house post alert: creating the northface jacket

we passed our framing, electrical and plumbing inspections!

so now we need the northface jacket. most of you are probably saying, huh? what the heck do you mean? well, think about it this way…

on a windy day, you want to wear a windbreaker, right? and a cold day you want to wear a sweater. on a cold windy day, you want to wear both. well, your house needs the same thing.

the envelope – the very outside layer of the house – needs to be sealed up. any cracks between the sheathing, the floor boards, anything like that, are like holes poked in the windbreaker.

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wiring going into the basement. it’s all sealed up now. no holes in the windbreaker.

after everything is sealed up, ya gotta install insulation – a warm sweater for the house. in all walls, floors and ceilings between unconditioned and conditioned space, like the house and the attic. a lot of houses use batt insulation.

but we’re special. so very special. so we went with spray foam. it’s a combo of sealing and insulating. it’s more expensive, but it works really well in our situation and with how many cracks, gaps and seams there are in the framing and sheathing.

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kitchen is all sprayed up!
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it’s gonna be nice and cozy in the living room too.
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same for the guest bedroom.

and what about the interior walls? well, the only time you need insulation for interior walls is when you want it to help dampen sound. otherwise, interior insulation is not necessary.


house post alert: sprucing up the entrance

did you know that, on average, a front door purchase has a 100% return on investment?

neither did i.

so, of course, we’re replacing the front door. i thought about keeping it. it does have character, but it just doesn’t add enough light. and it also doesn’t open the right way. and it’s hanging crooked. here’s a nice reminder.

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it’s got character, but it’s not in the best condition

my contractor’s door and window guy looked into a door for us and came up with this. not so modern, huh? if it was almost any other house in the neighborhood, it’d work. not so much for a boxy, modern house.

so, i started looking into doors. and i found some great ones. but before i ordered anything, i needed to check measurements on the door.  most doors are 36″x80″. that size  is pretty easy to find and there’s a lot of choices. is our front door 36″x80″?

of course not. that’d be too easy.

so, i searched again. and i found very few doors that size. i finally stumbled upon the Doors 4 Home website. found a door in the right size! they also seemed to get good reviews. it’s still nerve wracking, though. you’re placing an order that can’t be returned. it’s a lot of money.

luckily, the company came through – and in a much shorter time frame than they quoted. in less than a month, i had a custom door delivered. so, Doors 4 Home, i’d recommend you for sure.

it’s not installed yet because we’re waiting on our other door (not the same company… and a whole different story), but at least you can see it.

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needs to be painted, but is lookin’ good

house post alert: let there be light! and there was.

first of all, i figured out how to convert pdfs to jpegs so i can post them right in here! it took a whole five seconds of using google. so, in all of it’s glory, see the plan below. it’s the same one that i showed last time.

830 Belgrade Floor Plan
see the grayed areas? point of discussion for this post!

in  the last post, i said we were going to work around all of the windows that were there. and surprisingly, the house made it really easy to do that. however, once we demoed, doubt started to settle in. questions arose like

  • do we really want a door out of our master bedroom?
  • is there really enough light coming into the space?
  • is the little nook going to be weird?

as a refresher, here’s some pictures of what the windows and door looked like before:

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here’s the nook… you can kinda see the top of the trees.
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the old kitchen – nook in the back and small kitchen windows on the right
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small peek of the existing door. nook is to the right.

if you like seeing the tops of trees, that’s about all of the view you’re gonna get in this bedroom. it may not be so bad, but when the front (not master) bedroom has a lot more light pouring in, it doesn’t make your master bedroom feel too impressive.

so, nick and i talked and decided to remove the doors and change the windows out. if you look closely, you’ll notice that in the master bedroom, there’s a couple of windows that are grayed out. these are the ones we changed.

i struggled with this. it meant that we were definitely going over budget. nick pointed out something important – we’re not going to make improvements once this reno is finished. get everything you really want now.

so with that said, we did it. we took out the door and added the windows. and i am thrilled with the result.

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amazingly huge windows with a beautiful view of the back yard. this nook is gonna be awesome.
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great view towards our neighbors house! but really…. lots more light.