Hi there! Happy Turkey Day! I hope you’re all preparing yourself for good times with good people and delicious absurd amounts of food tomorrow!
Sorry for the lack of updates last week it was a CRAZY one filled with really late nights, countless trips to Home Depot (or “the Deeps” as the husband and I lovingly refer to it) and LOTS of winging it.
To give you a quick update – we successfully got our rough-in inspection last Monday, our insulators quickly got to work and then we got our insulation inspection on Friday. The siding and trim also started going up and is just about complete! It was a stressful and hectic week to say the least! Since this is the first time we’re going through the whole process we’re just trying to absorb as much information as we possibly can which is really hard when everyone talks like you understand what they’re saying. Sometimes I feel like people are speaking a completely different language…
Anyway! Here’s a preview of what the outside of the house looked like over the weekend! There’s a bit more siding and trim up, but alas, it’s hard to get good pictures when you can barely see the house in the dark.
On to the weekend’s projects! We have a long list of projects to do, and a few of them absolutely needed to get done this weekend before the drywall started going up this week:
- Build fireplace
- Build and install shower niches in both bathrooms
By no means do I want this to be a blog that sugar-coats our experiences. I’m hoping that we can look back on these entries and laugh at our mistakes, and I hope that by sharing the mistakes and lessons we’ve learned along the way, some of you reading this might get a laugh at our expense….I meannnnn….learn from our mistakes as well 🙂
On to the building!
While we had already started designing and building the basic framing of the fireplace, we most definitely were winging it when it came to actually engineering the way the various components of it would need to work. We knew what we wanted the completed frame to look like – an 18″ deep x 60″ long box – with a recessed space for the TV and soundbar and a space for a wide, narrow fireplace below. We started by building the outer frame – no big deal! Measure how deep and how tall it should be, cut pieces to size, attach them to the floor and ceiling, put up the studs in the 4 corners of the box and we were good to go! We then proceeded to measure out how high the TV should be based on where the couch will be, we measured how much space we would need for it (including an inch around the whole thing plus a little buffer) and how much space we would need for the fireplace we would be installing – I even doodled on the studs so we wouldn’t forget which marks were indicating what! (Though, full disclosure, we measured – and RE-measured – a number of times so there were a lot of marks to keep track of)
Unfortunately, since we have not yet decided on a fireplace unit (anyone have any recommendations on gas vs. electric?) we couldn’t make a decision about the exact construction of the lower portion of the fireplace so we decided to simply build our TV box the first night while we did a bit more research into the various units we might go with. After deciding that we should take our time deciding on the fireplace we were going to buy, we decided to simply install studs along the underside of the TV box so the drywall installers could just wrap the whole thing…and that is when we discovered a bit of a problem.
Now, as I said, we were definitely winging this process and the husband and I are by no means experts in this building stuff…we are well aware of the fact that we are learning as we go (despite the fact that he keeps saying he’s a pro from his years building forts with nails and wood that he and his brother scavenged for). I wouldn’t say we’ve made any horrendous mistakes, but we did learn once we put the studs in below our beautifully level TV box that it actually was not as beautifully level as we thought. We did follow the mantra of “measure twice, cut once” (more like measure 10 times cut once), but we neglected to take into account the fact that we were building on the floor of the old part of the house where things are not perfectly level…which as a result, pitched our TV box just ever so slightly. If we weren’t planning on wrapping the fireplace in shiplap it probably wouldn’t be a huge deal and would likely go unnoticed, but unfortunately those pesky horizontal lines would definitely make the un-level surface stick out like a sore thumb. We haven’t had a chance to fix it yet, but we do have a plan! I’ll let you know how it all works out 🙂
The other project that I mentioned that we had to get done before drywall went in was the shower niche/recessed shelves that we planned on having in both of the bathrooms. Luckily, the second full bath (not the master) already had a big space that we could cut into without worrying about cutting into necessary studs. We decided to start with that one since it was a bit less complicated. There was space between the shower wall and the closet in the front bedroom on the other side so we were able to make a nice deep shelf with leftover 2×6’s we had. We built the box on the floor (similar to what we did with the TV box), installed it, checked that it was level and then reinforced it with studs underneath and on top. Personally, I think we did a pretty good job!
Next up were the boxes for our master shower. In this room, we had no choice but to put the boxes in the exterior wall. Originally we planned on pulling out the insulation, securing the boxes to the wall and then spraying some home improvement store spray insulation behind them but before we forced ourselves to go that route we tested it out to see if we could squish the insulation that was in the walls enough to not have to do that. Sure enough, we could! This was certainly a relief. The process for these boxes was pretty similar, only this time we had to do some pinning to secure them in flush with the front of the wall.
And with that, we were done! Well…with the building things in the walls phase…next up PAINTING PARTY! What other construction/home reno DIY projects would you guys like to hear about?
Happy Turkey Day everyone!