Monday, April 15, 2013

'Steel'-ing Myself

As I mentioned last week, we had some hang ups with the structural side of the project.  Nothing that turned into a deal breaker.  Just some frustrating, head banging, this-doesn't-make-a-whole-lot-of-sense and why-can't-we-use-wood conversations. 

Which led to a whole lotta steel and not a lotta spruce.

Behold the metal:

Exterior Wall
Sitting inside Shared Wall

This is the first of the two "frames" you see when you enter the house, where the wall between the living room and dining room used to be.  If you recall the initial structural discussion, this isn't a true frame, but rather a "buttress".  It's constructed as such in order to avoid placing a post on the second step of our main staircase.

My Bad Drawing

Where the beam sits inside the shared wall, that's #3 on this drawing.  The posts and beam in the basement are already there - the main floor post on the right side was welded directly into it. 

Got it?  Good.  House still standing.

Let's move to the 2nd frame in the back of the house.  The one we worried far less about....

Exterior Wall
Shared Wall

This frame is located where the dining room/kitchen wall used to be.  It's a true frame with four pieces.  The steel beam installed in the floor was inserted into the foundation of the exterior and shared walls. 

Thank goodness this was an acceptable way to install, because there was no way we were going to tear up the finished basement for posts to support the beam in the floor.  Breaking up a concrete floor with radiant heating was definitely a deal breaker.  Score this one for us. contractor flagged the depth of the steel posts which were exactly to the structural engineer's specs. 

4 Freaking Inches

Yup, that's a level framed out wall on the left of that picture.  And in the middle is the steel post on the exterior wall....sticking out 4 INCHES!  Wait, whaaa!!?? 

I insert a caveat here.  I knew it wasn't going to be exactly flush when the final steel was ordered and being installed.  But what I didn't know was how much it was going to stick out. 

See, we have a grand master plan for that wall. 

Kitchen Wall

You can see in this elevation drawing, we were worried the steel beam in the ceiling might stick out.  That's the box with the 'X' in the upper right corner.  What we didn't plan for was the post being the same size as the beam and not being able to hide completely in the wall. 

However...we have a possible fix.

Kitchen and Dining Wall

Since the kitchen wall flows into the dining area, our front-running option is to bump out the kitchen wall 4 inches and recess it back where the dining room begins.  We'll keep the cabinetry flush, so the lowers under the window will bump out 4".  Since the cooking countertop will continue from the kitchen to the dining area, you won't see the bump.  At least, that's the plan ;)

Well, the plan for now, anyway.  Our designer is away this week and we need her stamp of approval on this shift.  She can tell us what this will do to the walkway width between the range and the island, how we can make up that 4" and how this will affect the 12" return on either side of the slider on the back wall.  Issues, issues.

4 inches isn't much.  But it's something. 
It's a lot of something in a very narrow house.

So that's the word on structure & steel.  What's next?  Lots more demo'ing, leveling & framing.  We've got a whole 2nd floor to go.

Here's a sneak peek from Sunday (aka the only day of the week guys aren't working):

Two floors in one shot

This was the view when I opened the front door and looked up.  Hey, there's our old master bedroom & sink room!  Wait, where's the upstairs hallway floor....

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