- Kitchen
Dining Room
- Porch / Foundation
- Living Room
- Guest Room
- Master Bedroom
- Deck and Patio

Things I have
found helpful:

Dining Room

This is one of my current projects—doesn't everyone remodeling a house juggle more than one project at a time—that is in conjunction with the lifting of the foundation. The floor of the dining room pitched down into the front corner of the house—lifting that corner brought the floor almost back to level—close enough that I can live with it.

My kitchen has been very cold this winter, then I realized that I had added vents along the eaves and the kitchen was now the only room that did not have insulation in the ceiling. I bought roll insulation and rather than deal with trying to remove the diatomaceous earth I just layed it perpendicular to the rafters. I can feel the difference already and the furnace isn't cycling on-and-off so often. $40 well spent!

Latest Project Progress

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30 December 2006 - Happy Holidays!
I really wanted to enjoy the house for the holidays—so I got the final coat of paint on the walls and furniture delivered. I will put the final coat of paint on all of the woodwork in the spring when I can open the windows so I don't get too high on paint fumes. I have been working on window coverings and put up the first curtain rod—the store is out of the drapery panels, so I have to wait until the rest come in.

Chronological Progress

07 August 2005
Clearing everything out of the dining room before work starts on lifting this corner of the foundation. Once the foundation work is done, I will began pulling down the lath and plaster from the ceiling, the first step in remodeling this room.

20 August 2005
This picture shows the diatomaceous earth that is between the rafters throughout the house. Being from California, we put this stuff in our pool filter, here it was used as insulation. When I took down the first ceiling in the house, I called the city about what I thought was plaster dust. I was referred to a local lab to have it tested to confirm that there wasn't any asbestos. The report on the sample I provided came back as "Diatomaceous earth and bits of brown wood."

28 August 2005
The system I have developed for removing this stuff is to use a shop vac and suck out a full rafter run. Then I use a reciprocating saw and cut the lath along the rafter. Once that is done, I just pull the ceiling down in sections, keeping the lath and plaster together. Once that section is done, I move on the the next rafter run. It is slow, but is the cleanest way I have found to do it.

29 August 2005
A view looking towards the kitchen. I will enlarge this doorway to create a more open floor plan. This will be trimmed out to match the archway between the living and dining rooms.

29 August 2005
Here is a close-up of the wall—you can see the original flue pipe for the stove and a real wiring mess. One outlet will be relocated to the remaining archway wall and the rest will be removed. I have no idea what the wire in the flexible conduit with the red wirecap is for.

02 September 2005
One lath and plaster dining room ceiling—cut up and loaded up for a trip to the dump.

18 September 2005
When the corner of the house was lifted, the front door jamb shifted and the door would not close. I had planned for this situation and had already purchased a new craftsman style wood front door. While I have been working on staining and finishing the door, I have had plywood over the opening. Here I am working on setting the jamb for the new door.

16 - 22 October 2005
A system for adding outlets to brick walls that I have developed over the course of my remodeling. First I cut the back off of an outlet box and notch the bottom to allow the wire to enter the box. I chisel out the skim plaster and brick to allow the box to sit just under two inches proud of the wall and a channel for the wire. Construction adhesive glues the box in place and once it has cured, wire is pulled to the box and more adhesive keeps it in the channel.

29 October 2005
After the wire is in place, I glue a metal strike plate over the channel holding the wire—this is to prevent a nail from piercing the wire. I then cover the wall with foamular sheet insulation. The box will be flush with the sheetrock once it is installed.

10 - 11 December 2005
Widened the doorway between the dining room and the Kitchen. Right after I finished the cut, I freaked out and thought I had made a huge mistake. But, given a day to live with it, I really like it. Some people think it's funny, but I save the lumber I remove and try to use it as I rebuild. It maintains the original fabric of the house and connects me to the original builders of the house 82+ years ago. I feel like I am making progress again, funny how that works.

15 December 2005
Moved the thermostat, re-worked the cold air return duct, and got sheetrock up on the walls. Nothing gives you the feeling of making progress—and defines a room—like getting sheetrock up. I'm really glad I widened the doorway, the house has such an 'open' feel now. It's going to be a great party house—now the living room, dining room, and kitchen really are one great space.

20 December 2005
View looking towards the front of the house. Working to get the furring strips and insulation on the exterior walls. When this corner of the house was lifted the window frame separated from the walls and there are big gaps around it—I have plastic over it to keep out the cold. I have ordered the new window and will build a new frame once it arrives and wait for a WARM day to get it all installed. You can see the foam that I shot into the cracks in the walls.

24 December 2005
They don't build 'em like they used to. While trying to solve a dip in the dining room floor, I discovered three joists that should have been attached to a header over a basement window. In fact, they were too short to even come close. The only thing holding these joists in place was the subfloor nailed down 82+ years ago. I cut the ends of the joists, slipped in a new header, used the jack from my truck to lift them into place, and installed joist hangers.

27 December 2005
Figured as long as I was working on the floor I would fix other areas too. There was a bulge under the arch between the living and dining rooms. Turns out the joists scissor across the center support and over time the ends had twisted and pushed upwards. I cut down the ends and trimmmed the tops of the joists to level everything out. I have been glueing and screwing down new underlayment and now have a floor that doesn't squeak—WOW!

03 January 2006
Subfloor is down in the living and dining rooms, the new window is in, and all the sheetrock is hung. I'm working to arrange when my contractor can come and tackle the mud-n-tape—that is one job that I am happy to pay someone to come do! Now that it is 2006, and the 10% tax credit has kicked in, I will order the large window—fixed center pane flanked by casements.

07 January 2006 - FURNACE GRATE FOR SALE!
This is the original grate that was over the coal-fired furnace when the house was built in 1923—if anyone is interested in purchasing it, contact me and I can send dimensions, pics, etc. When the house was updated to forced-air heat, sheetrock was screwed to the bottom side of the joists. Since then its only real purpose has been as the 'Big Dust Collector.' I have pulled it out and put down new subfloor which will then be covered with new hardwood.

17 January 2006
I really pushed over the holiday weekend to get as much done as I possibly could. My contractor finished the mud-n-tape on Friday and I got the ceiling primed and painted and the first coat of paint on the walls. Because the wall color is dark, I used a tinted primer and I highly recommend tinting primer for dark color paint—it will save you so much time and effort.

19 February 2006
Trim up, lighting installed and the new engineered hardwood floor is stacked in the corner. I added 4" recessed lights to the corners of the room and installed the new main fixture. Everything is on dimmers so you can create the exact mood you want. Still need to order the big window—the leather sofa I wanted was on sale and I had to decide between the window and the sofa—the sofa won!

10 March 2006 - Dining Room Floor
Installing the first vent as I lay the floor in the dining room. I ordered flush oak floor vents to match my floor. It took a while—the company had to be sent a sample of the flooring to match—but they did a really good job of matching the Gunstock color and finish. High Mountain Flooring is the Capella distributor I've been working with and I highly recommend them (505-344-8699—just ask for Michael).

15 July 2006 - Dining Room Baseboard
Haven't taken pics in awhile. I am finishing up the trim in the dining room—just need to fill some nail holes and then I can put a last coat of paint on the walls and then a final coat on all of the trim. I can't believe that the end is in sight! Still need to order and install the triple-casement window for the South wall. In the meantime, I can keep working around it.

20 August 2006 - NEW WINDOW!
Ok, I can't help but be excited—I have been looking forward to this window for a LONG TIME. Taking the old window out was a chore. The outer pane was thick plate glass—the metal frame was installed first, then the glass, then glazed. I had to dig all the glazing out to get to the screws. I also had to score the glass and break it out, piece-by-piece. I installed the new double-casement kitchen window at the same time.

04 September 2006 - Talk About a Sense of Accomplishment!
The new dining room window is all trimmed out. I am still going to add some vertical trim next to the window locks, I am just trying to decide how deep they will be. I wanted to get this room painted this weekend, but the trim took longer than I had planned. Funny how things always seem to do that.