Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Please Remove the Rose Colored Glasses

This weekend brought some migrant labor to the Highlandtown Hovel Baltimore Rowhouse: Leigh's parents, Dadolescent and Momnipotent. While Leigh slaved away counting beans at work (she is an accountant), her dad and I tackled the job of replacing the front foyer. Frankly, my house frightened Dadolescent as he uttered, "there is a lot work", upon entering. I guess after living in the house for a while and watching it get better it doesn’t frighten me as much as it used to. After treating him for shock, we looked at the foyer and developed a plan.

Originally when you walked in the house there was a 4'x4' entry area, sunk about 8" from the rest of the floor, with a second door directly in front of the exterior door. Leigh decided that it would be better if the foyer were removed, and replaced with a knee wall where the old door was, and reroute traffic through the center of the house.

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The old door opening has now been replaced with a knee wall. With the new layout the couch will no longer be positioned on the house end wall (with or without plastic on it), and can be placed on the wall in front of the cove, forcing you to take an immediate turn when entering the house. This will be a much better layout, as you won't walk directly into the couch when walking into the room. It also allows you to shift the furniture in the room about 3 feet closer to the door, uncluttering the center of the house.

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There was also some lovely tile in the foyer, which was carefully and painstakingly removed.

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Or maybe not so painstakingly… The tile on the side on the brick wall came off easily, so I saved it and will find a new home for it. The opposite side didn't come off so easily so I smashed into millions of bits with a hammer. I'd say it saddened me to destroy the tile, but it didn't. It felt quite good. This rip out work was done about a week or so prior to rebuilding the floor.

The rip-out and reconstruction of the floor was accomplished on Saturday. Since nothing in the house is level, it was a pain to figure out how we were going to rebuild the front entry way to level things out. In the end we used a 2x8 as a sister joist, a doubled up 2x8 is floating underneath the door, and hung 2x4's between the 2x8's using joist hangers every 8 inches, and screwing subfloor to the 2x4's. I probably should have used 2x6 for the floor, but it's such a small piece that it will be fine. Getting things level was a bitch. It was a good thing that we ripped out the old floor, seeing as some of the supporting 4x4's below were half rotted out.

The knee wall was built up the next day using 2x6's. Even after running a gazillion 3" nails (NAIL GUNS ARE FUN!) to attach the knee wall to the joist below it still has a slight wobble. Again, it was a pain in the butt to get everything level. As Dadolescent and I worked on Saturday, Momnipotent attacked the pesky paper sticking to the front of my glass tile backsplash. At one point in time I found her huddled up in something resembling the fetal position, scraping the tile behind the sink. Normally I would have taken a picture of someone in such a compromising position, so I'm not sure why I didn't take my opportunity to grab a shot. Next time I'll make the camera more accessible when she is helping.

Thank you so much for helping Dadolescent & Momnipotent - it is much appreciated.

4 comments:

Valerie said...

The entrance is gonna be so much better. Aren't the rents good helpers?? Next time we want pictures.

BeanCountingQueen said...

The Omnipolescents (?) rule.

The new layout of the foyer opens things up alot. And it makes room for our dream couch (see Movie couch at CB2 website)!

Back to bean counting!!!! Eight hundred ninety eight, eight hundred ninety nine.......

Valerie said...

"You don't sit on it, you sit in it."

SWEET. I hope you're getting the dk brown one!

momnipotent said...

Glad we could help out, there's more to come! Maybe when Kevolution comes home on spring break, he'll help too. Let's see some photos of the knee wall. Regarding compromising photos...just be sure to get my good side.
I don't like the Brangelina-style nickname...hmmph.