Back in August we had  a demo party and gutted most of the first floor, but we left the front foyer and staircase because we knew it would be a while before we were ready to start framing, plus we didn’t have our building permit yet so we wanted to leave the front entrance intact. Now, with the steel beam in the basement and the permit taped up in the window, we’re ready to get to work.

That means it’s time to gut the foyer and stairs, so we’re having another demo party this weekend to do just that. With a dumpster and people coming to help, we decided to demo the office on the second floor while we’re at it. The reason for this is when we rebuild the stairs that go from the first to the second floor, we’ll be putting them about five feet further back in order to make the front bedroom bigger. Moving the stairs back means the top of the stairs will be in what is now our office, or the middle bedroom on the second floor.

Last night we started cleaning up our mess in the office and finding places to put the furniture. Some things are going into storage in the basement, but we still need to move our only phone jack so we still have Internet and figure out where to put one of the desks.

Once the demo is done we’ll be able to close up the remaining window on the North wall and replace the load-bearing wall that runs from front to back with an LVL beam and columns. LVL is laminated veneer lumber, an engineered beam that is stronger and stiffer than wood. That will allow us to have the open plan we want while still properly supporting the second floor.

The open question is whether or not we should build temporary stairs or make do with the stairs on the back porch. It’s going to take some time to get the beam in place, re-frame the joists both in the floor and the ceiling, install new subfloor, and build a proper set of stairs. We might be able to build a temporary set of stairs in the mean time just by cutting some stringers and reusing the existing treads. The only trick will be the winders that we have now. I may just build a landing and make the straight run a bit longer, but I’m not sure yet if that will fit.

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One Response to Next Steps

  1. Build temporary stairs!!! Just for safety sake! It’s not worth the risk relying on on staircase only!

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