A Mid-April Update

Greetings fellow renovators! Boy. look at the time! The 1st quarter of the year is over and the deadline to move in this 9 year renovation is closing in. I still think it will happen in 2018 – but it might be a squeaker. No major progress to report, as my real job has kept me from devoting full time here, but that should change soon. So here is a Mid- April update.

I finally got the TV mounted in the Sunroom. A 55″ OLED from Samsung. I needed the brighter picture quality due to all the windows in this room. Fortunately this thing fits in the cabinet I built. It’s retractable so I can add a piece of art behind this so I don’t have a black rectangle staring at me every day.

Repairing of small dents and painting trim in the stair area. It had some damage from the flooring guys going through here to get to the second floor. Trim is Impervo White and wall color is BM Sterling.The textured glass bathroom door allows light into this area.

My office area trim is also getting the final paint coats. I still have to cut the door bottoms off since adding the new 3/4″ oak floors.

I designed this place with lots of large windows. The paneled walls help add shadow and dimension to the mostly white and light color rooms. The black chalkboard paint above will have a TV mounted. The wall eliminates the ‘black rectangle’ I’m not fond of.

My wife has already claimed the bookshelf windows for her orchids. Even in April, there’s still snow on the ground some days.

In a previous post I was contemplating getting this old 4′ wood horse up on the wall. I made a test bracket to see if it would work visually. I was OK with it, but didn’t like the Victorian look of the cast iron brackets. A little too fancy for the style of the room I thought.

So I found a pair of wood corbels and made a few adjustments.

Painted it the same wall color, but finished with a waterbase clear finish.

I made the bracket wide enough so that it could be attached to three wall studs. The 5″ deck screws made for a very secure mount.

I thought the design of the brackets mirrored the sconces in shape. They have a more Craftsman look, which I think complements the ornate elements in the room.

Having finished that project, it’s time to get the second floor installed. This is 6″ wide rustic white oak.

Because I’m on a time crunch, I also hired this job out. This floor will have unfilled cracks like the Scandinavian floors I have seen. The job goes fast over my new 1/2″ plywood floor overlay.

The stair moldings create the smooth transition to the steps. I have old French iron balcony panels I’ll have to figure out a way to mount them.

Of course the floor guy didn’t think I would want the under eave closet spaces finished out the same way. He was wrong. We used 5″ engineered white oak flooring in here. You can’t really tell the width difference, and besides this will be covered with countless storage boxes when my wife gets done with the space. I’ll crawl in here later and add baseboards.

The white washed oil finish is on. It’s a matte finish with gaps in the boards – it drives me crazy and I want to fill them, but it’s authentic to the ones my wife likes, so the cracks and gaps will stay – for now.

The soft finish has a nice look. The gaps no, but the matte finish is a nice look for our bedroom and closet.

A while back I posted about the kitchen design. Many of you had wonderful suggestions and some have been incorporated in the design. I told my wife one day we’ll get some wood cabinets, but we’ll use the cardboard ones for now.

This mock-up has been very useful and several changes have been made as my wife can see exactly how the work space will feel.

Locations of pot and pan storage, waster and recycling pull outs and the shelf size and placement were finalized for the construction of the cabinets and counters.

Being an art dealer, some things take priority over even finishing the kitchen. The life size oil painting called Victorian Tea is in it’s final hanging place after having it in storage for 29 years.

As well as an oil painting of a local historic landmark building by Kentucky artist Harry Davis.

So there’s an update. Some flooring, some horseplay and a couple of paintings. Here’s wishing everyone a very Happy Spring.





Sunroom – foundation fiddling

So we’re leaving the mudroom for awhile – more to do in there, but making cabinet doors is far down on the list right now.

 So lets take up that pesky foundation problem we were having earlier this summer.

The sunroom foundation is about 16′ X 20′ – here the footers for the block work are in place. The footers have to be below the frost line. That will vary by region. Make sure it’s to your local code. Since everything I do is with city permits, everything is inspected along the way. Rebar is used to reinforce the concrete. You can see the deep footers by the brick foundation to stabilize the corner of the existing house.

In this view you can see the jacks holding up the front of the house. They are sitting on a thin cap of concrete over dirt. This is pretty common in old houses around here – the thin concrete, not the jacks.

A view of the basement by the corner of the new poured footer wall. This is the location of the opening that will access the crawl space under the sunroom floor. The temporary support wall is in place to take pressure off of the foundation sills. I’ll be doing a major floor renovation, so all the joists in this area will be replaced.

Here’s Shawn Thomas breaking out the crawl space opening. The new concrete you see is the footer wall that extends down to the basement footer.

Here you can see the crawl space opening and to the left, you can see the jacks holding up the front of the house.

The footers are poured and ready for blockwork. To the upper right you can see the footers for the front steps as well.

Forms and supports for the poured wall. Originally, this was supposed to be a block wall, but due to how irregular the brick surface was, it was determined a poured wall would be much stronger.

Rebar was added and tied to the footer rebar to add some additional strength.

Supports were also needed in the basement. Since several yards of concrete will be poured in the forms, there will be a lot of weight pushing on the interior brick walls. This should do the trick.

This is the opening for the crawl space. Since there will be concrete poured around this opening, it needed to be formed and braced as well.

Here Shawn and Jason are pouring into the forms.

And here you have the finished pour. This is really overkill – you can see the walls are 12″ to 18″ thick. There won’t be any problems ever again with this part of the house. Was it worth the extra effort and money to do it this way?

Knowing I did it the right way is worth it to me – and the next owner will have a nice stable house to enjoy as well.

Much more to come – stop in and keep me company.