Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Wahls Have (Framed) Walls

What a difference a bunch of 2x4s makes.  When Rory told us they framed the walls in the basement this week, I didn't know what I would think when I got downstairs.  My own bedroom is so small upstairs, but one of the rooms I was the most afraid of, size-wise, was the family room downstairs.  Especially since almost all the downstairs windows are segregated into the kids' rooms, I was imagining a narrow, dark tunnel with staircases at either end.  Well, that's not how it turned out.  Standing in what is now a well-defined family room, complete with 9-foot ceilings, I'm really happy at its size.  There's plenty of room for kid stuff, for tv-watching, and for Anyu's piano, whenever it gets down here.  (I'm a bit disappointed with the size of the kids' rooms, actually, but I think it's because I didn't picture well exactly where the dividing walls would be.  Both kids have spacious closets, but their rooms are not huge, and I'm already hearing protestation from 12-year-old Lola ten years from now.  Abby disagrees, and says the walls are exactly where they should be, so she wins.)
The newly-walled family room, with Isaac's room on the far left.
Next up is what I feel the most important find of the day was.  Walking into the house, first thing I walked up the steps and turned right, expecting to see the remnant of great-room wall above the bathroom cutout still there.  But it's gone!  I grinned like a little kid with a lollipop for about five minutes over that one, because I'd been waiting for that final piece of the great-room ceiling to open up since the day we closed on the place.  No sooner did I express my joy at this bit of demo than I turned to find Abby with that "I'm reworking things in my head" look we all know and love.  Uh oh, what's up?  Apparently she didn't realize what I meant by "that last piece of great-room wall that needed to come down," and in her head the part going up to the ceiling was staying.  Woman!  How many times do I have to tell you this was the most important part of the room to come down?!  No matter, though, because by the end she was thinking of places she could shop for an appropriate piece of art to go in the space.  See?  I get what I want, and she gets to go antiquing on a random girls' weekend with her mom.  We all win.
The box around the bathroom may look wonky, but it will be echoed on the other side with my bedroom closet, and  it opens up the ceiling and reveals the faux railing we didn't know was there originally.  It's a win win win win win, if you ask me!
Next up, that tiny little bedroom I talked about earlier.  You know, the one everyone thinks we're crazy for doing.  Well, first off, if Abby wasn't sold on it before (and she was), she is now, considering our (her!) immense closet is now in.  (You'd see a picture of it, except the one I took turned out really bad, so just imagine a great big closet with Lola and Abby smiling...)  With the closet framed out, we can now see exactly how much room we're going to have in the bedroom, as opposed to just doing what we had been doing up to this point-- measuring off the area in our current bedroom and making sure we can live with the space.  So I took a broom and swept the dust out of an area the size of our bed, just so we could see exactly how much space we were dealing with.  I think it's perfectly fine.  Yeah, it's not vast plains of openness or anything, but we're not going to be banging into things-- especially since Abby's grandpa's armoire will no longer grace the bedroom (hooray!).  See for yourselves:
We're left with a decent area to walk around the bed, as evidenced by the sawdust lines.
Also notice the frame of the closet in the far left; the closet stretches across the entire length (9') of the room.
Finally, I have to mention again how cool it is to have other people doing the work for us.  I feel so entirely spoiled to have so much (although not all) of the badgering and tooth gnashing of the project foisted onto someone else's lap.  I can just show up and-- surprise! -- work has been done.  Even before we got into the house, we could see progress when we drove in to find the entire bottom row of windows in the back of the house were frameless.  I guess they've been taken to the window restoration people for a first look at how that whole process is gonna work.  Additionally, the countertop in the kitchen has begun to be framed, and we can now see exactly how much of the kitchen windows (exactly one pane per window) will be blocked out by our need for storage-- and we're perfectly okay with it.  I'm very much looking forward to more of having other people do stuff for me... it's just such a foreign concept that I'll probably mention it about every other post from here on out!
Bottom window frames were taken out for restoration.
Notice the framing in the kids' bedrooms on the bottom floor.
Also notice the framing across the bottom of the six windows at top right (in the kitchen).

Close-up of the removed window frames

Comparing windows: our room vs. Isaac's

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