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.....

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