Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kitchen Redo Ideas Part 2

Okay after much internal discussion here's where we are at.
The new hallway idea under the stars is out.

Right now we like the 'most reasonable square foot' idea.
For reference here's the existing kitchen
Several people have been confused about whats around the existing kitchen so here's a slightly bigger version of the floor plan around the existing kitchen.
We're still up for different ideas for folks who want to try their hand at moving walls.

Here's the blank slate version of our current fav wall layout.
We would love it if someone wants to take a stab at completely redoing the kitchen layout.
I think we are having trouble seeing past the existing to what could be.
The only design constraint is that those are our actual appliances and they have to fit and we want to keep a breakfast bar kinda thing roughly where it still is.

Help Us Design Our Pantry
The big pantry is kinda weirdly shaped and we are hitting a mental roadblock on how to best utilize the space.

Pantry
I can not for the life of me figure out how to make a room in Chief Arch with a sloped ceiling...so you get the above for now. The slope of the ceiling in the pantry is not ideal.
We envision the use of this as a place to store all of our bulky items, all of our small kitchen appliances and other infrequently used kitchen stuff. 

Anybody have any ideas?

Now, More Pretty Pictures.

Here's what the breakfast bar looks like from from the entry looking back towards the kitchen.


Here's a shot standing in the dining room and looking into the kitchen.
You can see the pull out utility pantry on the left.

This shot was taking standing at the stove and looking back at the breakfast bar.

This view is what you would see sitting at the breakfast bar.


Any ideas/help would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kitchen Redo Ideas

With the code enforcement permit being signed off for the basement my near term priorities have changed. We need to get the kitchen up to code and the deck also.

For the kitchen we've decided to install our big (6" wider than the existing) Wolf stove now. This means we have to at least change the base cabinet to the right of the stove, the hood, the cabinet above the hood and the wall cabinet immediately to the right of the stove.

Because we are extra crazy we're thinking that we should plan out our 'dream kitchen' now so that we don't have to end up buying cabinets twice. Of course, now this means we're under a huge time pressure and we're going to attempt to design our 'forever' kitchen.....no problem....

Enough with all this text stuff...on with the pictures!!!!

Here's what the kitchen looks like and the surrounding area.
From above you can see the family room, the entryway, and unfortunately I cut out most of the dining room that is where the entrance to the kitchen is. We don't want to push into the family room as we love the idea of a separate sound proof space to watch movies in. We don't want to push into the dining room as it's all original and well, we actually use it.
That leaves the entryway we think...

Here's what the existing kitchen looks like now.
For the record I F'ing hate the existing kitchen. It's waaaaaay too dang small and poorly laid out. We have to put our baking stuff, most of our small appliances and all our Costco overflow in the dining room.

Here's what we're calling the biggest space possible idea.
It's a bit funky but hey this is just a first rough draft.
Love turning the old stairway down into a decent sized pantry.
Also, the smaller closet at the entrance is possible because we don't need this area as a chase for the HVAC exhaust.
In this initial idea the small closet becomes a pull-out pantry to store our brooms, vacuum cleaner and possibly the trash and recycling.
Not sure about the wacky acute angle in the lower left.
How can I get a corner cabinet into that space?
Also, we lose that doorway into the dining room if we do this. To get to the kitchen you will have to go through the door on the left and then through the dining room, maybe an extra ten steps compared to how we do it now.
This idea adds over 4' of counter space and upper and lower cabinets.
That, plus the pantry and the broom pantry, seems like it should be plenty of space for everything.
Using this idea the kitchen grows from being 130sqft to 165sqft (not including the pantries).

Here's the bare kitchen idea.
Just in case someone wants to take a stab at designing a kitchen from scratch.

And Finally, Pretty Pictures.

Here is what the new long wall with the acute angle could look like.

Here is the stove wall.

Here is looking at the pantry corner from the opposite corner.

A straight on view of the pantry, counter area.

What do y'all think?
We're basically only changing the lower left corner and wall of the kitchen.
Would love to hear any suggestions people have.

Initially I think that maybe I am trying to reuse design features from the existing kitchen too much. But blank slating it right now feels impossible.
Also, I'm not sure about the stairway to breakfast bar clearance. In this design there is 42" between the two.

Update:
No one likes the crazy angle idea...so, here's the non-angle version.

It's bigger now and I think bringing the pantry into the kitchen is worthwhile. As you can see with this probably more sensible version we lose 2'-4" along that wall.

Update #2
Here's an interesting idea from one of my imaginary friends.

The new hallway created has a sloped ceiling. It is only 6' on the one edge...
Could that be enough?
What do y'all think about this?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Screwy Framing Part 2

Or as I like to say...
Screwy Framing Part 2, Electric Bugaloo!

When I was fixing the framing from the earlier post I made a sad, sad realization...
That the wet walls for the master bath and laundry were really, really uh, odd...
So odd in fact that I have been staring at them for a while now and my head is just swimming...
There appears to be soooo much wrong with this area that I'm at a loss as to where to start and how to go about fixing all these issues...or honestly if they are serious issues or not.

To help organize my thoughts and aggravations I'm going to break the issues I see down into two sections. This area we are talking about is the intersection between the old and new and some framing in the addition.

First off,
The possibly unnecessary, definitely undersized and unsupported beam to no where.

Take a look at the picture below of the floor framing of the two story addition.

The floor is framed with #1 2by6's 16"oc that span 11' they are attached with joist hangers at both ends.
The joists are at their max allowable span for #1 2by6's with a live load of 40psf, and dead load of 20psf and a deflection of L/360. (not sure if thats the case here)
The beam in the middle of the span is what I'm confused about.
So officially the joists don't need a beam at their mid-point right?

The PO chose to tile the floor above with large format 18" square tiles.
I'm guessing that they installed this beam because they wanted a much less bouncy floor for the tile job...makes sense no?......well no, wait till you see how the beam is installed...

The Beam
The beam is a Select Structural 4by8 that spans ~11'. Double jack studs on one side and a hanger on the other.

From my CBC span table for interior load bearing girders I get a max span of 4'-1" (for a double 2by8)that's for #2 wood with 2 floors above.
This beam is structural select so it should span farther but I can't seem to find a girder span table that takes grade into account?
From the joist span tables going from #2 wood to select structural gives you about 2' more in span.
So lets say this beam can safely span 6'...yet its set to span 11'!
Maybe they were thinking that the beam isn't really loaded and this long span would still be enough to take the 'bounce' out of the floor to make it suitable for tiling?
The floor above doesn't really bounce and I have seen no evidence of the tile/grout cracking after a year of living here.

If you look at the picture above it looks like the beam is supported at that little wall and farther down at its end...but its not.
Take a look at these pics.

The short wall.

This was built after the beam was put in place and it doesn't actually touch the beam...If they had just built the wall two inches longer (to the right) they could of supported the beam at ~4' in.

Missed it by that much

The wall on the lower left is the wall for the bathroom...instead of just building it under the beam and supporting it (and making a tiny bath a couple inches bigger) they built it exactly to miss the beam?"

Here's My Favorite Part

The beam is hung from an existing (original to the house) ~6by6 beam by a joist hanger.
One side of the hanger is filled with 16D nails (good) but the side pictured looks like its been installed with drywall screws to me! At least they used the heavy grade hangers.
Also, do you see that line at about the mid point on the hanger? That's where the beam ends and the between the joists blocking begins.

So, the hanger is hung mostly from the blocking...is that a good thing?

What we have here is one beam hung off the other and you'd expect there to be at least a 4by4 post under this area right?

Noooope, this is what I meant by a 'beam to no where'.

Check out this shot below

You can see where the one beam is connected to the other and right underneath it is....nothing....
For some freaking reason they decided having a vertical soil pipe in that EXACT spot was more important than supporting this junction.

This pic shows that this junction is supported by a single 2by4!
And its not even under it but next to it? The original beam spans probably 6" past this lone 2by4 'post'.

At the bottom of the soil pipe it even looks like theres an elbow that if removed would probably exactly clear up enough space for the needed post.
Why did they not do this? Arrrgh!

Original Beam and Wet Wall

Check out this shot of the original beam.
Its being supported by another crappy conglomeration of non-plumb, crushed at the top looking 2by4 studs.
They installed the studs tight to one edge. So there is ~2" of unsupported edge on this beam. It looks to me like the beam has rotated down a bit on the unsupported side....
I installed a nice 4by6 post on the one end, but all of this mess??? I don't know what to do about it.
This beam supports the joists for the original back porch area of the house and there's been an addition built on top of that, though, the joists in the 2nd story addition run at right angles to these.

Holy Bowing Studs Part 2
Here's a pulled back shot. Bowing, bent, unplumb studs.
I'd love to just rip out the studs one at a time and replace them with 2by6's to fully support the beam but there is a problem.

They framed a wet wall in the way.
So, instead of using 2by6's to fully support the load bearing header they chose to do this conglomeration of crap! You see that band of double 2by4's along the top? That's part of the framing for the dropped ceiling in the laundry room and its directly in the way of using 2by6 studs!
It seems like I'm going to have to demolish the ceiling and this wall just to fix it.
Or, can it be fixed in place.

This entire ridiculous thing could of been avoided if they would of used 2by6 studs and just brought all the plumbing out to this side and then framed a non load bearing 2by4 wall to cover it. They would of lost a couple of inches max out of the size of this room.

Another shot of the corner.
All that wood just sorta tacked on everywhere...whoever built this sure didn't mind wasting wood...

Questions I need answered
  1. Is the beam doing something useful? If so should I be supporting is more along its length?
  2. What the heck to do with the beam-beam intersection?
  3. Is there a way to rebuild that 2by4 wet wall with 2by6's and not have to totally destroy the walls-ceiling attached to it?

Geez, just writing this made me tired...

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Little Bit Of Fixed Framing

Earlier I posted this pic about some bent wall studs.

After much discussion with my SE it was decided that it would be a good idea to rebuild the wall 'correctly'.
This is at the dividing line between the old and new parts of the house...well, sorta... I didn't realize that the original house had a little bump-out in the back here...possibly for a covered back porch or stair well (more on this later....)

First I had to adjust the main soil stack for the two studio apartments.
You can see in this pic that its run goofily into the wall plane?

This is another instance where I want to slap the PO...there's going to be lots more to come don't worry.
The entire reason for this wonky plumbing is that they cut the vertical pipe that comes down from the ceiling about 6" to short...so instead of just adding some length they used a wacky combination of angles to 'make it work'.

The fix.
 Actually all I did was remove one 45 deg piece and use two longer couplings.
Its not perfect there will be some 'lippage' that might collect some 'solids' but I think the nice continuous slope will probably work in my favor.

Now on to actually fixing the wall.

A very important beam intersects this wall and it wasn't really being supported at its end by anything more than a single overloaded 2by4...

So, out comes the 3 ton car jack and I give the beam a little lift.

Then where there was really no serious support for this beam I installed a 4by6 post.

Then with the addition of some #1 s-dry studs from Economy Lumber the wall was done!
All the studs are vertical and not bowed!
Its a weird set-up on this wall. This wall is load bearing to the left of the post but not the right.
Here's a closeup of the opening where I hope the HVAC plenums will fit through.

While I was 'at it' I finished installing the foundation bolts along this oh so important wall for shear strength.

I had to use the slotted washers on the existing bolts as they were very off center. I love that the slotted washers cost more than the standard and you have to use an additional washer on each one.

Header Screw up.
The triple 2by8 header I built has developed a crack...

Here's a closer-up shot.

I showed this to my BI and he said basically, not to worry!!!
I used seriously wet wood to build this and its shrunk as its dried out in the basement.
I don't get my local 'real' lumber yard. They keep all their standard framing lumber outside year round...so in the wet season you get wood that's crazy wet. I remember carrying the wood from the car to the basement and thinking...dang this 8' 2by8 weighs soooo much...

I'm going to have to put shims in all around on this..I've already done the jack studs....live and learn I guess. Buy the #1 S-dry from Economy if you are worried about what using seriously wet wood will do to your project.

This whole thing started out with my just wanting to put the foundation bolts in the right place!

That's it for now.

Next up, 'Oy Vey!! More screwy framing to deal with.'

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Woo-Hoo!!!! First Code Enforcement Permit Signed Off!!!

Woo, I say, Woo-Hoo!!!

Check out the glorious pic below.


















That's our finaled code enforcement permit!!!
It was due to run out on 4/11/12 and I have been sweating that date for a while now.
This is the whole, if its not done in a year we're going to refile the lein on your house and charge you another giant bucket of cash to remove it thing....
Good Lord what a relief to get that out of the way!!!

Now we have one more code enforcement permit covering the deck and the kitchen in the main house to finish.
It's a good thing that the deck is an all outside job and today's weather was cold, 46 deg F and rainy! Perfect working outside weather right?

To celebrate I'm going to cook a fancy meal for everyone.
Ahhhh, steak dinner and a nice bottle of red wine tonight!
BBQ up some marinated asparagus, a big portabella mushroom grilled to perfection, and a nice salad, something for everyone.

Wait, ya know does something seem wrong about this?
I bust my hump getting the work done and creating the reason for the celebration then I do all the cooking also.....hmmmm... ;)

One more for the road....
Woooooo-Hooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This Can't Be Okay, Can It?

Holy Bowing Studs Batman!!!

Take a look at the pic below.

Those 2by4 studs are bowed pretty seriously.
With my 4' level up against it, it looks like they bow about 1" out!

I didn't notice this before but in the pic below from the previous post I think you can see just see the bow.


There's no way this could of just happened right?

I'm a bit concerned because this wall is the original end of the house.
There are two floors above this which makes me think that this wall should of been done
with 2by6's instead of 2by4's.

I'm thinking that I should not leave them this way.

Anybody have any thoughts on what I should do about this situation?

Help!!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another Post About Soffits

Hurray!!! Soffits!!! or Bulkheads as I've learned they are called in some parts of the country.

Spent some time ripping down the old framing for the incorrectly done soffits.

This is the soffit for the exhaust pipe for the existing central heater.

Now you see it.


Now you don't


With the soffit gone you see the chase better.
This was where a chimney was and this chase goes alllllll the way up to the attic.

I'll spare everybody from all the before and after pics from the other soffits I removed, which look pretty much like whats above.

Fire Rated Chase Idea

I think that what I show above is the correct way to build a fire rated chase.
The drawing above is actually to scale.
Check out all those arrows!!! I luvs me some arrows.....

Additional Chase Questions
  1. Whats a reasonable clearance between the HVAC trunk lines and the top/sides of the chase and to each other?
  2. How much space should I leave below the trunk lines to run utilities?
  3. What's the best way to run the utilities given the construction method of the soffit?
  4. Does such a thing exist as a ceiling hung cable-piping tray? Is it code correct for me to run the utilities as shown?

Ducting Conundrum

Take a look at the diagram below.

The green boxes are the HVAC chases that I can make easily.
The problem is the right side of the plan.
That big red line represents where the old house ends and the addition begins.
I need to get two 7by8" HVAC trunk lines across that line.

Check out this pic of the area.
To the left I have a solid 4by12 under a 2by10 joist that I can not screw with.
Then, this entire wall will have to be sheared...
I'm stuck I can't see how to get the lines where they need to go.

Anybody got any ideas?