Thursday, February 13, 2014

Buttoning Up the Interior of the Beach Cottage

It's starting to look like a real house, instead of a mass of lumber!  There's been lots of progress inside the Beach Cottage in the last couple of weeks.  It started with miles and miles of insulation getting installed in all the walls and roof cavities.  To meet code, we need R-19 walls and R-49 ceilings, so it took the guys a couple of days to get it all done.

The insulation makes such an amazing difference.  Of course we're having an extremely cold winter here in Maine, but from the minute we got the walls and ceilings insulated, the house felt so much different!  It's toasty inside and the insulation also absorbs all the noise you could hear from outside and between rooms!

We used a thermal imaging camera to look for areas that needed the insulation beefed up.  The blue areas are the cold areas……see how much it's changed with the 'before and after'?  In the after photo, the only blue (aka cold) areas you see are right along the wooden studs, where you can't fit insulation.

As the walls have gone in, we suddenly realized how much bigger this house is.  See the black areas on the floor?  That was the old 2nd floor footprint - you can even see the outline of the dormer.   The room is now twice as big and you can actually stand upright!

The City had to come out and do an insulation inspection.  Right after that, the drywall guys started their install.  It was a big job, particularly for the tall ceilings in the master bedroom!.  We used regular drywall for most of the walls, but 'green board' - aka moisture resistant - for the bathrooms.

And while we have all new construction upstairs, with all the walls we removed and the upgraded electrical wiring downstairs, there's a lot of work there as well.  But now that those areas are repaired, it's really starting to look great!
Look - the wall openings have all been repaired!

Next step:  the all important taping and mudding job.  I loved watching Dan and Nate on their stilts….and the stilts are pretty high tech these days.  The 'foot' on these allows for a much more natural gait.  But it comes at a price…..a pair of these bionic style stilts is roughly $300.

Once the sanding is completed, we got a primer coat on all the new drywall, as well as a first coat of paint.  I finally decided on Sherwin Williams 'Rice Grain' for most of the rooms, and others were just a simple white.

The guys have started all the trim work, as well as installing the doors.  It's amazing how much more 'finished' the house looks now.

Don't you love the built in dresser that we recycled from the original second floor?  And they've started working on the window seat that goes under the big window.
Lots of cabinets for the kitchen!

So what's next:  The kitchen cabinets have arrived, but they can't be installed until our new red oak flooring is installed.  Then we can move forward on that big milestone.  Can't wait!!!

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  1. So nice to see that even while this brutally cold weather hits your area, you and the workers keep moving along. It looks so great, Laurel!

    1. It's really encouraging to see how much we've been able to get done….although the exterior is kind of 'on hold' just now until the snow and freezing temperatures let us a bit! Thanks for following along Candice! I really appreciate it!


  2. Wow, those stilts are like something straight out of an MIT lab. :) So is that thermal imaging camera actually!

    It's so exciting to see things coming together! You guys are so thoughtful and attentive with all aspects of the rehab, including the bones of the home. I wish we lived in Maine... I'd be putting in an offer before the house even hits market. It's coming together just beautifully. :)

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words Zuzu. We're really pleased with the progress and hope to have some other major milestones to share soon.

      Thanks for reading!


  3. Hi Laurel,

    Did you have to add steel or any other supporting infrastructure to the second floor? I am doing the exact same renovation on my house starting in a couple weeks. Thanks!

  4. Because we already have living space on the 2nd floor, the joists were sufficient for a new second floor. However, where we opened up some of the walls on the first floor, we had to install engineered beams to carry the load.

    Good luck on your project!


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