Monday, November 10, 2014

Insulation :)

When purchasing or building a home a lot of people don't pay attention to one of the most important things: insulation. If we don't see it, it doesn't mean that it's not important. After inspecting our home, we noticed the roof insulation was very thin and in bad shape. Also, our HVAC unit was located in the attic, above the insulation, which means that we were cooling and heating outside air. This is very bad for your power / gas bill. The HVAC unit should ALWAYS be located in a conditioned space.

On all the homes we design, we always specify to use spray foam insulation between the roof rafters. The spray foam not only provides the R-Value required by Code but also seals any gap and/or opening where air might infiltrate.

There are a few companies in Atlanta that install spray foam in your attic: they vacuum your existing insulation (with all the debris), disinfect the attic and spray a minimum 6" of foam to the underside of the roof decking.

See below our attic.


Kitchen / Dining Room

The wall between the kitchen and the dining made both rooms to feel small and dark. The pocket door was not sufficient to connect the (2) rooms together.

We demolished the existing wall and created a larger kitchen/dining room. 

When removing existing walls, it is VERY important to consult a professional!!! Luckily for us, Tony is a junior structural engineer and I've been working on existing older home renovations for the last 7 years, which allows me to evaluate and calculate existing and new necessary structure. 

Unfortunately, since no renovation goes on smoothly, when we removed the kitchen/ dining wall we discovered there were two existing (3) 2x 10 built-up beams resting on the wall top plate about 2' from the west wall. There wasn't even a built- up post to support these beams. Fortunately, right below the beams, in the floor structure, there was a 6x 10 beam spanning all the way to the north exterior wall. We calculated, and the 6x 10 beam and a new 4x4 post was sufficient to support the (2) built-up beams and carry the load from the built-up beam to the to the beam below.

See below a few images before the demolition, during, the new post and the almost complete opening.

BEFORE - View from the dining towards the kitchen

BEFORE - View from the kitchen towards the dining room



DURING -  View from the dining room towards the kitchen

DURING - Post installed

Post top
Post base

Closet 3

A few weeks ago I explained our solution to obtain a larger master walk-in closet:

The sheetrock and floor are now complete: please see below a couple of images with the framed pocket door and the finished closet.

Pocket door into the closet

View in the closet

Wood Flooring

When we bought the house, the entire 3rd floor (bedrooms level) was covered in a "beautiful" blue carpet. I have nothing agains area rugs, but carpets I just don't understand. The amount of dust, bugs and dirt they collect always scares me.

Our budget might be low, but removing the existing carpet and installing wood flooring was a priority.

Selecting wood flooring for your house it's a very important decisions: durability and beauty has to be equally important. We researched and compared engineered, laminated and hardwood and discovered the hardwoods are the best choice. A prefinished, engineered or laminated flooring will be harder to maintain or to match the finish in the future.

We selected white oak flooring grade 2 (we love the nots and imperfections). To stain it we used Minwax Natural Color and to finish it: Bova. I strongly recommend using a water based finish product (like Bova) to finish your floors. An oil based finish can off-gas for up to a year.

Please see below some images during installation and with the final product.

Work in progress
Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom & Closet

Finished product

Enlarged finished woof floor