Author Archives: Kevin

Shedding Some Light on the Subject

The renovation plan originally included installing just one new skylight over the new master bathroom. However this changed twice during demolition, and we ended up installing three new skylights:

  • First, the original gable-style skylight over the upstairs bathroom (now the guest bath) was beyond repair, so this needed a new unit
  • Then, there was the epiphany that removal of the linen closet in the hallway over the stairs could introduce more light to the first floor, and we amplified the effect by replacing the existing skylight with a larger one to fill this space

Soon after the roof was replaced (, the skylights were installed. There were several stages before the installation and completion of these activities. First, the entirely new, originally planned skylight in the new master bathroom needed to be framed out and cut through the roof deck. Here’s how it looked after altering the rafters to accommodate framing (you can see the edge of the old bathroom skylight next door, as well):

The guest bathroom gable-style skylight has been removed, but the framing does not need to be changed:

Over the stairwell, the old skylight and drywall shaft that had previously been left untouched to watch over the destruction below (there’s a good shot of it about halfway through this post: have been removed, and the area framed in preparation for the new, longer skylight:

The membrane roof was installed before the new skylights arrived, and they just membraned over everything (which is as it should be . . .).

Here’s the guest room skylight. At this stage, trim boards have been added to the framed shaft, as well. Light the old gable skylight, which had louvers on the sides to facilitate ventilation, the replacement skylight here will open. Since the door to this room will open onto the little upstairs hallway that’s exposed to the stairwell air flow, this will help overall house ventilation.

Skylight packaging detritus adorns the back patio after the skylights arrive.

After installation, the results on light flowing into the house were immediate:

Looking west into the two upstairs bathrooms:

The master bath space looks much better with a hole in the ceiling.

Looking north through the stairwell skylight, to the willow-oak in front of the house:

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Posted by on April 15, 2012 in Exterior


The Roof, the Roof, the Roof is on Fire . . .

During installation of the house infrastructure inside, activities continued on the exterior. One of these activities was replacement of the roof. Prior to renovation, our house had a standing-seam tin roof. Although a standing seam roof is great, the materials coating ours roof were decidedly not.

The roof originally had been coated with traditional, red paint appropriate for metal roofs. However, at some point before we acquired the place, an owner began to coat the thing with what those in the roofing trade call “alumination.” (Based on the appearance over time, we suspect that this is an etymological hybrid of the words “aluminum” and “abomination” . . .)

Below are some pictures of the roof at different periods during the last decade. Here’s a shot of “alumination” at its best, shortly after an application of the sticky stuff:

Nice, eh? In addition to the freshly coated standing-seam roof, you can also get a gander at the kick-ass chicken wire-embedded glass on top of our old gable-style skylight. We’re still in mourning over its loss. RIP, gable guy.

The photo above shows our old roof at its best: on school picture day, with all its blemishes covered up and cowlicks matted down. But it had another side, this roof of ours. Over time, it would skip school, start hanging out with the wrong crowd, get hooked on meth, and begin a steady, progressive decline toward utter decrepitude.

Below is a shot of the roof condition that would emerge 3 – 5 years after every application of the wondrous “alumination,” the unguent of the roofing universe. (To be clear, this crap was just a tar-based paint with aluminum flakes that would rise to the surface as it dried to provide a reflective quality.)

The old stairwell skylight is at left. The access panel to the roof that used to be accessible through the sleeping porch (and had been drywalled over inside only to be revealed during demolition) ( is at the right rear.

The old bathroom skylight at its crapulent worst makes an appearance in the picture below (I don’t mean to speak ill of the dead, since we really loved this gable-style skylight from the inside, but just check out the exterior). At this point, the prison bus-style, chicken-wire-embedded-glass is sliding off the gable structure like melting snow on a pitched roof. We actually used to go up there occassionally just to shove that freakin’ piece of glass back into place to keep it from falling off completely. There was no clear way to secure it since the glazing was deteriorating, so it would just slide down again and this became an occassional, bizzare household maintenance item.

Household chores for some people entail activities like cutting the grass and trimming hedges. Us? We periodically head up to the roof to manhandle crazy chicken wire glass panels on top of our roof to prevent gaping holes from forming. Yeah – seems normal.

The roof coating would flake off over time, requiring another coat every 3 – 5 years. And, once you start down the path of using this coating, there’s no going back to normal tin roof paint, so were were stuck in this cycle. We could always tell when the roof needed another coating because the flakes would begin to appear in ones and twos in the backyard after it rained, increasingly accumulate, and finally achieve critical mass in little piles. Here’s a picture from several years ago (prior to the back yard hardscaping project), where you can see the this collection of the-roof-needs-a-new-coating indicator flakes in the center of the photo at the edge of the brick patio:

For what it’s worth, here’s a shot of the other houses in our block, which were all built at the same time and were all identical in 1925. Many have successfully pursued the sustainable roof paint route. You can see how things have evolved for each owner (the insides, of course, are more dramatic). Two original, gable-style skylights still remain.

Roof replacement was part of the renovation project for two reasons: one was to permanently eliminate the maintenance requirement associated with the roof coating; the other was to address the roofing need of the bumpout in the back. As part of the renovation, we’re installing a fully adhered membrane roof. In addition, the membrane is white, enhancing house cooling in the summer and reducing energy use.

The roofing sub arrives to remove the old roof and install a new one:

In addition to the roof, the old air compressor for the AC needs to go (which is actually a little annoying, inasmuch as it’s not too old – we replaced this in 2006). Such is life. Here’s a pic of it right as it was lowered from the roof while we were at the house for a site meeting:

By the end of the day, they had removed all of the old standing seam roof and filled a dumpster with the results, as well as other demo debris that had been accumulating. However, it was filled to overflow capacity, so additional conveyance was used:

A piece of the old roof:

Cram that baby full, boys!

In addition to the membrane roof, the sub also started to install the Azek trim boards on the top and side. What they do on the left is actually pretty cool, and will appear in a future post.

Here’s the new roof looking north. At this stage (this was taken a couple of weeks after the roof went up) the skylights have been installed, as well, which is the subject of the next post. You can see the copper lines from the air handler on the second floor, which penetrate the roof about half way up on the right to meet a to-be-installed compressor unit.

Here’s a closeup, per Sandy’s comment:


Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Exterior


Plumbing Supply Lines – The Good, the Bad, and the PVC

After the larger PVC drain lines were installed, plumbing supply lines started appearing. The problem was, these also were PVC, which caused us some concern. It’s not that PVC (or CPVC for the hot water lines) are bad, necessarily (they meet code requirements), but it wasn’t what we understood would be installed.

We check in on the house and check in with Dave and the guys every day, so we saw the PVC supply lines a day after they began creeping around the house like kudzu climbing an Alabama telephone pole (sorry – I think I’m channeling Ross Perot).

Here’s where these puppies first materialized, snaking across the main floor via the increasingly crowded bulkhead:

This was a puzzlement, inasmuch as we anticipated copper supply lines, like any self-respecting homeowners.

The response by the GC was, gratifyingly, pretty quick.

See ya, PVC:

PVC supply lines out, copper in:

This is either the cold or hot water supply line going to the master and guest baths upstairs:

This was only the start of installation of the pluming supply lines – more on the completed rough-in on this element in a future post.


Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Plumbing


Insane in the Main Drain

First, to Cyprus Hill: sorry about the title of the post . . .

After the mechanical went in, the plumbing drain lines were installed. Of the plumbing components, these are the largest, so they needed to be routed after the large AC vents, but before the smaller-diameter plumbing supply lines.

As noted in earlier posts, the 2×6 wall of the powder room serves as a house infrastructure superhighway – there’s going to be a lot going through here. Below is the starting point of drain lines (and associated drain vent lines) being routed from various bays between joists on the second floor, through the bulkhead, down the powder room wall; this culminates in a complex of piping shown at the end of the post:

The powder room itself gets prepped for installation of new fixtures. You can see the hole in the subfloor to the north of the old fixture for old powder room orientation (

Plumbing rough-in begins in the master bath and guest bath. This is a view from the latter, facing south. The two bathrooms will share the drain and supply lines that emerge from the first floor between the shared wall:

A view of the drain line plumbing rough-in from the master bath:

This is the utility closet on the second floor. In addition to the air handler, this area will also house a stacked, front-loading washer and dryer, so drain lines are also needed here:

Below, more progress has been made on both the drain and supply plumbing for the second-floor bathrooms:

Rough-in of plumbing for the wet bar has been complete at this stage (ignore the crazy array of electrical lines to the right – future post, eh).

And, plumbing rough-in for the kitchen sink (this is directly below the south windows on the first floor):

Powder room walls are getting filled up. Lots of stuff routed through this area at this point:

Down in the basement, these drain lines all terminate in a plumbing stack towards the south end of the house:

After the plumbing was completed, the guys tested the system by inflating a service balloon in the clean out port of the plumbing stack (the yellow item below). Our plumber rocks the house. No leaks on the first take (plus, totally elegant routing of both drain and supply lines, as you’ll see in future posts).

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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Plumbing


We Just Need to Vent a Little

The interior framing is complete, so house infrastructure installation is on deck. The infrastructure components include mechanical, plumbing, hydronics, and electrical. They get installed in that order, since the vents for the  mechanical are the largest component, then the plumbing drain lines, then plumbing supply lines, then hydronics, then electrical cables. It’s a lot easier to route 3/4″ copper pipe around already-installed 10″ AC vents than trying to fit these vents in between framing and plumbing elements if they were done in the reverse order . . .

The mechanical systems in newer houses typically includes an AC/heat pump that provides both cooling and heating through the same vents. Our house originally had radiators for heat (requiring a hydronic system to supply and return the hot water); separate AC vents and a mechanical system was added later to complement the radiant heat. Once you have a house with radiant heat, you never want another system – trust us. So, we’re replacing and optimizing this system. This post focuses on installation of the air handler and air conditioning vents. Future posts will cover the other infrastructure elements as they follow, in order of declining diameter.

The first thing to get installed was the air handler at the top of the stairs on the second floor. The guys from the mechanical sub started to set things up on a Tuesday:

Vent components on the second floor ready for installation. The insulated units go above the rafters on the second floor, where the environment won’t be conditioned, like the interior spaces. Although we’ll be doing foam insulation, which has a wicked bad R insulation factor, and a white membrane roof, the space above the rafters still will be hotter in the summer than the rest of the house. (Plus, code requires this, so, insulated vents it is.) The bare metal vent will be installed between the second and first floors to supply the first floor with conditioned air in the summer.

AC terminal units awaiting installation. These will branch off of the larger vent units shown above.

Insulated vents get installed in the master bedroom, awaiting registers during later stages of construction.

Venting in the master bedroom. This is routed directly from the air handler, so we’re hoping it won’t freeze us out in the summer . . .

Venting over the rafters in the guest room from the air handler to the south (right). Although the vent in the foreground serves the guest room, there’s another behind with black insulation that leads to a ridgid vent pipe in the northeast corner of the room.

The articulating, insulated vent at the back leads to a rigid vent which heads downstairs . . .


. . . to this articulated vent and opening for a register in the vestibule ceiling on the first floor. The reason for this routing is that, because we left intact the original, east-west oriented joists between the first and second floors at the front of the house, we can’t tie the AC in this area to the main supply line that you’ll see below.

This vent-o-vestibule is just a side show for the real venting process for the first floor. The supply vents from the air handler at the top of the stairs on the second floor immediately split into two major trunks. One heads up through the rafters and supplies the second floor; the other heads immediately down through the floor above the powder room and supplies most of the first floor. Here’s a view of the complex routing of supply and return vents above the powder room, as they penetrate the second floor subflooring into the bays between joists on the first floor. From top to bottom, you see the major return vent from the first floor, the major supply vent, and a branch line from supply to a register located in the ceiling between the powder room door and the stairs to the basement:

From the powder room, the supply vent has been installed within the bulkhead created by the glulam beams:

At this point, both the supply and return vents have been run through the bulkhead. The former will then branch out east and west through the bays between the joists to registers in the first-floor ceiling (ignore the drain lines, for now – we’ll deal with that bit of infrastructure in a future post).

From the major supply vents in the bulkhead run branch lines to openings registers in the kitchen. First the target openings:

Then the rigid vents connecting them to the trunk in the bulkhead:

The air handler on the second floor after installation. One return register will be located here, at the top of the stairs (you can see the opening here). Another will be located near the dining peninsula on the first floor (stay tuned for the specifics – could be interesting).

Here’s a view of the installed air handler from the south:

The cooling lines from the air handler head through the roof to the compressor, which will be brought in after the new membrane roof has been installed:

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Posted by on April 8, 2012 in AC and Hydronics


The Window of Inopportunity

Living in the historic district of Old Town has its benefits, but it also has its hassles – namely some of the restrictions on exterior elements when you’re renovating a house. As quaint as they are, the original windows of our house are coming apart and are about as energy-efficient as wax paper, so we planned to replace these with new windows that are identical in style. Same with our front door. No such luck.

Although neighbors up the block in our row of houses successfully replaced their front-facade windows and door during a renovation a few years ago, since then, the city has now seen fit to prohibit such replacements for any house built before 1930. We unfortunately fall into this category. The reason for the restriction is to preserve the historic, rolled-glass windows on the street-facing facade of houses. The rolled-glass technique results in slightly uneven glass panes that are characteristic of older houses. Preserving these windows maintains the historic nature of the houses in Old Town, but presents a challenge to homeowners who put a premium on energy efficiency.

In support of the required windows rehabilitation effort, the windows on the main floor began to be removed in late March:

Inside the house became notably darker:

In addition to the windows themselves, we also have original storm windows that hang from nails over each window and fit inside the exterior window frame – these and the top and bottom of the windows themselves are stored temporarily, before being removed for off-site rehabilitation. Since the windows have the iron counterweights inside on either side of the window (you can see the pulleys at the top of each window), these will need to be reattached, so the guys will need to take down the closet framing blocking the left side of the left window at some point:

By the end of the month, the second-floor windows had been removed, as well, and our house was looking like it had been condemned as part of an urban renewal program – we keep thinking that we’ll drop by one day to find a community of hobos inside huddled around a trashcan fire.

The depressingly dark guest room, now devoid of natural light:

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Posted by on April 8, 2012 in Exterior


The First Floor Takes Shape

As noted in the previous post (, the goal for the first floor is an open-floor plan with a list of specific design elements. The guys began framing the first floor to plan after the second floor was completed.

Framing for the entry vestibule and new stair landing has begun at this point (although, upon review of the plan, the landing wasn’t actually correct, as you’ll see at the end of this post).

A view of the opposite side of the vestibule, where the closet will go:

A view south from the vestibule area:

The guys begin construction of the west “wall,” which consists simply of the pocket door housing and the powder room walls.

As you’ll see in future plumbing posts, the powder room walls are constructed of 2×6 framing, rather than 2×4. They’ll serve dual purpose as dividing walls and a plumbing superhighway to route supply and drain lines from the second floor to the basement.

The finished product:

We’re still struggling with what to do with the brick walls. To get the black coating off and expose them properly, we’ll need to have the surface physically ground down, then the mortar repointed, which will required additional effort and incur additional costs. We’re waiting for a quote on this, then we’ll decide.

Looking north, so you can see both the powder room framing and the framining by the stairs where the AV niche will go. You can also see elements of the mechanical infrastructure, the installation of which we’ll cover in tortuous detail in a future post.

A view of the east “wall” from the north.

Overview of the framing defining the vestibule area. This will be complemented by the knee wall below.

The adjusted landing is shown below. The stair is supposed to come to the center of the newel post, rather than the end, so the guys ripped out what had been constructed and redid the framing and subfloor. They also removed the last tread and two last risers, as well as the cool round trim element that used to be on this side of the newel post. These should be the final portions of the old house that are removed . . .


Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Framing, Drywall, Plaster, and Brick


Transforming the First Floor – Goals and Design Plans

After the second floor was framed up, the guys began framing the first floor. Not nearly so much involved here, inasmuch as our design goal was an open floor plan. Before we get to the update on first-floor framing, it would be helpful to describe our design goals here, since they will completely transform the space.

The goal of the first floor design was to recreate the house to reflect how we live. We don’t do a lot of sit-down dinners in the dining room, but have friends and family over quite a bit. They all make a beeline to the kitchen and hang out there or in the back patio. On a day-to-day basis, our routine involves cooking in the kitchen and hanging out in the too-small living room, notably skirting the unused dining room as we move between the back and front of the house. This made no sense.

To provide the context for the limitations of the house “as-was” and the intent of the renovation, the “Before” and “After” designs of the first floor are pasted below (arranged in a regrettably non-intuitive order):

As shown above, in the lower, “Exist’g First Floor Plan,” there were elements that made sense in 1925, but weren’t working for us. These elements included the following:

  • The entry from the porch poured directly into the living room, without any transition
  • The lack of a coat closet on the first floor (there actually was one in the original house, and many of our neighbors still have theirs). In the 1990s, the owners demolished this closet (but not the closet door) to create a hallway between the front of the house and the kitchen (a traffic pattern we liked quite a bit, but it did come at the cost of coat storage for us and our guests when we entertain). You can see the closet door in the Existing Floor Plan drawing below, and in line with, the wall separating the dining room from the living room.
  • A dining room we didn’t use (but in which lived our beloved cherry dining room table, which now has found a new, awesome home at Stephanie and Eric’s down the street; we have visiting rights)
  • No fireplace. We totally dig our wood-burning, glass-melting, kick-ass fireplace outside, but have always wanted a fireplace inside.
  • Kitchen space that didn’t take full advantage of the back of the house – the southeast corner was basically a dead area
  • A kitchen island that everyone always gathered around when we had people over, but that was too small for both entertaining and cooking (which we would typically be doing at the same time). As seen in some of the “Before” pics in the Kitchen Demolition post (, we also had kitchen cabinets over the island, which hung down at eye level. As a result, you could quickly tell who was having conversations across the island because they’d be bobbing up and down and back and forth like sparring partners in a boxing ring to look at each other around and under the cabinets. Another view of the hanging kitchen cabinet conundrum is seen here, from preparations for the rockin’ 2009 Thanksgiving Eve Party (which ushered in the now-hallowed tradition of stoking the outdoor fireplace so hot we can melt beer bottles):

All right – enough of the old house layout nostalgia. On to the new house.

As seen above, in the “Proposed First Floor Plan” drawing, the renovated space will have no dining room. But wait – that’s not all!

Included with this special house renovation offer are the following additional features – but only if you act now!

  • A small entry vestibule that provides a transition from the front porch to the living room; the foyer is defined on the bottom by custom cabinetry that forms a knee wall and on the top by a beam above. This design approach defines the area without enclosing the space, which would be crazy in a house this size. Plus, the cool knee wall serves another purpose . . .
  • An open-faced gas fireplace ( that will live in the knee wall. (More on that when we get to mechanical elements of the house reno, as well as installation of quite a bit of cabinetry.)
  • A coat closet (woo hoo!) at the east end of the narrow vestibule
  • Reorientation of the living room to have furniture along the east wall, rather than in the middle, as we had previously, due to the AV components being installed below the stairs. Some friends have called the new living area a Great Room, since it will be much larger than our previous, too-small living room. But, let’s be clear – this is not palace on a postage stamp in the suburbs; we’ve got a small townhouse in Old Town. There’s no way we’ll have a Great Room. So, we’ve dubbed the new room a Good Room . . .
  • A combination kitchen counter / dining area that serves as a transition between the Good Room and the kitchen. We’ll be able to use this for additional food prep space during parties, but also for food service during the same, and for dining when we have friends over for a casual dinner. It also, most importantly, will serve as an ideal gravitation point when friends and family drop by – a superior solution to the head-bob-inducing kitchen island area.
  • A larger kitchen (thanks to the bumpout) with more counter space
  • A wet bar with wine cooler below and beer tap above (with a line to the repurposed refrigerator in the basement)

All of this is manifested in the 3D renderings of our new space below. (These were developed by our previous architect in SketchUp, a free, but powerful CAD/CAM package available from Google – highly recommended!)

This is a view from the new landing at the bottom of the stairs. The built-in bookcases on the right mirror another set at the front of the house at the end of the knee wall that defines the entry vestibule.

A niche will now house AV components, so the furniture can be located against and perpendicular to the east wall, opening up the space and allowing for enjoyment of the fireplace (which is to the left in this view). We’ve taken great pains to protect and preserve the original newel post and staircase, since these are the only remaining elements of the original house (and also served as grounding for the design of the house, so we didn’t get too contemporary, and tried to maintain fidelity to the original essence of the 1925 structure).

A view of the dining peninsula and bumpout kitchen. (The oppressive extent of cabinetry in the 3D rendering will actually be punctuated with stainless steel for the range and refrigerator on the right.)

Um, we won’t be installing these light fixtures, but we are seeking cool pendant lights to hang from the bulkhead over the dining peninsula.

A view north from the kitchen. One of the many changes since this rendering is the reversal of the location of the wine refrigerator and sink / faucet at the wet bar. Also, although not evident from this rendering, the wet bar cabinetry and pantry (between the wet bar and door) will be the same wood and finish as the kitchen cabinetry.

Another view to the north and the Spark fireplace – and another change. The closet shown to the right of the door will not  be built. This was getting too cramped, so we’ll have a console table there. As with the wet bar and pantry area, the cabinetry for the bookcase and kneewall will be identical to the kitchen cabinetry.

The pocket door to the right leads to the powder room (holy crap, this is going to be tiny!) and the stairs to the basement.


Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Design


The Second Floor Gets a Little Definition

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


Enclosing the Master Bedroom

Now that new joists and a subfloor have been installed for the second floor, erecting the exterior walls for the master bedroom at the back of the house was the next task. This was obviously a prerequisite for installing the roof deck.

This entire time, most of the house has retained its roof. However, because half of the master bedroom consists of the old sleeping porch (now demolished) and the other half is a new bumpout, this has been completely exposed.

The rear wall of the room was built first, sheathed, then erected:

Then, the east wall was built and installed the same way:

Exterior view of the new south elevation:

With the east and south walls installed, rafters start to go in.

View to the east:

And, view to the west. Why no exterior wall? The west wall on every floor is still waiting for resolution of the same property line connundrum that was delaying the pouring of the basement slab (details on this in a future post).

Because we’re not rebuilding our entire roof, we need to maintain the existing slope towards the back, resulting in a challenge in maximizing ceiling height inside, while ensuring that the roof deck slope is per code. Here’s the plaster wall-as-a-chalkboard on the second floor we used to evaluate the plan.

Property line issue resolved! West wall is erected and sheathed:

Ceiling beams are now scabbed onto the new rafters to provide framing for the ceiling. Roof decking begins:

And is complete:

Fully enclosed master bedroom looking to the east:

And west, much to our relief: