Thursday, December 27, 2018

Office Remodel Part Three

After the skim coat was dry I applied another coat of plaster over the new bits and the surrounding areas and used a mixture of a thick nap roller and my trowel to match the texture with the remaining original sections (and the rest of the house...). I'm getting pretty good at textured drywall these days.

It took several go-arounds, but eventually I was happy with the texture, and at this point the walls were painted with primer followed by two coats of Benjamin Moore white dove flat emulsion. The two new windows stools were also painted the same color. After that all the new outlets were installed and connected to a new 20 AMP circuit breaker at the sub-panel.

I called in my back-up crew to help me finish up the exterior painting.

All done!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Office Remodel Part Two

Last time around I was just finishing up the wiring for the outlets I'll be installing below the new window. The back boxes and some of the cable was actually installed when we had both sides of the wall open.

We also needed additional outlets below the existing window and at the third office wall. I will be adding an entirely new, and grounded, 20 AMP circuit for all the new outlets. I marked out a channel on the drywall below the existing window at the height where I wanted to put the new outlets. I used a spirit level to draw the two lines which helps keep them parallel as well as straight.

I cut out the channel with the my modern oscillating tool - back in the day it would have been a Stanley knife and a drywall saw. The drywall was cut vertically at every other stud and the pieces were numbered and saved for later.

This is later. All the electrical cable has all been installed, which was made much easier by the Dewalt right angle attachment and a new set of spade bits. Most of the drywall pieces have been popped back into place and secured.

While I had the access, I took the opportunity to move the internet cable inside the wall. The PO's shortcut was a ¾ inch hole in the hardwood floor. I have a number of these to deal with someday...

All buttoned up - in total, the internet was disconnected for almost forty-five (45) minutes! Ee by gum! Wars have started over less.

Moved back to the new wall and installed some insulation material

Installed a new piece of drywall below the new window.

Next for the install was our custom ¾ inch solid oak window sill....or window stool to use the most accurate terminology. I also ripped out the original stool at the other window and replaced that with a similar piece of oak.

Strips of drywall were installed at the perimeter of the window and at the left side where we reduced the size of the opening by a couple of inches. All joints were covered with mesh tape.

Skim coated the new drywall below and around the window...

...under the other window....

...and at the third wall.

While the first coat of plaster was drying, both new window stools were sanded with 240 grit and painted with primer.

Moved back outside and installed trim at the top and bottom of the new siding and at the junction of the siding with the original stucco. The latter piece of trim was stuck on with construction adhesive, so we fashioned a few wedges to hold it in place while the glue cured.

to be continued...

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Office Remodel Part One

With the basement all done, and the workshop in tip-top shape, it was time to get serious: in other words, time to work on the living area, specifically the office space.  This is how it looked in the brochure: Note the single-pane sliding door, located right next to a set of French doors.

This was our first attempt at setting up the office with the furniture we've been putting off replacing for the last several years.

Later we got a new rug and some file cabinets, but we had bigger plans in the pipeline.

We took 3½ days off work to get the bulk of the remodel done. Started by emptying out the office.

The elephant in the room was the crappy single-pane sliding door...

Removing the two glass panels was straight forward, and then I punched out the door frame with a combination of the screaming wheel of death, the crowbar and my favorite BFH.

Time to break out the stucco. The wall we're working on lies between a section of siding at the left side of the house and stucco at the rear, so we will be replacing stucco with siding.

Ripping off the stucco and chicken wire was the most tedious part. Underneath the tar paper was a layer of crappy fiberboard rather than the plywood I was expecting.

We tore that off as well and discovered there was no insulation material anywhere around the door. The pink fiberglass you can see in the photo is actually installed in the attic.

I used the screaming diamond-encrusted wheel of death to the cut a straight-ish line at the edge of the stucco. The junction with the new siding will be covered up with trim later on.

That's enough for one day.

Next morning....framed out the supporting wall and put in a double top plate because everything I build has to be at least 1000 percent over-engineered.

Test fitted the new dual-pane window. This photo was taken before we put in the blocking.

Time to cut some plywood.

Installing the plywood was cake thanks to the cordless nail gun I bought for the attic project.

All done!

Next up: stapling on the vapor barrier - always work from the bottom up ;)

As dusk fell on day two we test fitted the window again, and secured it with a couple of screws.

Day three started by taking the window back out, laying down a thick bead of silicon caulk and putting it back in. We had to use some shims along the top edge because the wall isn't quite flat.

A few weeks before we stared the remodel I stocked up on a bunch of of exterior siding - this material comes in 20 foot lengths, so I had to move the '68 over to the side of the garage before I could work on it. I put an extra thick coat of primer on both sides of the siding ahead of time. This material is seriously prone to moisture-related damage when it is not properly sealed.

Let's chop 'em up! Basically this is just an excuse to show a photo of my Dewalt miter saw. I first used one of these on a deck-building project in Massachusetts back in the summer of '99 which is where my Dewalt love-in began. My own saw has done ten years service already.

We added more primer to all the cut ends. Primer is especially important on end grains, which is why siding was traditionally installed horizontally like on the Victorian house we used to own. We started off with some spray on primer that we abandoned in favor of the traditional brush on type.

Nailed on the new siding with ease. Most of the nailheads will be covered by trim.

The last piece had to be custom fitted.

The gaps at the perimeter of the window and at the junction with the stucco were filled with expandable foam.

Installed the trim around the window frame. The nailheads in the trim and those at the siding which will not be covered by trim pieces were filled with automotive filler (i.e. "bondo").

The filler was sanded after curing and exterior caulk was installed all around the trim and window.

This is the view from the interior.

To be continued.....