Monday, November 28, 2016

DIY: Framing for the New Floor Plan - Building an In-law Apartment From Scratch

This part of the construction was the first big milestone. We pulled down every existing interior wall and did a final clean up (and another trip to the dump). Staring at a hollow shell was a little intimidating. This was the first (only, and last) point where Mr. Steady almost waivered. He looked around and said, "I guess we're building an apartment now."  It was also the first (of many) point where I almost lost it.  I burst into uncontrollable laughter - much like Tom Hanks in the movie Money Pit and threw my hands up. "Yep. Guess we're building an apartment."
 We started with a really precise floor plan. All the measurements had been adjusted on the Sweet Home 3D program after demo (More about that HERE). So, we printed the new layout and used it to mark out the new wall locations on the subfloor.
All there was left to do was put the new walls up! 
Enter: This little beauty...
This compressor has been a loyal friend to Mr. Steady through these renovation years. It is made by Porter Cable and we can testify to it's durability! It comes with a brad nailer, a finish nailer, and a staple gun. They have all been used and abused around here and are still going strong!  He uses them in the shop for product builds, in the house for trimwork....and when we started this project he purchased this other little beauty...


A framing nailer- this blessing was absent from our previous projects (all still in progress) and Mr. Steady said by comparison, it felt like these walls practically put themselves up. I'm sure it's all relative, but he had the whole apartment done in a day!


And just like that, it had rooms again!
We called our electrician in and he ran a subpanel off our main electrical panel (its wired for future independence, but we didn't have the budget to run a separate line now) . He also ran all the wiring for the outlets, switches, and recessed lighting (a necessity with 7,10" ceilings).
Then we paused from celebration to purchase insulation - A huge expense we were not planning on. Thankfully, Mr. Steady has a great relationship with the folks at the local lumberyard and we got "a deal". 
The insulation was stapled in to each cavity (Cha-ching. Cha-ching. Cha-ching...) with the Porter Cable staple gun.  We were feeling productive and accomplished. We were starting to come to grips with the necessary expenses and were proud of the progress we made....

Then we took a look around.
Our shoulders drooped as we asked, "Why does it look just as bad as it did a few weeks ago?" 
And so goes the story of renovation.

This part of the process (the behind the walls part) was NEVER ENDING.  It's never fun spending money on things you will NEVER see. It's even less fun spending hours, days, and weeks putting them there yourself.  I hate to admit it, especially this early in the process, but with the thought of plumbing, gas lines, and other  "behind the scenes projects", I was already burnt out. Shameful, I know.

A possible contribution to my lack of perseverance was this little gal - still waking up several times a night to eat.  Not making's just a thought.
In the end, we did make one framing adjustment - a pass-through from the kitchen to the living room.  It let in a ton of light and we figured it would give my Mother in law a great view from the sink.


Well, it sure is weird being on this side of the project and looking back. I was so SURE it would never end.  Let this be a dose of hope for you. It DOES end. It WILL be awesome. You CAN do it.
Please leave your comments, questions, and thoughts below. Love to hear from you!

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From our home to yours,

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