SF Cribs: The places behind the clothes - Page 118
It's kind of SugarButch's dilemma, though: this was a one-way trip for us. When we decided to do this, we decided that we'd grow old in this house. We'll keep tinkering with it but we're never buying another one. At least not as a primary residence.
It's big enough that we don't need any more room. And in these days of vinyl and cut-rate stud construction, there's just nothing like this. The barn is balloon framing and entirely built from old-growth timber harvested from this property in the 40's -- the second floor, exterior walls, and even the roof are all 2X6 car decking from tight-knot T&G fir, much better quality than you could ever get today. It was an equipment barn for a concrete-pouring company back in the 50's and 60's, and all we can figure is that whoever built it was concerned about accidentally bumping something really heavy into a wall or having a tractor fall through the floor.
The second floor is supported by a massive 72' span of 10X16 clear old-growth fir that runs longitudinally through the A-frame; we uncovered half of it during the downstairs reno and I didn't see a single knot. That beam alone today would cost half of what we paid for the house.
We seismically anchored the walls and support pillars and built 1/2" plywood shear walls downstairs. If a tree fell on this place it would bounce off and apologize. My nephew's kids will inherit it.
Sorry for all the pics, but this is the framing we found inside the walls. I hated to tear it out. We pulled nails and reused as many of the studs as we could because the bones of the house were better than Select Structural. I was able to sell the ones we didn't use, nails and all.
This is the second floor, exposed from beneath; these beams run perpendicular to the main structural beam. We added the closest overhead beam in this pic after we took out the framing to open up the wall.
Plus, it's really cool having every light switch and wall heater exactly where you want it. I imagine a bespoke suit carries the same thrill. :)
We're about 20 minutes from Tacoma and a ferry ride from Seattle, and we're surrounded by stunning 7-figure homes, although to be fair, we're on a dead-end road by a horse farm out of sight of all of them. All the property immediately around us is wetland, tangled and overgrown and unsuitable for development. That gives our house a kind of survivalist compound feel, which I don't really like, but you can't have everything.
Thanks again, all.
Edited by Pierce R - 1/7/13 at 3:24pm
Finishing the underside of the upstairs flooring and using it as a ceiling was our first instinct. It came down to belt-sanding and hand-finishing about 1000 sf, overhead -- which is horrible work; the sawdust falls straight on you and gets into places you don't want to think about -- and then hand-staining it, all of which would involve renting scaffolding for a few weeks and possibly marring the floor which would mean refinishing it, vs. bringing it down to just under 11 feet and shooting on tongue-and-groove pine with my pin nailer, which took us two afternoons and half a case of Red Hook. Easiest call I've ever made. We had just done a leather-look finish on the kitchen ceiling -- troweled-on plaster with a three-part rag-off -- and then I'd nearly committed suicide daily for a few weeks laying and sanding the floor. I'd had it. I could see the end at that point and I went for it.
Also, I'd screwed up by not doing the ceilings before the floor.
By doing it this way, though, I did leave the option to pull the ceiling and sand and finish the car decking and I may do it someday. That would be 12' ceilings. It would be spectacular.
It is nice being out here all alone. I just look off my deck sometimes and wonder when the zombies are coming.
Edited by Pierce R - 1/7/13 at 4:58pm
My absolute next thing is to do the stairs and upstairs hallway in walnut laminate. I've been offered an outstanding job with a consulting startup here locally; if that comes through soon I'll probably hire a guy to do it because really, fuck stairs.
Here's the upstairs as we found it:
We replaced the weird fluorescent lighting in the hallway with a pine T&G ceiling to match the downstairs and put in some antiqued fixtures, and replaced all the 70's shag with modern carpet. I want to replace the sliding doors on the hall closets with French doors when we do the laminate floors.
There's a small kitchen adjacent to the LR. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with it except that it's really small. My plan is to punch a hole in the LR wall for a pass-through and make the kitchen into a bar. We'd continue to use it as we do now, for snacks and whatnot. For now, we painted it and hung up some art.
The LR is 800 sf and opens onto a view deck so I'm thinking to put in a pool table right where the cat is sitting below. Right now it's our TV / computer room. The stove in the above LR pic is now downstairs and we installed a small Jotul woodstove which is better suited for the size of the space.
The LR as it looks now.
The Jotul and its biggest fan.
This is the top of the staircase. We put in the tile -- it was originally parquet flooring (GAAAAH) -- and I made the gates from flooring scraps left over from downstairs. The gate on the right is a dog kennel. He was so psyched: "I get my own room!"
This sleeps in the kennel, though he's old enough now that we don't close the gate anymore. He's our perimeter security.
And this is a pic I was looking for earlier of the downstairs kitchen ceiling, the faux-leather finish.
The bedrooms are smallish and utilitarian but there are three of them. One has bunkbeds for niece and nephew, the other is my den / library / Army stuff room.
Ultimately I want to do a bathroom remodel upstairs. I think that will be the absolute last thing but it's not by any means a priority.
Some sort of engineered hardwood. I haven't decided which, yet. As long as it can take a beating (our dog weighs 130 lbs.), clicks together, and doesn't have to be finished in place. The technology has been moving so fast, I don't even know what's good right now. I'm open to suggestions.
I wouldn't have thought about using MDF as a subflooring. That's a good idea.
I think by plywood you're thinking of what I'm thinking of. It'll be in a high-traffic area so I'm more interested in durability and replaceability than anything else.
Just no more finish-in-place solid wood floors. Ever.
And then there's the exterior: the house needs new paint and window trim, I want to get some guys to attack my backyard with a dozer and make it flat enough to mow without risking life and limb, replace the chain link with horse fencing, build a flagstone patio around the outdoor fireplace. . . . it just goes on and on.
Okay. Somebody else's turn. I'm getting bummed out now.
If you're going for economical subflooring instead of engineered wood, you want OSB (Oriented strand board) joists with cedar or pine furring strips on top. They dry much quicker, deter insects from penetrating the floor, and are soft enough to also allow you to use minimal nails (4-5d) to conceal the joinery's visibility.