Remodeling Scrapbook
For years we watched the shows on PBS, but had to save all that desire and energy--we were renters. Although our landlord was cool and let us do some minor things, we bided our time. The real fun began when we bought a 100 year-old house in Portland, Oregon...

Portland architecture is noted for its bungalow style. The house we rented for five years was a typical example. Our house isn't a bungalow. We're not students of architecture and have not yet been able to classify just what we have. I call it a urban farm-house. Whatever it was, we are trying to restore some character. It's mostly a lot of guessing; we are not doing an historical renovation, so there's some freedom to incorporate details we like which lean toward the bungalow, without getting too silly.

The house is two stories with the ususal living & dining rooms, with an extra room (we'll call a parlor), kitchen and bath all downstairs. The second floor consists of three bedrooms. The ceilings in the first floor had all been lowered about a foot with an ugly fiber-panel drop system. That lasted about a week. The original ceilings are nine feet and we like them that way. It was August, we weren't thinking about the heating bill.

We worked on the parlor first, it was easy enough to isolate the dust from the rest of the house and would be a good warm-up. Unfortunately, we elected to drywall over the plaster. As we later learned, it is far easier to tear the walls down to the studs so you can then add insulation and rewire the old electric than have to move doors and windows to make up for the extra thickness of the drywall on top of the plaster. Oh well.

Some good friends helped remove the plaster and lath from the walls of the living & dining rooms.

Old Headroom Eventually we got around to improving the clearence of the stairwell which was about 5'5". Since the bathroom was on the first floor, late night trips downstairs often resulted in a bruised skull. The trick is to plan carefully, which in our case means putting it off to wait for those second and third thoughts, staring at the ceiling, drinking a beer and saying "yup". We had to remove a wall and part of the floor in an upstairs bedroom to make room for the new header. Scary, but it gave us some ideas later on. There are more photos of the stair headroom project.

After removing the carpet and sub-flooring, it was apparent that our house once had some sort on entry that was divided from the living room. We like the extra walls and small spaces that were once popular and are restoring this partition. There are photos of the entry partition project. Entry

Sagging beam Next we had to deal with an under-sized 4x6 beam that was supporting 24 foot-long ceiling joists between the living & dining rooms. Our solution...

Lately, we got around to the kitchen. A modern touch

Original bathroom Since the temporary kitchen is perfectly functional, the bathroom became the highest priority.

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