Tag: load bearing wall

The Wall is Down!

Since the load bearing wall removal is finally complete and now we’re just working on the furnishing and room design, I figured I’d do a post summarizing all of the posts and work we’ve done over the past few months. Plus, I like being organized and having things in one place, much to the annoyance of my husband, but who still reaps the benefits of this trait anyway.

We started with this mess of a never used room:

And are now here, to a beautiful, open, family room:

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This Wall is Coming Down! – The REVEAL

Well, after about 3 months, we have a habitable room again… sans furniture!  Many months of planning and preparation allowed us to get here, and David and I trucking through the final touches after the contractors were finished have finally given us the big, beautiful room that we had always hoped and planned for when we bought this house.

Wanna see?

Here’s a reminder of what we were looking at before. From standing in the kitchen  we used to see this:

And now, we see this:

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This Wall is Coming Down! – HVAC, Electrical, & Drywall

Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Thank you to all of our armed forces who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom that we have today <3  I read something in the news last week about the National Moment of Remembrance that I probably should have know about before, but I hope everyone took a moment to think about the importance of this holiday.

What. A. Project.  The end is near, you guys!  Yet, not near enough.  Sorry for being so silent these past few weeks.  We’ve been posting over on our IG about some progress here and there, but life has just gotten in the way.  Surviving through the days lately has been our motto.

The good news!  The contractors are all done! (Well almost… apparently there is a rule that you must have a smoke detector in every bedroom before we’re allowed to close out our building permit, but eh, minor details.)  And now the rest is left up to us to finish.  So here, we’ll just detail out some of the rest of the things the contractors had to take care of before they handed it over to us.

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This Wall is Coming Down! – Demo & Installation

We recently covered the HVAC selection and install, and also the design of the beam. Now it’s time to get to the good stuff… demo & installation!

We were so excited for this day. DEMO DAY!  When we were planning this project back before Connor was born, we had originally planned to do all of this ourselves.  Taking a sledgehammer to some perfectly clean drywall?  Does it get any better than that?

Side note…Does anyone else like Brooklyn 99?  It’s one of our guilty pleasures. Demo is probably the most fun part of any project (with the exception of sitting down once you’re done and enjoying the finished product), so why would we pay someone to do it?

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This Wall Is Coming Down! – Engineers, Contractors and Beams. Oh My!

The HVAC Portion of getting this wall down was a large part of the project, but there was still a lot more planning that needed to go into it. It became obvious to us pretty quickly when getting quotes for the structural work that choosing a contractor was going to be hard. The quotes were all over the place, with the main difference being the size of the beam. We received quotes for everything from a 11 3/4″ x 5 1/4″ beam to a 18″ x 7″ beam to span our 21′ distance. So how do we know if a beam is big enough to support the weight or if one is overkill? How were the contractors coming up with the beam size? How can we choose a contractor when we don’t have a standard beam size?

To get the beam size, the contractors were going to suppliers and providing measurements and answering questions. The supplier would then tell them the size of the beam necessary. The main things that are important to calculate the load on the beam are the:

  • length of the beam
  • height and length of the floor joists the beam will support
  • number of floors above the beam
  • the type of attic (truss or stick framing)
  • many other factors

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This Wall is Coming Down! – HVAC Installation

Did you check out our previous post about how we got started on this wall removal and the HVAC issues we ran into?  If not, you can check out that post here.

After months of scoping out HVAC contractors, and working out the details on the job, we narrowed it down to two contractors.  We finally had two quotes and had to decide between the two.  Here was the situation:

Contractor 1 – Lower price.  Skeezy, not so knowledgeable salesman. National franchise. Daikin HVAC system.  12 year parts and labor warranty. Pneumatic Arzel dampers. Could do the job soon.

Contractor 2 – Higher price.  Very knowledgeable and friendly salesman. Small company. Trane HVAC system.  10 years parts and labor warranty. Electric Honeywell dampers. Could do the job soon.

See the issues?  Decisions, decisions.  As engineers, we care deeply about getting the technical details down before we make a decision, and if your company doesn’t have a knowledgeable salesperson employed, than we’re either not going to go with you, or we’re going to ask you to bring in the engineer/owner/designer of your company so we can ensure that we get good details about the quote.  With contractor 1, after the first meeting, we pretty much told them that the owner needed to be there at our meetings to answer our questions, because we couldn’t handle the sales guy. The sales guy knew about their HVAC systems, but didn’t know anything about re-routing duct-work, and that’s what we contacted them about in the first place. With contractor 2, we did most of our decision making with the sales guy and only brought in the owner when we needed to nail down some very specific details.

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This Wall is Coming Down! – HVAC Selection

YOU GUYS, IT’S HAPPENING.  The wall is coming down!!

You may have seen our Instagram post last Friday about the new HVAC system getting installed! We’re going to be writing a series of posts as this project gets completed over the next few weeks, so enjoy the first one!

It’s been almost 2 years since we toured this home on our house hunting trip, and when we walked into the kitchen and saw the living room, we immediately knew… that wall would have to come down.  When we moved in 18 months ago, it was going to be our first big project on the house, with grand plans to get it out before Connor was born in February 2016 (well it was supposed to be March 2016, but he had other plans).

We talked all about our big plans in THIS POST with a new imagined layout.  Here’s a quick summary below.  We wanted to go from this:

To this:

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This old house

SONY DSC

Ok, its not really that old.  It was built in 1993.  Almost as old as me. It’s not the prettiest house around.  It doesn’t scream quality and character.  But we’re excited to put our mark on it and make it our own.

Last post we talked about our forever home wish list and what we got with this home.  Here is the list again (the underlined items are what we got):

Must Haves (at least):
4 bedrooms
2.5 baths
2000 sq ft
2 car garage
0.5 acres
Basement
Master Suite w/ Large Walk in Closet & Large Bathroom (Dual vanity or enough space to add dual vanity)
– Large Kitchen or the ability to make it into a large kitchen
– Open floor plan or the ability to make it an open floor plan
Workshop space (can be in basement or even detached building)

Would Like:
– 3 car garage
– 1-2 acres
Separate Laundry Room w/ room for utility sink
Garage to not face the street
– Gas stove
– Screened in porch or sunroom

Definitely Not:
– Split Level
– Bi Level
– On a busy street

Two of the biggest concerns with this house are going to eventually be our biggest projects.  Those are from the must haves list, where we currently don’t have a large kitchen or open floor plan, but we do have the ability to make it happen.  But, it’s going to be more costly than we initially imagined.

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