Thursday, January 16, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Twelve

Day #12 was only a half day really; it's been a busy week and weekend, so we needed some downtime. By the time we were ready to get back at it, the texture on the drywall was all nice and dry. The walls at the dining room side were painted with primer/stain blocker, and declared finished...apart from final painting.



The same goes for the front side of the living area. This corner of the room is now a useful area for piling up tools and other construction detritus.


The shoe rack got a dividing panel, two completely new shelves at the right side, and two more face plates. Eventually the left side will be a shoe rack with three shelves, and the right side will be a cabinet with doors which match those at the other end of the hallway. I did say eventually! It also got another temporary top panel.


We managed to skim the drywall in half of the lightwell too before we called it a day. So far we have used four of the big 5 gallon buckets of drywall compound.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Eleven

Day #11 and my assistant was back after a hard week at work. We started off with a crack-of-dawn raid on the local big box store to replenish supplies, and then it was time to get crackin'. First job: applying texture to the three walls I have spent the last week making perfectly flat....at least it went on easy!


While the texturing was in progress I went back to work on modifying the shoe rack. This is how it looked after I took off the temporary back and top and chopped out both the shelves:


I installed a new birch plywood back panel, and then I was able to install my metal corner piece and finish up skimming the drywall adjacent to the shoe rack


I had to clean up the face panel which I just trimmed roughly last time around. I clamped a two (2) inch wide strip of steel to the inside of the face panel - this acts as a guide for the router's flush trim bit to ride on


This is part way through the process...it came out quite nice. I have to clean up the corners with a chisel.


After the drywall was textured my assistant moved on to taping and filling all the joints at the lightwell below the skylight that we installed a few months ago.


Sunday, January 12, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Ten

Day #10 was Friday, and I had most of the day off work - if only every week was like this....!  After a little bit of light sanding, the three walls at the dining room side were declared flat and dry, including the corners.




On to the floor! The leveling compound I installed yesterday was completely cured, so I started figuring out how to patch in the new hardwood flooring.


One of the ends of the original boards wasn't square, and I wanted to cut some of the other boards back a bit to disguise the repairs. I've developed my own method for doing this, so I thought I'd show it in full in my blog....but be warned: this doesn't work for tongue and groove flooring or for anything that has been installed with adhesive.


I start by prying the board up from the end and work my way along the board. It doesn't matter if you damage the end of the board, since it will be trimmed off, but you have to be very careful not to damage the adjacent boards and not to split the board you're trying to lift. My Grandfather, who would have been 113 this year, would have said "Patience is a virtue." I want to lift the board enough to cut through it, but not remove it completely.


The circular saw is set to 1/4 inch depth. I happen to have an almost new crosscutting blade on the saw which is perfect for this application.


I like to make my cut very close to a nail line; a piece of scrap wood is inserted below where I want to cut. This protects the adjacent boards and the subfloor from the saw blade.



I make a square cut by running the saw against my framing square. I like to make a couple of practice cuts before I go for the important one.


The trimmed board can be re-installed by placing a piece of scrap wood place over the nails and letting you hammer do it's worst. If you're careful about this you can put the board back without disrupting the nail hole filler or the finish. If you're going to be re-finishing the floor, less care is needed...


The result is a perfect match between old and new boards:


I did the same for the other two boards and then had a trial install. The new material was very slightly wider than the original boards, so I removed a few thou' with the block plane.  But....this was also where I discovered that the leveling compound was actually not very level....and was proud of the subfloor in places. I think this is because I was rushing to install the compound and I made it too viscous. I'm presently unsure how to proceed with this part of the project, so I moved on to the other side.


The leveling compound on the living room side was pretty level, fortunately, with a slight peak in the center.


I cut a piece of 3/4 inch plywood which extends several inches beyond the area the will be tiled. The plywood came out very close to level - I will need to make some shims before I anchor the plywood; something else to come back to later...


Time to skim some more drywall! This is how the wall between the fireplace and the shoe rack looked the last time around:


This area was mostly finished by the end of Friday afternoon; there is a small section adjacent to the shoe rack which isn't quit ready to be skimmed just yet...and I ran out of drywall mud :(

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Nine

Day #9 amounted to a few hours here and there after work and most of the day on Thursday. Most of this time was spent sanding and re-filling low points in the drywall that I skimmed at the weekend.


I did some electrical work at the other side of the living room a few months ago, and I left the drywall repairs until now.


Part way through the transition...


On Thursday I had most of the day off work, so after a quick flick over the drywall, I went back to work on what used to be the living room hearth. I started off with a good clean up, and I ground down the last remaining high spots at the concrete. The union between the original concrete and the material I added on day #3 was sound, and the concrete was fully cured by this point.


The concrete was treated with a sealant - one coat of 50/50 mixed with water, and after twenty (20) minutes, one Capstan full strength Navy Cut coat. The second coat took considerably longer than twenty (20) minutes to dry which indicates the concrete is well and truly sealed.


Poured in my leveling compound; I needed the best part of two (2) 50 lb bags to do both sides of the fireplace.


I had to ease the leveling compound into some of the nooks and crannies - this indicates the mixture is slightly too viscous.


It came out alright:


T'other side was done int sem whey. A blind man would have been glad to see it.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Eight

Day #8 really amounted to a few little bits of time that were available over the weekend. We're trying to get the dining room side done as quickly as possible so that we can get that part of the house back. I started off by skimming the smaller wall....


Then did the top half of the big wall...


Later on the bottom half got the treatment....


And then the side wall was done the following day:


This is the living room side of the shoe rack after Friday's surgery:


I installed drywall over the studs and taped the joints. That's it for now; back to work tomorrow :(

Friday, January 3, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Seven

Day #7....time for something completely different: the shoe rack/plinth in the entrance hallway used to be an indoor planter, and at some time in the past was covered with an ugly slab of marble. We wanted to convert the planter box into a third shelf, and bring the wall forward five (5) inches. Coupled with the space we gain from removing the brickwork in the living room, this will give us almost a foot of extra depth in the corner of the room.

The marble was too awful to photograph...

I started by dismantling the shoe rack and cutting a section out of each shelf to accommodate the extended wall.


This is a bit later after I removed the adjacent drywall to expose the framing. Time fort cup-o-tea.


It was another beautiful sunny day and I was plodding along with the front window open.


I re-constructed the modified the back section of the shoe rack and got everything squared away.


Then I put up the new framing - I could have used less lumber, but then the wall would not have been 500% over-engineered.


This is how the shoe rack looks from the front - the loss of space is compensated for by the extra shelf.


Installed drywall over the new framing...


I put a temporary back and top on the shoe rack and re-installed the plastic sheeting at the living room side. There's a lot more to come on the shoe rack, but with the wall extended, I can get back to work on the fireplace side....