Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rock Bottom

Well, dirt-bottom - Matt and Dylan and I worked hard today to get the majority of the plywood floors up from the basement, so we can assess what's going on with the foundation before we frame out the new rooms. Matt and Dylan took turns sawing up small pieces of flooring and jacking them up / banging them loose with a sledgehammer, and I hauled loads up to the landing and into a wheelbarrow and carted them out and tossed the pieces into the dumpster. I didn't last as long as these guys did, but as it is my arms are aching and I have a feeling I'll sleep like a baby again tonight.

Video highlights below, as well as on the main Videos page. We need to get Miles out in the next day or two for his opinion, and then set up the meeting with a structural engineer. We'll either pour concrete or dig out the dirt and reframe, or some combination of the two.

THANK YOU to Dylan, Craig, and Greg, without whom we'd be half as far along as we are. You guys rock!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sweating is Good For You, Right?

 A few things that happen when it's as hot as it has been in North Carolina this past week and you also happen to be doing demolition:
  1. If you're wearing a dusk mask, within twenty minutes the paper gets so clogged with humidity that you can't actually breathe through it anymore.
  2. You hit a point where your internal air conditioning sort of kicks in, and you stop feeling so hot, though your body continues to produce massive amounts of sweat
  3. You start to get a little slap happy after a while, which can be dangerous for dealing with power tools or gauging your own level of exhaustion!

Here are some video highlights of our few hours of working today. We needed to get started on pulling up the basement floor so we could see how far it is from the dirt (turns out: really freaking close!), how much of the framing needs to be rebuilt (thus far unclear), and how many piers need to be added below and where.

We were so fortunate to be joined by Craig, our good friend and neighbor, and Matt's grad school friend Greg, who stopped by to see the progress and ended up throwing on some gloves and working his ass off taking down lumber and hauling heavy loads up the stairs and into the dumpster. Dylan and Alston stopped by, too, to cheer us on.

We stopped after just a few hours so we wouldn't die. Back to it tomorrow! Gotta get that floor up so we can get a structural engineer in and move forward with foundation work and carpentry. We got one great bid on electric and are waiting for a second, but things should really get rolling soon! Can't wait.

**A note: I realized belatedly that Flickr only allows 1:30 minute videos, so I removed that set. In the meantime you can find all the construction videos here, on my Youtube account.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Flickr Archiving

We're trying to use Flickr as a place to collect all the photos of the project, organized for the time being by date. You can check out the collection here, including a couple of videos.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Playing in the Basement

Now that demolition is practically complete (a post on that coming soon with loads of photos and videos, we promise), the basement space is just one big open room, with brick piers that support the main story of the house.

Today after we met with Miles, I went through and measured the spaces between piers, and then drew it onto graph paper to scale (or mostly - I may have made some small mistakes).


Then I took some tracing paper I found at Target which is most obviously being marketing to 5-year-olds, and got to work. I sketched out the outside walls and piers, and then did two different floor plans to get started scheming. Here they are!

The first one I did entails laundry in the large bathroom, a hall closet (two, actually, with one tucked under the stairs), a medium sized bedroom and one huuuuuge bedroom:

The second attempt is similar, but includes a larger "foyer" space near the back door with laundry in that space, and two more equally-sized bedrooms. 

Both plans include a slightly redesigned staircase than what exists now, connecting closets between the two rooms (inspired by our friends at the Petty Home), and a much-improved bathroom. Right now we're leaning toward some variation of the second plan, since I forgot to draw in the hot water heater which will most likely go in the bathroom. This way, too, there's a nice space by the back door for laundry, shoes, art projects, etc.

We can't wait to show you more! So much has changed in the past couple weeks that every time we gear up to do a new post, it's outdated. We'll try our best to post more regularly, even if they're short posts.

By the way, if you feel so inspired, feel free to download my graph-paper drawing and go to town with your own design. We're still open to suggestions!