We will wrap up the interior of the house this week and be back next week with the exterior and summation.
We worked with reclaimed lumber from the demolition of the addition to craft some unique finish elements. Above are some angles and notches cut in the ends of some old 4x6 stock which we used as decorative roof ties in the addition. Peeking in at the upper left is the handle of my DFR-23, which is fancy talk for "hammer".
In the photo above we see the installed roof tie(with a level on it). Apparent is the hybridized frame, using components perfected in at least three different eras. From the laminated veneer posts supporting the structural ridge, to the countless spruce sticks, and the reclaimed and preserved timbers. Don't tell the sheetrockers that the strapping isn't layed out right, they'll figure it out.
Shown at center shot above is the shear resisting corner cross bracing, both in historic form and modern custom. In much of new construction this force is resisted by the sheets of plywood on the exterior of the building. As we patched in our sheathing with historically relevant materials(boards) we had to also mimic the technique of stiffening the building against torsion. A few of the original 45 degree braces had either been degraded, or were interfering with our window and door schedule. Many of our new studs were just nailer for drywall, so we turned them sideways to create a thermal break and ran insulation behind them.
We milled custom casings and sills using my favorite paint grade lumber(poplar). The owner was insistent on exterior symmetry as his highest architectural aesthetic value. So, the windows on the dormer were both higher and smaller because one was in a bathroom and both were on the same wall. Not my call. We used blueboard and plaster skim coat for the walls. Our subcontractor came up from MA to do the work. Plaster is fantastic, similar cost to drywall, for some reason it doesn't really get done all that often on the Seacoast anymore. It seemed like the ideal method for floating all of our walls into the jagged, uneven, and slanted beams.
Our custom casings bore a single bead, routed on the inner edge. We mitered through the bead and square cut the rest of the joint to give the illusion of a two piece casing. There is a nice contrast between the clean sharp trim and plaster and those flowing, rippling, dark timbers.
We call this detail the Franken-post. Originally a corner post for the main house, it had rotted off at the bottom two feet. As our goal was to expose the big posts and beams, we had an issue with this one, which was structurally patched at the bottom. So we used our imagination and created a beaded box with a cap. It is surely to be a collector of smallish items, and though we put a lot of thought into it, it surely blends into the lives living with it.
Carpet and Paint made the interior feel very comfortable. Believe it or not, this whole passion project was to be used as a rental property. Thus when it came to the floors, and the majority of the money had been spent, commercial carpet upstairs and stick down laminate downstairs was the extent of the budget. We started out with dreams of tile and hardwood everywhere. The floor being cheap and easily replaceable would be a smart move for any rental, as even with ideal renters, floors take the most abuse.
Secrets in the framing. There is a hidden stairwell in the lower left hand corner of this photo. It's under the carpet. There is a sliding door opening framed in around the small window at the upper right. These features were put in as future framing, should it ever make sense to close off the addition from the main house, or build a huge second story deck. I don't think those changes are likely to occur anytime soon. It may well just be a mystery for future renovators to debate. The truth of these vestigial structures is that we had no plan when we started, just unorganized musings of the owner. I don't like feeling my way around in the dark anymore when it comes to things like home renovations and people's budgets. I won't work like that anymore.
Same shot, different day. Chimney, unmoved.
This is the gruesome duo of comedians who finished the project with me. In the rear, Charlie(whom you have already been introduced to) and in the foreground wearing bunny ears, David(or young David as we called him). They are working on finishing up the wet bar in the main house. I didn't get any photos of the actual kitchen, which was on the first floor of the addition. It wasn't much to look at, just some cheap "rental grade" cabinets and a laminate countertop. The cabinets under this wet bar are far more interesting. They are built-ins. We ordered the doors to fit, the face frame is custom work. The top is another whimsical feature courtesy of the owner, who had this vision of a stainless steel bar. It is plywood wrapped in stainless steel, and it's pretty neat. The whole area is in the space behind the main stairs.
One more post ought to finish up this project. I am thrilled that so many readers have enjoyed the story. I'm trying out slogans for the business. What do you think of "Your partner in the possible!" ?