When the drywall went up on the ceiling in the kitchen, Steven discovered that the three 4-inch ceiling cans for lights above the island were not equidistant from each other.
Ron said, don’t worry, we’ll fix it.
With the drywall install done, Ron and Cris took down the sheets of ceiling drywall over the island, exposing the cans and ceiling joists.
Ron and Steven dragged a 10-foot-long sheet of drywall into the kitchen, propped it up on two garbage cans, to simulate the location and size of the kitchen island.
Then we used three paint cans to approximate the location of the lights on the island, to confirm that the only way to center the middle recessed can would require cutting a ceiling joist and restructuring the two adjoining joists — a process that would also require inspections and approvals from the structural engineer.
Ron suggested an alternative approach — adding a fourth can, dividing the four cans into two pairs, and installing each pair to mirror the other. This requires no cutting of lumber, no structural engineer. It does require the electricians to add the additional can, but that’s easy.
We had choices — keep the brick, paint the brick, tile over the brick, take out the fireplace and replace it with a wall of windows. Something to get rid of the hideous color of the brick — a not quite yellow that sucked up light and reminded everyone of the Harvest Gold and Avocado Green and Apache White days of the late 1960s, when Emerald Hill was first built.
Steven’s preference was to demo the chimney and fireplace, put in a wall of windows. Ranserve guesstimated this at $10,000+ just for the demo, not counting the reframing, sheathing, windows, insulation, electrical, and everything else structural. This option was deemed too costly.
Brett Grinkmeyer was talking one day with Steven about the City of Austin requirements for fire sprinklers that kick in above x-thousand square feet. He proposed to the city that we cut off the garage from the house by using fire-resistant drywall as a barrier. The city approved.
Soon after, Steven was scrolling through fireplace stories on Houzz and Fine Homebuilding. Several commenters talked about using drywall to cover brick.
Steven connected the dots.
Mark from Ranserve approved.
Brett drew it into the building plans.
Ron worked with Steven on how to frame it with steel and fire-resistant concrete backer board and drywall, while also creating structure to mount a metal “shield” above the fireplace that Steven and Jacquela purchased in Taos on the trip when Steven asked Jacquela to marry him.
As much as we like the yellow-brick road in the Wizard of Oz, that brick had to go. Putting up the metal shield is going to be killer.
Talked with tile setter, cabinet maker, and interior door company about schedule
Called Ferguson, no news about delivery of shower insert
Completed small repairs to electrical in kitchen
Checked in with Austin stone works about countertops. Everything good.
Start tape and float process
Meet with glass company on site Tuesday
Steven makes this observation — the walls are now up, drywall is hung, and all the systems behind the drywall are roughed-in — electrical, low voltage, plumbing, HVAC, exterior, windows, inspection after inspection. This means we are advancing toward completion and moving in. The remodeling process feels like it is steaming ahead and sliding toward done. There’s still a lot to do — flooring, cabinets, taping and floating and priming and interior painting, plumbing and electrical finish out, interior doors and door hardware, etc. But we are no longer saving this house from itself. Demo is behind us. Framing is behind us. Discovering structural issues that must be fixed is behind us. We are shifting gears …