Windows In and First Floor Opened

More and more noticeable changes over the past couple of weeks. Almost all of the windows are in, the first floor demo is 90% complete and the messy back yard has been re-graded. The crew was at the house this morning waiting on stock to start framing the deck. 

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New stairs to come in the front. The overhang will have brackets, when completed. not columns as we initially planned.

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First floor opened up. No more chimney. Wall to the left of the stairs will be brought out to meet the column in the middle.

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Whole for slider onto the deck has been opened up.

Some pics of the back yard after regrading.

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Multitude of perennials have been moved to the back of the yard for replacement around the property. That’s some work we will tackle, cutting in new beds, moving plants around, etc. Most likely, we’ll end up using the services of a local garden center such as Mahoney’s or Corliss Bros to give us some direction, so that things look as good as could be.

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Framed Second Floor

There isn’t much left to frame, except for some minor details here and there. The rooms all have walls now.

View of rough stairs leading up to second floor. The stairs bottom out against a wall on the first floor, but that wall is to be removed when work on the first floor begins.

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Looking over to back left bedroom from what will be the hallway.IMG 0041

Front of wall for common bath.

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Front bedroom.

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Looking through door to master bedroom.

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From master bedroom, looking back towards master bath and walk in closet.

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Modified Layout for Master Suite

Initially, I tried to come up with a layout for the second floor that I thought would work well.


Realizing that this is the first time I ever put together a floor layout, the first thing I told my GC when I handed this off was that it was my attempt to do my best to show what we are wanted in spirit and that he should take liberty to suggest changes where he sees fit. Last night he provided me a drawing of a layout for the master suite that changes my layout a bit, but for the better. You can tell he’s done and seen many layouts.


Pushing the shower into the master closet space is a no brainer. Seems obvious now, but I didn’t think of doing that. I also like that the doors will fit, so that the bath and closet have separate doors.

The crew was on the second floor this week cutting in and framing stairs to the second level and framing the second floor. As of this morning, the bedrooms had been framed with the master bath and master closet to get framed today. More pics of the completed second floor framing to come later in the week.

Update 8/20:

The master suite was actually adjusted again before they framed. Here is the latest copy. The shower heads are not going to be as planned. Those are going to be moved to the wall that backs up to the walk in closet. Plumbing on outside walls in New England is possible, but not worth it, if not necessary.

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The door to the walk in closet is actually located within the bathroom now. We like that because it should leave more room on the master bedroom wall for furniture.

Minimal Framing on Second Floor Interior

As the first week of construction came to a close, I climbed up to the second floor to check out the framing completed, as seen from inside. The second floor has 2 bedrooms, a common bath, and a master suite, so there is a lot more interior framing to be completed and some window location to finalize.

View towards open space for master suite.

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View towards space to be split between walk in closet and master bathroom.IMG 0023

View towards master bedroom.

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View towards front bedroom.

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View towards back bedroom.

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Opening for a ridge vent.

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With the hallway and master bedroom configuration, a carrying beam was used.IMG 0028

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A view into my neighbor’s yard. The neighborhood is quiet, so the back yard space is tranquil.IMG 0036

Window for master bath.

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The Roof Takes Shape

A day after the second floor was framed, the roof started going on.

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Plywood went on first, followed by Grace underlayment 6′ up from rafters with tar paper for the remainder of the roof and Timberline architectural shingles on top. We went with a Pewter Grey shingle color.

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Second Floor Framing Begins

Immediately following the demo and removal of the roof, the framing for the second story begin and finished up quickly. With good weather planned for the week of 9/10-9/14, the GC got a big crew working to get the second story framed and roofed before the week finished. There are a few windows  that we are still working out exact size and location for, so for now, you see less openings than planned. Putting a window in after framing is much easier than moving one. 

The second level is 2×6 construction with 2×10 ceiling joists, and 2×10 rafters.

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Renderings for New House

Back in September of last year, we engaged an architect to kick off the process of getting some renderings and floor layouts for the house we would like to have when we finish. After a few rounds of initial drawings, we decided on what is shown below, except that I changed the second floor layout on my own.

Here is the initial layout that we started with,

Planned first floor layout,

Proposed second floor layout,

Planned second floor layout with my final changes, the biggest change being the move of the master suite to the opposite side of the house,

The outside elevations. There are already a few small changes, but the biggest noticeable change is that there will be no small porch extending from the second floor.

Why You Should Never Do Plumbing Work on Sunday

One Sunday afternoon, I decided it was time to replace the faucet in our one and only bathroom. I also decided to tackle that project at around 4:45pm.

“It’s a faucet. It should only take an hour at most to replace.”

I went about my business turning off the hot and cold shutoffs below the sink that go to the faucets. I wanted to replace the tubing that ran from the shutoffs to the faucets. I knew I had to be very careful, but I didn’t realize how fragile the cold water shutoff was. One small bit of torque on the tube connecting to the shutoff and bam, the whole shutoff snapped off the wall where it meets the tile and we had a water hose going in the bathroom. I yelled for my fiance to bring a bucket while I ran to shut off the main water supply to the house.

At that point, I rushed off to Home Depot for supplies to cut off water going to the sink from the basement. Luckily, Home Depot is open late enough on Sunday for me to get supplies, but I ended up spending a few more hours getting supplies and some emergency plumbing to shut off water from going to that sink, at least for the cold water supply, so that we could turn water back on for the house. Not fun!

What I was left with, was a broken pipe, flush with where it meets the tile. I would have had to open the wall up to fix the problem anyway, and most of the walls had putrid pink and black tile, so it wasn’t much of a leap to decide to redo the whole bathroom.

I took off a few days from work the following weekend and started in on stripping the bathroom down and replacing everything with some help from a few friends. It took a weekend and a couple days to get things close and a few weekend following to get things where they needed to be.


Notice the wire mixed in with the tile cement. That made the tile removal much tougher than expected.


My fiance’s dad helped with the electric work. The results just would not have been half as good if I was on my own.


My dad jumped in again to help with exhausting the fan through the roof. Went with a Panasonic FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan, White. You can’t go wrong. Super quiet!


We used sound insulation inside the interior facing walls.

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We hired out the plastering. They had the bathroom done in just under 3 hours. Some of the best money spent in the project.


Strapping was for bead board wainscoting.

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First time tiling on my own.

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We also had a special guest appearance, but the plumbing perfectionist, Ryan Tremaine. He did an awesome job on my shower mixing valve.


With painting done on the exterior and the backyard leveled out, it was time to start in on the landscaping. A lot of the perennials we planted were very young, so most of them do not have the size even close to what they are today, but we had to start somewhere.

What you see here is mostly just a quick planting of things with mulch thrown down, but at the time we were so psyched and felt so good that the house was at least respectable within the neighborhood now.

Small secret to share that you cannot see from any of the pics, I primed the back side of the house, but never got around to painting it. The neighbors are going to be excited when the remodel starts and finishes, I’m sure. The Munroe’s will finally have one color on all four sides.