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The long-term plan
We have not started this project yet. Maybe in the near future. There is a plan,
however. We will remove all the sheetrock so the walls and ceiling can be properly
insulated. The ceiling will be raised 6 or 8 inches for a simple pan. Well, that
may prove to be impractical. Either way, the attic needs much better insulation.
It is 60 year old blown in and has compressed to very little. In those days, they
weren't too interested in insulation anyway. The carpet will be replaced, probably
with laminate flooring. The electrical wiring will be upgraded to current code with
all grounded outlets. Finally, we will remove the two existing closets to expand
the overall room and open the wall into the walk-in closet that will take 10 feet
off the existing den or back room. The bedroom extends about 8 feet beyond the back
wall of the new closet and den. We hope to add a new patio door there, opening onto
the back yard.
The actual progress
I'm pretty sure the long-term plan has changed. First, the raised ceiling is probably
not practical and almost surely not worth the cost and effort. I think that will become
just crown moulding instead. The wiring upgrade is still desirable but, again, the work
to remove and replace the necessary wallboard may not be justifiable. Besides, not only
the walls but at least some of the ceiling would have to be removed to get access to the
wiring. Except, of course, that would also make it possible to insulate the walls, a
secondary goal. In any event, the ceiling has to be better insulated but it can be blown
in through the gable vent.
We started in the walk-in closet because that had to be done before we could finish the
den. The north wall was already done as it is the back side
of the Piano Alcove in the living room. The subfloor was also
done as the first step in the den.
The first step was to remove all the clothes and other stuff from the existing bedroom
closet where the access to the walk-in will be. That wall has two double sliding door
closets as shown here. The new Doorway will be behind the one on the right. Eventually,
the existing closet doors and walls will be removed to widen the room by almost three
feet. After the closet was emptied, I could barely get my head through a temporary
hole in its ceiling to inspect the ceiling joists. The reason was to determine whether
they were one piece to extend across the entire width of the room or were two pieces
with intermediate support at the closet wall. Fortunately, they were one piece which
makes later removal of that wall much easier. These photos below are of the stuff that
came out of the closet and are temporarily stacked or piled wherever we could find space.
I suspect we will be purging old clothes somewhat before moving into the new closet.
The first step was to cut a doorway through the wall between the closet and the bedroom.
This required temporarily supporting the roof. That was originally an outside wall with
an eave over it and covered by the flat porch roof. It now supports a valley between it
and the new sloped den roof just about right over the new opening.
I originally planned a five foot opening as I have four very nice 15 inch louvered bi-fold
doors to use. Well, that plan changed too. You can see in the photo below that it would not
leave room on the south (right in the photo) wall for any kind of cabinet or shelves. I then
decided to just use three of the doors for a 45 inch opening. That plan would not allow the
north door to open flat against the bedroom wall so it was changed to just two doors for
a 30 inch opening, the standard size for interior doors anyway. That way they would not have
to be bi-fold, a much cleaner arrangement. It also simplified the temporary roof support as
only one rafter would be involved. These two photos show the opening roughed in and with the
sheetrock applied. The temporary hole in the soffit is for access to support the rafters.
You'll just have to excuse the clutter as this is still a construction zone. You can see I
still have a little joint compound patching to do on the south wall.
That's where I am currently. The next thing is to finish that south wall and install the
door jamb and possibly the doors, then paint. After that, the back wall to separate it from
the den can be added then the floor which we have not selected yet.