Open Concept Is In Right?

Step one was done. The chimney and two fireplaces were gone after a long sweaty weekend of removing 15 tons of block, brick, & rubble. With a new 20 yard dumpster delivered it was on to step two of the demo. Flannel Man & Papa Flannel had a week off to start the demo off right. First the long wall between the master bedroom and the living room was removed.

That was our master bedroom and closet.

Next up the master bath demo.

If you leaned just right you could see the TV in the living room from the master bathroom toilet. Talk about open concept!

A view of the future master bath which will extend all the way to the left wall.

With the fireplace removed we’ll be able to expand the closet. The master bedroom will be smaller but the closet will be bigger. With a built-in storage system I think it will work out just fine.

Day 4 complete.

When we tore out the fireplaces we found that there were no joist hangers used in this important area. We added them to every joist we could reach. Of course the angled floor joist hangers cost 3 times as much as the straight ones and cost $100 just for this small area!

Raising a floor joist to restore the correct alignment.

This area of the living room will be the future master bedroom and closet.

No more big hole to fall through!

Removing the last little bit of the basement fireplace.

End of Day 5. The concrete block stacked in the corner we saved.

Day 6 was for window reframing! Hmpf this is the only decent picture Flannel Man took all day. But trust me there were temporary walls built to support the trusses as the exterior load bearing walls were reframed.

Here’s what I saw when I came home that night. Previously the bedroom window with one of the new bedroom windows on the left and the new bathroom window on the right.

The previous living room window with the second bedroom window on the right.


The future master bathroom windows. The slider is staying roughly the same size so no framing needed to be changed.

No wonder we would find bugs in this corner of our bedroom! There was a huge woodpecker hole complete with stick nest in the wall. When the second owners resided it 10 years ago they didn’t seal up the hole. It kept the birds out but still allowed determined bugs in.

Patching up the old window locations.

We are planning on residing the house in the future so we want to be able to remove the new windows without tearing out drywall. To do this we removed the interior frame and used the pre-drilled holes instead of using the metal clips.

Master bedroom windows.

For the master bath we went with fiberglass windows purely because condensation is an issue when you mix humidity + cold winters even with ventilation. My parents have mold issues on their wood windows because of repeated condensation. Running around every day wiping off the condensation gets old fast!

Re-hanging the siding. Luckily we had some left over siding pieces that were left from the previous owner. We were able to reuse almost every piece.

For the wood windows (Marvin Ultimate) we upgraded to a chunky exterior trim and sill. It’s made out of extruded aluminum and comes already attached to the windows. The cost was comparable to cellular PVC trim like Azek but it won’t become brittle when exposed to cold weather or sunlight like PVC. Plus we didn’t need to worry about waterproofing issues!

The only problem was that the fiberglass Integrity windows don’t have an exterior trim option so we needed to copy the design with some PVC trim. We don’t expect these windows or trim to last as long as the Ulitmates with aluminum trim but we’d rather deal with replacing them in 10 years or so instead of dealing with the condensation every winter.

We didn’t want to delay putting the siding back up so Flannel Man and I spent the night running back and forth between Menard’s and Home Depot to find the closest sized trim. To match the angle on the top of the sill we screwed some composite shims between two pieces of trim and then ran the piece through a table saw to square it up. After some notching to fit around the nailing fins I hung out of the window holding the trim in place while Flannel Man screwed it in.

On the right is the Marvin Ultimate window with the aluminum trim and on the left is the Marvin Ingrety with the PVC trim we made to match. I think we did a pretty good job matching the other windows! Don’t you think?

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4 Responses to “Open Concept Is In Right?”


  1. 1 Kim@NewlyWoodwards August 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Oh my gosh. So much work, but it will definitely be worth the effort.

    (I tried to send you an email about John Deere but I don’t seem to have your email. Will you shoot me an email and I’ll get back with you with some recommendations?)


  1. 1 Demolition Part III « 3 acres & 3000 square feet Trackback on August 24, 2011 at 7:31 am
  2. 2 The Dark Obstacle Course I Call Home « 3 acres & 3000 square feet Trackback on November 14, 2011 at 8:39 am
  3. 3 2011: A Year in Pictures « 3 acres & 3000 square feet Trackback on December 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm

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This is the story of two twenty something newlyweds who are learning to adjust to life in their first house, a 1973 fixer-upper.
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