Greengate Ranch Remodel
Remodeling a Daylight Ranch in Oregon

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Living Room Windows

Catching up on the blog: We put new windows into the living room about 3 weekends ago. This involved pulling out out the old 8' wide windows, removing the short wall between the two windows, adding in posts, and filling in the left-side corner. Unfortunately the old windows had broken seals and frames, and were only fit to go to the landfill.

The first picture is "before" and the second is "after"...

While the original layout was OK, I think the entire wall of windows is better. It brings the full view of the outdoors into living room, except for two posts.

I cut back the two existing headers, put posts in, and added a third header in the center. The posts are made of three 2x4's glued and nailed together - two jack studs and one king stud. These are sandwiched on the inside and outside with 1/2 plywood that is glued and nailed as well. This makes very strong posts that shouldn't have any problem holding up the headers, trusses and roof.

The sheetrock is back in place, taped, mudded and textured. Once my DW does the painting, I'll re-trim everything out and call it done.

Improving our Entry with an Alcove and Hall Tree

The entry to our house is fairly small and is typical for a house built in the 1970's. We have a nice covered porch area, but once you are inside the entry is about 4 feet wide and 7 feet long. The location of the stairs and utilities don't allow for much expansion without a major remodel project - which we are not willing to do.

To help make the area feel larger and more up-to-date - and keep the cost down - we created an alcove to hold a hall tree. This picture shows the progress so far: the alcove is done (needs painting) and the hall tree parts are fabricated (no trim, stain or sealer yet)...

I made the hall tree out of "rustic" cherry (some knots and minor defect), which cost $4 / b.f., which was about 1/2 the cost of regular cherry. It also gave me the the right look for our house, which is not formal.

Here is a picture of the floor plan changes we made. We "stole" about 8 square feet from my office (read bedroom for my son in college) where the closet used to be, and moved it down as shown.

I am going to add a set of built-in bookshelves to the office that back up to the alcove (3 ft wide x 7 ft high). I think the room will feel almost a spacious with these installed, instead of just a plane wall. Also, the hall tree does not need to be any deeper than 20" on the entry side to get the effect of more space.

A few year ago, I read a remodeling / design article that suggested if possible you should select a non-vital room to "steal" space from for improvements. This is what we decided to do with the office. I started out at a 12' x 10' 6" room plus a six-foot closet. We gave part of the room to the guest bath, and now a bit to the entry. This has left us with a 12' x 8' 6" footprint, plus a 4' closet, which is fine for an office / guest room in the long run.

Hopefully, this weekend I can get the shelves for shoes and face trim done, and have everything stained and sealed.

See my article library on eHow...