Thursday, May 21, 2009

Next stage and a lingering question

The drywall is done--in fact, has been done for a little while now and I am knee deep into tape and mud. More on that later.

The lingering question still has to do with the fireplace-to-wall transition. We decided to go ahead and have the wall set as far back as we could get it, but that leaves us with about an inch of the edge of the fireplace showing. So now we have to figure out how to finish that off--some type of stone finish? Quarter round? What to do, what to do? The top edge also presents a learning lesson--just grout?

Of course mudding will give us lots of time to think about that--suggestions appreciated. (We are also figuring that Uncle A might have a little time to cipher on this while he recuperates--get well brother!)

Below are a few boring photos of drywall for history's sake and a few close ups of the fireplace edge so you get the picture.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tis the Season of Our Distractions

We will soon have a family room update with a few questions, but Spring got in the way. It just came popping out all over thanks to a few warm days when we started getting the garden in, transplanted trees and did general clean up. This past weekend we were able to get a lot more of the garden in and ever since it has been hovering around 60 degrees and raining, so we are hoping all our little plants and trees are getting well established--goodness knows the grass is flourishing!

Here are a few photos of the explosion of plants and color that happened in our yard recently.

And finally, we got our act together and got a composter. We are probably going to get another one of these if this one works well so we can be loading one while the other cooks--we think of them as "his and hers" since we are calling it our anniversary present. So romantic!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lest You Think There Is No Progress Being Made

Not true. We may be slow, but we continue to move forward--just that we haven't needed a lot of input at this point, so we haven't been posting. But just so folks can see a little progress we give you this little piece of evidence:

The fireplace is just about done--buffalo stone for the facing and the black granite for the hearth and mantle. You can also see we have the insulation in the walls done although we still have the ceiling to do as we had to have the electricians in to move some lighting around so we could get even light on the fireplace as you can see here (and the pre-wiring for the Bose 5.1 needed done.)

So as soon as we are back this week we will do the ceiling and start on the drywall--oh happy days!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More on the Fireplace

Bad news is that we decided to take the whole fireplace out creating one more project. Good news we have more options now. First things first though is making sure the firebox and basics of what we are going to build the new fireplace around are sound. So I need to figure out if there is more demo needed here--and probably just need to get a mason out here to look at it. Here is a video to give you a sense of what it looks like now.

Once we figure out that, we will need some advise on framing, although we haven't totally decided on fireplace style. Here are a couple more stills of the fireplace for your perusal and also one possibility for the fireplace--buffalo stone all the way up to the ceiling with a mantel attached (marble? granite? wood?).

One way or another, I am antsy to start construction--so we need to figure some stuff out this week.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Fireplace

Okay--lots going on and lots of feedback would be useful here. We have done a lot of demo and (here is a shock) expanded what we are going to do. But let's go at this project by project. And first up is the fireplace which we were intending to redo--tile over or something of that nature.

However, in ripping out the paneling that was on the fireplace wall (which like everything else was simply attached to 3/4 inch board nailed to cinder block--but that is another post), I discovered that the paneling and the 3/4 inch is actually behind the fireplace. It is not clear how far, but at least a foot in from each side and the 3/4 runs down behind the whole fire place at that depth. In ripping out the paneling, the fireplace literally came away from the wall--cuz it is attached to the 3/4 and not directly attached to the cinder block. Here are some photos--questions to follow.

So the big question is can the fireplace be saved as is and tiled over? I don't think so--it is already away from the wall and came away so easily that I think the basic construction is so shoddy there is no saving it at this point. I am ready to pull it out while we have a dumpster here in the driveway, but wait for the tile esperts input from up north.

We will also be checking out some fireplace stores here this week, so we might get some input that way. And then we can move on to talking about the fact that I am going to have to reframe the room for insulation and that is going to raise quesitons about the window and that ever challenging stair wall!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The First Problem: The Ceiling

Okay, so we spent sometime today dealing with the ceiling which was drywall with tiles cemented onto the drywall (as Dad suspected). Oh, and can I just say that I am pretty sure that the tiles didn't require the tons of adhesive that was used to attach them to the drywall? We got the tiles all off in the family room and down the side hall as well. Next, we will start to rip the drywall off and see what we find there and determine if we are going to have to make any adjustments based on going to just your standard drywall ceiling. We also discovered another dilemma, but we will save that for another post. Any thoughts on the ceiling are appreciated! Here are some photos to give you a sense of the crazy glue job.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

And so we begin . . .

So the new project is the family room--family and friends will know we just finished the basement, so we just put everything down there so we could do the family room. Here are the basics. It is almost a square room--about 18 x 17--with stairs coming into it, a window on one wall, a fireplace, and a hallway off of the wall at the bottom of the stairs. Here is a basic sketch.

And here are a few photos to give you a sense of things--obviously we have already pulled the carpet out. More below.

The intent is to:
  1. rip out the two outside walls (fireplace and window walls) so we can insulate; 
  2. rip out and replace the ceiling (and put in new lighting while we are at it);
  3. reface the fireplace;
  4. put a wall up where the railing on the stair-railing is; and,
  5. install bookcases along the back "stair wall."
All comments on design features are welcome as we are not sure how to arrange the room in the first place.  So here are the questions:
  • Room orientation (particularly TV/Audio arrangement)?
  • Lighting Options?
  • Fireplace design?
  • Other?