An Abhainn September 2010

An Abhainn September 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It’s gonna start!

The foundation work will begin Thursday.

He will be my on-site project manager in my absence and will be visiting the construction site, keeping things on track, and sending me pictures to post here as the work progresses. Carter has coordinated a meeting with the foundation contractor, Gordy MacLeod, for this Thursday to review the design as the work begins.

Construction Documents

The full set of drawings is 20 sheets, but I thought I would post what might be the most interesting, because they are the floor plans of the main floor and basement, and interior elevations of the Kitchen and Main Floor Bathroom. The second floor plan will not be changed so I have not posted it, but the ceilings of the second floor will not be rebuilt. When we took down the ceilings we uncovered beautiful hand-hewn trusses, so I’ve decided to drywall up to the peak and leave the trusses exposed. The bedrooms will get ceiling fans, and the added volume will help with air circulation on those hot and humid summer nights.

Click on the plans, then click on them again and you can zoom in on them. Same goes for all photos.


After some thinking about this, I think it would be best to remove the wall between the front hall and the front bedroom and make that space the Parlour, which is what this space was when the house was built. The larger addition at the back that was going to be a large living room, cannot be added because of setbacks from the tracks, so now there is a shortage of living space. We will keep the doors from the Parlour to the Dining Room (current Parlour) and the Back Hall (current Dining Room) so when we have a house-full, we can hang out in the Dining Room and Kitchen, and close these doors if someone wants to sleep on the fold out couch in the Parlour.

When we removed all of the plaster and lath we discovered that this wall was not original and the Parlour was the whole front of the house, and the added wall didn’t even touch the ceiling. It was held in place by the plaster, and the ceiling joists above spanned across the wall, so it has no structural value and can be removed without having to brace the floor above. We are also gaining a bedroom in the basement, so we will have the same number of beds in the end.

An Abhainn September 2010


The basement will have 9 foot ceilings, and will be constructed with ICF’s, as I mentioned in an earlier post, which stands for Insulated Concrete Forms. The basement walls will have an R value of 28 and will be finished. All of the old cabinets will be installed in the Pantry, which is the space below the Kitchen.


Above are the interior elevations of the Main Floor Bathroom, and the Kitchen.

The Kitchen will have a skylight where the chimney used to be. A new electric stove in cobalt blue with a warming oven and nickel trim will go where the old stove was. The north wall will get 12 feet of cabinets. The sink will be a farmers sink, also known as an apron sink. The counter will be soapstone. The upper cabinets will have glass front doors and lit inside. The south wall where the pump was, will have the refrigerator in the corner. The ceiling of the Kitchen will also be removed and be open to the peak. The old tool closet will get shelving inside for food storage. The trim and cabinets will be painted a creamy yellow and the wallpaper above the chair rail will be Pomegranite by William Morris, designed in 1864. It looks like a good kitchen paper.

The Bathroom walls and ceiling will be finished with horizontal 1×6 tongue and groove boards, and will be painted. The window and door trim will match that in the original house. A knife will be cut to replicate the old woodwork. The Bathroom gets a clawfoot tub. Above the door to the hall is a transom window that will be fabricated to replicate the transom that was above the front door at Grammy and Grampy’s house in Hopefield. Three skylights will be placed in the hall between the bathroom and kitchen that will let second-hand daylight into the transom, and the kitchen window above the sink, the one that has George Lowe’s signature, probably signed when he built the kitchen about 1908. You can see the inspiration for the transom in the photo below over Ola’s shoulder.

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