Wednesday, March 2, 2016

It's Amazing How Much Can Change in 48 Hours

We have been waiting for weeks for a stretch of nice weather, but Mother Nature hasn't been helping. When you're ready to cut a 20 x 14 foot hole in the roof, you don't want any bad weather.  But after weeks of waiting, lots of discussion back and forth and looking at multiple weather forecasts/apps, we decided to get started on Monday morning, bright and early.

Lots of reclaimed 90 year old lumber!
The team from Demo Brothers and Waterhouse Builders jumped right in to get started.

But this wasn't your usual demo job.  My goal:  reuse the majority of the original lumber elsewhere in the house - so we are minimizing what goes to the landfill and maximizing use of the amazing 90 year old wood.  That means the whole team needed to be careful about how the old roof was dismantled.

One small dump trailer of debris after dismantling one side of the roof!
The result?    A big stack of beautiful old lumber and one small dump trailer of debris!!  What will we do with all that lumber?  We're all having fun thinking of ideas.  Exposed collar ties, ceiling beams, planked ceilings and furniture.....lots of possibilities!!

By noontime, we had a big giant hole in the roof.  And that's when we got the weather report that heavy showers were on the way.  Yikes!  That 15% chance of rain had suddenly mushroomed into 85%.  There was a mad dash to gather giant tarps and everyone was on standby to pull them out.  But thankfully, it never rained very hard and they were able to keep going.

The first rafter to go up was a big milestone.  And we suddenly realized how high we are.  Look at the views around this place!
Getting everything under cover before the rain starts
By nightfall the first day, we had the roof sheathing in place and a true open floor plan!

And we got some nice surprises.  There are some winter views of the Portland skyline and also Fort Gorges in the middle of Casco Bay.  They won't be the same when the trees leaf out, but it's really lovely in mid-winter.  That resulted in a change to the window plan - we decided to add a new window in the dormer cheek wall, to let the new homeowners enjoy that view!

By the end of day 2, the whole dormer was framed up.  Windows will arrive next week and they can get installed.  I love this new space!!!

Master bedroom space before
And what is it like inside?  Look at the difference!  The vaulted ceiling will be great for the master bedroom and the windows will make it nice and bright.  It's such a huge change!
Master bedroom space with new dormer ceiling
Obviously we still have a lot more to do.  But it feels like the place has been transformed in 48 hours!

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  1. Laurel,
    Can you share how you framed the shed dormer? Did you add an LVL to the ridge? How did you transfer loads? I have balloon framing in our current project and want to join two doghouse dormers with a shed to expand useable space on 3rd floor of 3 family. About 15' span. Architect calls for LVL on the ridge and post down to basement to transfer load. Sometimes architects over-design so would like another opinion. I know you've done a few shed dormers. Hoping I can do this for less than $10K (roofing, windows, interior finish covered in reno budget so incremental expense is framing and vinyl). Any thoughts? Cheers, Kim

    1. We had to add a triple LVL at the ridge (20' span). And since I took out so many walls on the first floor, triple LVL's to handle the load and new footings in the basement for the point loads. Not cheap!! But I do love an open floor plan :-)


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