Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Starting Another Notch In the Remodeling Belt

Wive's are cunning. In the waning few days before the warmest weather we've seen in these parts since last October, my wife says lets finally remodel the downstairs office. She knows full well that there are a million things I want to do as soon as the weather gets warmer that involve being outside. I need to summerize things in preparation for the warmer months ahead. I need to clean out the garage and finish up a few odd projects cluttering my workbenches. I need to finish the job we began last fall redoing the siding and soffit on our house. All the windows still need scraped and painted. The landscaping on the backside of the house that is pushed up too close to the siding needs to be hauled away. The wife has requested a large planter garden for the deck in lieu of the real thing which eventually we need to build. The list goes on and on.

But fortunately I am clever myself and I know there is no way I will get this office remodel project done in a timely manner so I will do what I can, when I can and always have a project for those spring rainy days when it really isn't fit to be doing stuff outside. Perhaps this fall I will be able to finish this project.

With the exception of the poked up ceiling panels, the office looks identical to the day we moved in. It still has vestiges of the original wood paneling showing and I suspect that whoever drywalled the room, applied the drywall right over the wood paneling which is frustrating to work on. The room is situated right below the kitchen which when we moved in had a leaking sink that had not only rotted out the bottom of the kitchen cabinet and the kitchen flooring but had also been leaking down into this room. As a result, it had a dank smell probably from mold and we have run a ionizer/air filter down there ever since to cut the smell. Now that the leak has been fixed, I want to remove any mold and fix any water damage to rid the problem once and for all.

Technically this room is a non-conforming bedroom since it doesn't have any egress windows and the only way out is through the single door. The previous occupants used it as a bedroom but for us, we have always used it as our office and exercise room. The two closets that you see above were storage for our extra kitchen gadgets on the left and extra cloths and board games on the right. Those closets will be completely removed and instead there will be a Murphy bed on the left for guests and shelves on the right.

On the opposite side of the office is going to be our new office area. I'm planning on building a built-in-place desk along with some storage cabinets. Because we use this space as an office and as a non-conforming bedroom it only had two outlets in the entire room, I need to upgrade the electrical along with putting in receptacles for cable and phone instead of just draping them from the ceiling.

The biggest issue I have with this room is the large bulkhead that takes up about half of the ceiling which makes this room feel claustrophobic. I know lots has changed in how houses are plumbed for heating and airconditioning since the mid 1970's when this house was built and I'm currently investigating what it would take to reduce these large rectangular ducts to something more manageable. The truncated duct on the right is the return duct and as far as I can discern, there are no returns in this area so possible I can reduce it out of the room and at least get some more space back. I called a heating and ventilation guy I know to come look at it in a couple weeks and help me decipher if anything is possible.

Until then, I plan to strip two of the walls down to the concrete walls of the basement and the other two walls down to the studs. Depending on what I learn about the ventilation, I may or may not strip the drywall off the wall with the doorway. Right now I'm leaning towards doing it since I will already have three walls stripped down and if I can reduce the ducting and thus raise the ceiling somewhat, the drywall already there won't be tall enough. Because there isn't enough debris to justify a trash container, I will end up loading up the debris in a few loads in our van and hauling it to the dump as I go. It takes more time but in the end, saves me a few bucks to spend elsewhere in the project. Besides, I'm not a spring chicken anymore and the ride to the dump is a good breather after toting all that crap up from the basement.


Bone said...

I definitely learned fast that buying a house = endless projects. Which, for me, has led to quite a bit of procrastination.

I find I tend to prefer the outdoor projects to the indoor ones, for some reason.

Ed said...

Bone - Well you can buy a house without projects but you pay a premium. We opted to buy the crappiest house in one of the best neighborhoods and fix it up. In short, I brought it on myself.

sage said...

Looks like you got your work cut out for you... wives tend to add to the lists.

Ed said...

Sage - Faster than I can cross off things!