Name: Meg and Josh
Type of Project: Mudroom/Breakfast Nook remodel
Location: Chinook, Washington
Type of building: Single-Family Home, 1,000 square feet
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Working in the public school system we take advantage of the extended breaks every chance we get, and this spring break was no exception. After a little weekend jaunt, we arrived back on Monday to a laundry list of home renovation items to tackle before the following Monday arrived.
Luckily Josh and his brother immediately got busy tearing down the walls. I started feeling a little left out, but there was no way the boys would let the little pregnant lady take part in the demolition. Guess I'll just have to hatch another reno plan for the future so I can get some quality time with a sledgehammer.
After the boys had removed the old drywall and plywood walls, we were finally able to see what was beneath the five layers of wallpaper. We were happy to find that the small wall separating the breakfast nook and mudroom was non load bearing, so removal would be a piece of cake. And, as we suspected, the wall between the mudroom and breakfast nook and the kitchen was a load bearing wall which would require the installation of a supporting beam to carry the load of the roof.
We're all for saving money and renovating our home ourselves, but we're not about to mess with the structure without consulting the professionals. So we called up a contractor friend and structural engineer friend who both shared their expertise and had us moving forward with properly installing the beam. This involved jacking up the wall while we removed the structure and installed the supporting posts and beam. With the beam in place, we were finally able to clean up the space and eat a proper homecooked meal - something that you take for granted until you no longer have the use of your kitchen.
The rest of the week Josh was hard at work fixing the subfloor in the mudroom section to ready it for the built-in features and the new cork flooring. Apparently, when the addition was built they installed the flooring joists 24 inches apart which is a far cry from today's building code standards. It seems we are finding lots of these "gems" as we dig deeper and deeper into the structure of the house. Even though we're finding extra work at least we'll come out of this with a more structurally sound home...we hope.
The week began with a closed off layout and ended with an amazingly bright and airy space with a view to the backyard. While this isn't how most people would choose to spend a week long break, it was the motivation we needed to get this project finished. The subfloor was the last item on our list for Phase 1, which means that we are right on schedule to move into Phase 2.
Estimated time for project: 8 weeks
Time remaining: 7 weeks
(Images and diary text: Meg Padgett)