tuned, no telling what’s going to happen next.

 

The Pointy Closet #2

The second chapter of the pointy closet. We have the new 3′ octagonal window in place, so now we can work on widening the room. First we open up the walls and see what we’ve got to work with. This side of the closet is open to the outside. It was insulated but you can see daylight peeking through – we’ll add 18″ on this side.

The other side now opens into the new sun room addition. I’ve moved the wall out 18″ on this side as well and decked the floor.

In my last post I showed you this area under the eaves.

Sparing you the journey of weeks of work, this is the old crawl space area with the brick chimney now. Everything is repaired and an insulated wall has been added. Unfaced fiberglass in the roof rafters are held in place with webbing. Blown in insulation is added behind the knee wall as well.

I’ve enlarged the floor to 8′ 6″ wide and insulated the short walls with fiberglass and foil foamboard insulation.

But the demo demon was just too strong and out comes the chopped off ceiling and side walls. Now I can add some more insulation and some character too.

Removing the drywall allowed me to move the collar ties up to the top. I could do this safely because the new sunroom structure supports this closet wall. Rafters were sistered on the side of the existing roof structure to level the wall surfaces.

The under eave storage areas get a layer of foil faced foam insulation. I am figuring out the door opening areas that will access the storage room. Lots of angles and figuring to do.

Once the walls are insulated, the walls get 5/8″ firecode drywall over the foam board. The ‘wings’ on the side walls will be used to attach closet rods.

A coat of drywall compound and tape is used to seal the drywall. The front wall gets unfaced fiberglass. All electrical is reworked and in place.

A layer of foil faced foam board is added and tape sealed to reduce air infiltration on the front wall.

Drywall is added to the front wall.

Extra drywall gymnastics are used to get the odd angles covered outside the closet entrance.

The closet entrance is taped and surfaced. Still a lot to do out here.

The under eave areas are drywalled and finished. Wiring and ventilation is also in place.

And the other side has a finished out storage area as well.

A pair of 6 panel wood doors are cut to fit the new eave openings.

One day I hope to find some use for the bottom door parts.

The door hinges are set to route the door as well as the casing.

The hinge jig makes a perfect mortise for the hinge.

The hinges are fitted to the casing and the door.

The door casing is installed and fitted.

Each door swings in to the tall wall.

The other side is framed as well for the door. Plywood flooring is added over the existing subfloor. This will have a finished oak floor over the top.

Both doors are installed for both under eave storage areas.

Working on the design of the closet layout. The pendant lights will need mounting blocks and some type of shelving will be used over the closet rod wings.

The closet entrance gets drywalled as well.

The window jamb pieces are cut to size.

The octagonal window jamb is placed in a jig that helps hold the pieces in place while they are glued and nailed.

I built two of these jambs, as the sunroom will also have an identical window.

The casing is also fabricated.

So we are on our way to getting the pointy closet ‘pointy’ again. Stick around somethings bound to change.

 

 

The Pointy Closet Post #1

Greetings fellow renovators! Sorry for a late post, still working away on all kinds of things at the MisAdventures project. I’ll introduce a 3 part series on the pointy closet that gave me so much trouble. Three posts? Yep, you’ll see. So let’s start at the beginning of this closet odyssey .

Well, maybe not at the very beginning. This is the earliest photo I could find of my destruction. This is the 2nd floor closet that I’ve already got my destructive little hands on. I can only imaging what my wife was thinking when I started tearing this apart 7 years ago. Yep 7 – and it’s not done yet – but we’re getting close.

We’ll revise this little problem closet several times – you’ll see. Here I quickly framed out the new closet space with a nifty pocket door. I thought I had it all figured out.

It wasn’t long before I had drywall cut and in place, with all those fancy angles. Moving along quickly – what could possibly go wrong?

I cut out the ceiling to remove the surface mount florescent light.

And will a little time and materials, I have a new ceiling with recessed lighting. Almost done – I can see the finish line.

We just need to drywall this end and we’re home free!

I’m so close to getting this closet done! Just a couple more pieces of drywall.

Crap! I knew it couldn’t be that easy. It’s right here – at this very moment in time that I had another ‘what if’ moment. Those are always bad for me. I decided to replace the staircase with a new, safer one. That will mean the walls of the closet will be too close, so here we go! I’m removing all the stuff I just did. There’s a lonely brand new little switch box just dangling there.

This will have to be moved back to allow a landing for the new stair layout. I always use construction screws to build walls – just for this very reason. Simple to unscrew everything and use again.

The new door location is framed in place. We’ll have to ditch the pocket door because we don’t have enough space to retract the door. It’s always something.

We’ll use a 15 pane door with textured glass – just like the 1st floor bathroom door. This will let light in through the closet window.

So I think I’m finally getting everything in place – surely we won’t make any more changes here.

But these little access doors to enter the eave area kinda bugged me. Not quite the fit and finish I like.

They were made to be insulated, as the space under the roof in these areas was not insulated.

And behind that little door it looked like this. This area is unconditioned space,  The white bucket was used to catch water flowing in from the chimney area decking. The chimney had a pipe coming out the side with a piece if tin foil over the hole. Nice. We gotta fix all this.

And this lame little window too. This is a sad little room without any character. I’m feeling the demo demon grabbing hold of me.

Please someone help me. That window will need some attention, so off comes the drywall.

Of course to make this look good inside, we have to make it look good outside too. Here I’ve stripped all of the aluminum siding off the front.

We use a little cardboard mock up to visualize and we settle on a 3′ octagonal window to replace the 2′ original.

So with a little reframing and other gymnastics, we have our 3′ window in place.

And we’re working on the outside as well. This will get a stone veneer in the years to come. Stick with me, we’ll make a few more adjustments to the pointy closet – why, we might even make it pointy again.

OK, Kitchen – I Need A Kitchen. Suggestions?

Now that the floors are in and finished with 2 coats of clear. We need to get on with designing a kitchen for the space. I have a pretty good idea in my mind’s eye. But what looks good upstairs might not work so well in reality. So I’ll lay out my plans and you can all chime in on what, when, how. If you’re a cook, all the better – I need your insight. I’m not the best of cooks, but I do make one mean scratch made Cream Puff. I’ll make you some if I ever get this place done. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Here’s the space as it sits today. The water supply and drains are in place for the island. The bucket is full of electric for the dishwasher, garbage disposal and receptacles as well as controls for the ceiling speakers.

Now most of you probably draw out your designs or use sketchup or some other fancy visualization 3-D whoop whoop software. But down here in southern Indiana we use a little more primitive technology. OK, work with me now – the door is the refrigerator. Those half sawn doors with the cardboard flap – that’s the stove. Squint real hard – can you see the shiny new kitchen?

OK, maybe not – here’s a reverse angle. The 2 legged table is cabinets with drawers. The white slab of cardboard above is a cabinet for a toaster oven and microwave. An island runs down the middle.

I’m sure by now you can almost smell the bacon frying. The shelf on the left will be lowered a little – to hold cooking oils and salt and pepper stuff I suppose. The right hand shelf  is for plates and bowls so they’re handy when I make my fried baloney sandwiches. A prep sink will be to the right of the stove so I can wash off my food when it falls on the floor.

The range hood has a 8″ duct that goes straight up through the roof. I’m working on adding an automatic make up air system to replace the air in the building when this thing is turned on high. Didn’t think about it until now. Most building codes require a make up air system if the range hood is rated over 400 CFM – I have a KOBE hood that’s rated at 840CFM on high.

And the space between the sunroom and living room is a coffee / wine bar. Humm.. 3 sinks in one room – maybe I should have thought this through a little more. But the plumbing is there and the sinks and faucets are bought. This will have a small sink with a wine refrigerator below on the right. Above are a couple of open glass shelves and the rest is cabinets for pantry items. The thing is – I don’t drink wine or coffee. Maybe I better get a beverage center so I can chill my Diet Coke.

The Drawings

So after I built the mock up I did make some drawings. Look professional? Just a little bit? OK, well you’re right they’re not. I used my trusty Microsoft Publisher from Office 2000 to make the scaled drawings. I guess you’d call that ‘Old School’?

I plan on making the island on two levels. The sink side is 36″ and the lower side is 30″. That’s a standard table height. My wife is only 5’2″ and I thought the lower height would make it easier if she ever decided to cook something. The lower level can also be used as a table with regular height dining chairs if we needed more table space. I thought about exdending the end of the counter so I could get a couple of stools under for a place to eat.

The layout is made so you don’t have to walk through the working spaces to get to other rooms in the house. The back mudroom entrance allows you to go to the sunroom and living room by walking straight ahead, or going to the two offices, bathroom and upstairs by turning left.

So that’s my plan. I’d appreciate all of you creative people’s ideas. Bonus points if you know how to cook.

 

 

Hardwood floors going in

As I noted in my last post, the good stuff is going in. After 8 years of sawdust and open walls, things will start to come together. The good thing is I know that all of the systems and mechanics are brand new and hopefully will last another 80+ years.

We left off here. The 2 1/2″ white oak floors are being installed. I contracted this project out – mainly due to time. I’m working on the upstairs to try and finish this year. Wide white oak floors go up there, and I have a lot to do. Besides, I know these will be done on a level better than I could do.

Stained and with 2 coats of clear, it’s time for me to get my baseboard cap on and put in some trim.

This is the kitchen area to be. The bucket holds all of the electric and controls for the in ceiling speakers. A central island will be 14′ long on two levels. The  space is 40′ long from the back door to the sunroom wall.

I’ve got to finish the fireplace install and a final coat of paint on the fireplace – and baseboard trim and we’re almost finished in this room.

I put porcelain tile down at the two entrances next to the wood floors. I wanted to keep water off of the floors to make the finish last a little longer.

So here is a picture of my sock feet this morning, walking on my newly finished floors. So much more to do, but we’re headed in the right direction.

Stick around, something’s bound to happen.

August Notes – what’s been happening

Greetings my fellow renovators and particular handy people. Well, another month has past and it’s time for an update. The posts will come more frequently and not as long after this one because fancy stuff will start to happen. Or I hope so.

We’ll start in the small 2nd floor master bedroom. It’s not a huge room, and that’s fine by me. I wanted a smaller cozier place to lay my weary head. But no time for rest now, we’ve got to get busy.  The textured ceiling is finally removed. This was a messy, no fun procedure.  I’ve added a wood banding at the ceiling wall junction and painted the walls BM Sterling gray.The ceiling was difficult because most of the intersecting joints were cracked. I removed the paper tape in all of the corners and added a composite flexible corner tape called StraitFlex    I added another wood banding to create a beam appearance. I also added some upright pieces to add a little detail. The wood beam on the back wall is a support beam for the steel I beam that is hiding behind my new wood banding. We’ll make pilaster covers for those.After a lot of fiddling and drywall mud, I finally have the ceiling and corners where I want them. So on goes a couple coats of ceiling white. At this point I wasn’t feeling the gray wall intersection with the angled ceiling. Something about it said  “not finished’. Adding trim would be a nightmare with all of the angles and layout of the room. So while we ponder that great question, we might as well put some finish on the wood window casing. Most of the other window trim in the house is made with poplar for solid paint. This room will have a little more rustic feel, so knotty pine was used. Here I’m adding a wash coat. Once I put on the paint, I give it a light sand and then a couple coats of Varathane water based clear coating. The waterbase coating won’t yellow over time like polyurethanes will. And when I finished that I decided to paint the walls the same color as the ceiling. So that solved the weird angle paint dilemma. This is an all white room, with a white floor as well. We used white so much because I have a lot of art and that will add some color to our spaces. The pocket doors are ready to be painted and installed. I skip over much of this door painting exercise, but it took a very long time to paint and finish the two pocket doors for the bathroom and bedroom, and I still have another one to paint for the closet.

The doors have textured glass for privacy, yet it allows light through to brighten the space. All of the glass doors are like this.

Now we hop down to the 1st floor and get everything out for the new oak floors. It’s not been this clean since 2009. I’m still working on the direct vent fireplace, we’ll get that sorted out before winter.

It’s kinda nice to be able to walk in through the house without tripping over something.

Here’s one pile of white oak for the 1st floor.

And here’s the other pile that’s needed to finish the 1st floor. This is 2 1/4″ 3/4″ white oak.

As much as I would have liked to lay these floors, I contracted it out to a very skilled installer. Here is the start looking from the living room into the kitchen area. He’ll be here a couple of weeks on the first floor, and again for the second floor. It would take me months to do this.

Back upstairs we find a problem. The pocket door was nice and flush to the door casing when closed, but when pushed back into the pocket, the bottom was back about 1″. Bad news. That meant the track inside the pocket was not level. The front was, but not the back. So we cut some holes in our new drywall and make some adjustments. The hole allowed me to lower the back of the track to make everything level. So I’ve paid for my mistake.

So we make a new drywall patch and screw it in place. We tape and mud and feather it out. Move along, nothing to see here. And the door is flush to the casings when open and closed. Meanwhile, while my door drama is unfolding on the second floor, the hard wood guys are busy at work laying the floors in the sunroom.

You might recall in my last post this photo of the access door that is in the master bedroom. The 2nd floor HVAC unit is behind this area. I wasn’t feeling this ill fitting door, so I had some time to think of a solution.

So the solution was to make a panel on the opposite wall to mirror the new door I’ll make for the opening. Here I’ve applied the wood directly to the drywall. The panel was meant to fit next to the post cover I made to hide the support beam.

On the door side, I made a new door and a pilaster cover to match the other side. There is no support beam here, so it’s just for show to match. I used euro hinges that are removable, so if major service is needed the door can be removed all together in seconds. I painted the door the same paint color as the wall. I didn’t add any door hardware, as It’s easy to open. The gap at the bottom will disappear when the new floor goes in.  And the dummy door is painted as well so everything matches.

So after 8 years this month, things are finally going back together. I’ve got to get the appliances ordered so I can make a final design of the kitchen. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Hang in there – something’s bound to happen.