The Second Floor Gets a Little Definition

18 Mar

During the week of March 16, the guys focused on putting up the interior framing on the second floor. As noted in the first post on this blog featuring the before and after plans, we’re transforming a cobbled-together 2-bedroom, 1-bath arrangement into a more cohesive floor featuring a master suite with an additional bathroom and walk-in closet. This was made possible through a 5-foot bumpout to the south, in addition to building over the space that used to exist to the west of the old sleeping porch (which was an exterior alcove previously).

The before and after plan (with a few updates) is below for this floor. The top drawing is the new plan and the bottom drawing is the previous arrangement.

Framing up the walk-in closet:

A view from the guest room facing south:

A subsequent view from the guest room. Most of the framing has been completed at this point. Note the old bathroom skylight; at this point, the original, 1925 bead board shaft and pivoting “window” at the ceiling is still there. Unfortunately, this will change.

Looking south down the hallway (note the edge of the linen closet wall to the left).

A view from the master bedroom looking north.The framing for the closet and master bath pocket doors has been installed.

In the master bedroom looking north. The area along the east wall to the right will house the A/C air handler and washer and dryer.

The walk-in closet and master bath:

Another view of the master bath. As noted in “We’ve Been Framed!” the new, second-floor joists are now 2 x 10s, with one exception: the area under the showers. We’re installing curbless showers, and so a slope is needed in the shower area to drain the water. In support of this, we’re doing 2 x 8s under the showers, mitigating the need to rip down 2 x 10s, and making the sloping process more straightforward. You can see the change in the subfloor surface where the orientation of the plank text changes.

Looking south from the guest room after all interior framing has been completed:

Ah, crap! The original bead board shaft to the skylight is gone. We discussed with the GC installing a new skylight, since the original gable-style skylight may be beyond repair. The discussions were interpreted a little too literally, and the next day, they already had addressed the issue – with extreme prejudice:

Looking up through the original, gable-style skylight, perhaps for the last time. This structure stands on top of the roof as an independent element and forms somewhat of a cupola, which is pretty cool. There are vents (shown at the top and bottom of the skylight photo) that allow air flow. As noted earlier, they also allow a fair amount of willow oak leaves and pollen threads, which, frankly, is a pain in the ass. Nonetheless, we really liked the skylight and the character it conveyed to the upstairs bathroom (other than the old-school, chicken-wire embedded glass).

However, repairing the skylight was not feasible, and we’re now evaluating modern replacement options. The replacement skylight will still vent, but it will never be the same.

As alluded to above, and in “An Unwelcome Guest (Room),” the linen closet walls are an item of consideration. Below is a picture of their last days. We’ve now pulled the trigger on their removal to open up the stairwell, in concert with a larger skylight, to occupy most of the ceiling space above this area.

The result is shown in the video below of a walkthrough of the framed-out second floor with a remarkably familiar code inspector.


Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Framing, Drywall, Plaster, and Brick


4 responses to “The Second Floor Gets a Little Definition

  1. mom

    March 19, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Does ‘pulling the trigger’ mean you’re doing it, or forgetting it?

    • Kevin

      March 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      Hi, Sandy – pulling the trigger meant that we are, indeed, doing it. The linen closet walls are already gone – the guys work fast!

  2. sz

    March 19, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Great progress!

  3. Gina

    March 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Wow!!! I can’t believe how much has been done already… the house looks really spacious… is this because there are no walls??? maybe a consideration:) ha ha!!



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