Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Structural changes and a stud finder that actually works

We're finally back on track for the kitchen expansion after dealing with the rotten wood and Powder Post Beetle issues. Here's a quick review of the structural changes:
  • Open up the wall between the bathroom and kitchen (done). 
  • Reinforce the opening with a 4" x 6" header beam (done). 
  • Build the new bathroom wall about 30" back. This makes space for the fridge and a pantry (done). 
  • Cut out part of the bedroom to build a hallway and a closet. The hallway will have doors into the bedroom and bathroom. 
  • Open up the wall between the kitchen and living room (done). 
  • Reinforce the opening with a 4" x 6" header beam. 

This makes a nice open space between the kitchen and living room along with a bar facing the living room side. Moving the fridge really opens the kitchen up and moving the bathroom entry away from the kitchen is a huge plus. 

Off to the Rebuilding Center with some stuff to donate. I was careful not to damage things when I removed them so that they could be used again. 

What a great place. They have just about anything you could imagine and it's all priced very reasonably.  Lately it seems like prices of salvaged materials have gone through the roof and it's nice to have a place that doesn't operate like that. 

I built the wall in two sections so that it would go through the door. This also allowed me to carefully measure the opening it was going in and account for it being out of square. It was much easier to wiggle  the two pieces in separately. 


Ok... On to the stud finder. I've had a number of these things over the years. Some of them came free with another tool, some of them I purchased. None of them really worked. I've seen some that make claims to greatness online selling for $100 or more, which sounded like too much, but I was almost ready to try one. I decided to give the Zircon i320 OneStep a shot. It was $40 and I'm very happy with it. 

Scan started.

The bars on the screen show when you start across a stud edge. 

The bars and the red light indicate exact stud center. 


It also has a deep scan mode for finding studs on the exterior, metal stud mode, and a warning if you scan over any wiring in the wall. 

*Insert stud finder joke here*

Back to the kitchen. I sheeted the new wall with 6 mil plastic and taped the edges so that I can work on the bathroom without the dust or odor getting into the kitchen. I moved the fridge to it's new home and the kitchen suddenly seemed twice as big. Now we're waiting for the stove to be delivered. 

Notice my state of the art locking mechanism on the door. I lock our shed up at night by parking in front of the doors. Some day we'll have nice things...

Future home of a big open space. 

Things are coming together nicely now after that last setback. Today, Chance and I are going to finish the concrete form for the back deck and fill it with the gravel base. Annie and I also decided that we're going to wait on the metal roof until next year, so we're going ahead with the solar panel installation as soon as the installer is ready. 

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