I Waited Over 300 Posts to Use This Quote

Demo is underway on the loft! OH, YES, the remodeling has begun!

The general plan is to increase floor space (by pushing out the knee walls), heighten the ceiling, add skylights and larger windows, put in a master suite (including bathroom and a walk-in closet), rewire the whole loft (and part of the rest of the house), re-roof and re-floor. Also, add central air conditioning to the whole building. So, you know, no biggie.


During the Great Purge and Dejunking

During the Great Purge and Dejunking

Finally empty

Finally empty, except for…

...a load-bearing poster!

…a load-bearing poster!

Demo Day 1: We’re lucky to have found a contractor who is cool with splitting up some of the tasks (we’re doing the electrical, flooring, tile, and finish work). At one point, I mentioned to Kev that we could handle the demo. Yes, we could have done that, but it would have taken us 14 years. This is one situation where it is so much more satisfying to have someone else do a job. For one thing, they really know how to get it done!

First thing they did was get rid of the poster, then saw horizontally through the wallboard.

First thing they did was get rid of the poster, then saw horizontally through the wallboard.

Finally got a good look at the original insulation.

Finally got a good look at the original insulation.

"It tucks in!"

“It tucks in!”

End of day one: most of the wall board down.

End of day one: most of the wall board down.

At the end of the first day, we had to remove the live wiring now exposed by demo. I’ll cover that process when I talk knob-and-tube elimination. I very much enjoyed pulling that stuff out and capping it, and I’m looking forward to the larger-scale rewiring.

Demo Day 2: The remainder of the wallboard came down and all the old insulation was removed. We have a dumpster (UK: skip) of ginormous proportions in the side yard, and lumber delivery drivers arriving on the regular.

We keep the cats locked away from the area during the day (no one needs such a critical audience), but it’s fun to watch them explore after everyone’s gone home.

Inigo is uncertain whether any of this is prudent.

Inigo is sure none of this activity is prudent.

Framing reduced for access ahead of new framing. The carpenters kindly stacked up the reusable insulation for us (it's now stacked in our garage and one of the cars lives outside).

The carpenters kindly stacked up the reusable insulation. It’s now stacked in our garage. Count no man happy until he has a half a garage full of fiberglass insulation.

Demo Day 3: They started work on raising the collar ties so that we can have a higher ceiling. (If I can touch it while standing flat-footed, it’s too dang low.) After the carpenters left for the day, I moved all the insulation and vacuumed to reduce air gunk, both up there and in the house at large. (Lesson learned: a Dyson will not suck up a stray roofing nail.) With the insulation gone, we could really see the space, albeit by romantic work lights.

From the top of the stairs toward what used to be a carbuncle of a closet.

From the top of the stairs toward what used to be a carbuncle of a closet.



And towards one side of the eaves (by romantic work lights)

And “sideways” into an eave

One thing I love about this process (of many things — the professionalism of the crew, how fast the work is proceeding, the unimaginable HUGENESS of the dumpster) is seeing how the house was put together. The roof deck isn’t plywood, it’s made of full boards. The chimney is red brick where it shows above the roof, but inside here, it’s blonde; I’m guessing that’s a cheaper kind of brick used where it wouldn’t show. The wiring was very logically laid out, which made it super-easy to systematically cut it back. The exterior wall is wide shiplap, and there are blue chalk notes and measurements there and on many of the now-exposed surfaces.


I’m a serious geek about old-house stuff, so I can’t wait to investigate the progress each evening. The stripped-down loft is a huge improvement on the prior “finished” version, and the old wood even smells good — it’s sort of a shame to cover it up!

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9 Responses to I Waited Over 300 Posts to Use This Quote

  1. Oh my good gosh. Look how quickly they are moving. It looks amazing and so familiar. What kind of ac are you getting? Mini split?

    • Stacey says:

      We’re doing a high-velocity mini-duct system. We got a great quote from the people who did our boiler replacement a few years back (we used an NEC grant for that, so I know what you’ve been dealing with). I mean, obviously it’s still way too much money, but…air conditioning!!!

      • Let me know who you used! I REALLY want high velocity but the quotes we got were bananas. I can’t bare to have the minisplit units in the house–would completely ruin the aesthetics. I don’t even care if we don’t have it on the main floor, but it sure would be nice for upstairs/sleeping.

        • Stacey says:

          Sarah, it’s Metro Heating, (651) 294-7798. We got quotes from Uptown and someplace on W. 7th, but this one was a lot less. We looked at minisplits, but we were going to have ductwork all over the outside of the house, and it’s not the Taj Mahal here, but just no. Verus brought over someone as well to quote doing traditional central AC and running the bigger ducts, but that was more expensive for us.

  2. Christine says:

    Ohh, I’m soooo jealous! Totally with I’d just been able to post this. 😉
    Can’t wait to see how your loft turns out, especially as we’re planning on doing exactly the same thing!

  3. Christine says:

    That should have been “wish”…. 😉

    • Stacey says:

      Yep, I reckoned so (on “wish”)! You’ll get to your loft and it will be wonderful — I can’t wait to see you do it.

  4. Terri says:

    That looks like so much fun! I hope you don’t have too many unexpected surprises.

    Can’t wait to follow along!

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