Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Temporary - Over the Top - Open Floor Plan

Notice the staircase to nowhere!!!
You may remember the post about the living room ceiling conundrum - click here.  We agonized over ripping out the fancy drywall ceiling to expose the original joists and beadboard and gain a tiny bit more ceiling height.  Ultimately we went for it, only to discover the joists looked like they'd been installed by someone that had never owned a tape measure.

Some were 12 inches apart, some were 20.  And since they'd never been nailed into the carrying beam, they had also twisted over time.  
Modern building code requires even joist spacing - typically 16" apart

While I knew the odd spacing would visually drive me crazy, I was also worried the weird spacing wouldn't provide the structural support we needed.  We're adding a bedroom and bathroom over that space, which is a lot of added floor load. So after checking with our structural expert, we found that 4x6 hemlock beams would fix visual and structural concerns.  We had to have them special ordered, which meant a 6 week lead time (this is why it's so hard to have a clear schedule!).  At last they arrived and we could install the new beams.

But it was a big job.  The guys had to take out the existing beams and subfloor, which created this weird open hole in the middle of the house.  It was like a dollhouse with part of the house cut away.  

I like an open floor plan, but this is ridiculous!!!

But with the old structure gone, the guys could quickly install the new custom joists and a robust subfloor above.  Farewell squeaky floors 

To finish the ceiling, we will install beadboard between each beam and then the whole ceiling will be painted white.  It will still be a low ceiling by modern standards, but the added visual height between the beams will give it the illusion of taller ceilings.  It will look so good!  Although I will miss that giant open floor plan 😀

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