First off, I should mention that we now have non-wood heat in the house, provided by our lovely boiler & radiant floor system. Right now we only have the front half of the first floor heated, but that includes the kitchen, office & living room (which is still our sleeping quarters as well). We love our wood stove; it got us through a kicker of a winter. But there is something quite nice about not having to choose between getting up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire and having a forty degree house in the morning. The luxury has made us weaker already.
The radiant floor system will eventually serve the entire house, except for one bedroom which is over the beadboard ceiling in the kitchen. We did not want to pull the ceiling down, so that bedroom will have a baseboard radiator. It will also have its own thermostat, which makes it a great guest room. We will have to pull down the plaster ceiling in the parlor to heat the master bedroom, but that ceiling is already damaged, and removing it will allow for an easy ceiling fan installation and will let us insulate for sound.
As for the master bedroom, we have made progress up there despite the last few months finding both of us up to our ears in big projects. Allison is part of a new food business and I have begun another broken house rehab. It is true, rehabbing two houses at the same time is often unwise, but when the master bedroom, bathroom and guest room of our home are done, A. and I should have all the finished space that we will need for now. The outside of the house still has a few things left to do (porch repair, notably), but with the roof and most of the painting & window repair done, the outside is starting to look respectable. So I plan to dial back on our home and work on Project #2 at three-quarter steam.
Still some paintwork to do on the windows & trim, still need to find doors for both bedrooms. And the old floorboards need something done. The plan is to paint them and then coat the paint in polyurethane. The floorboards are pine, which is a softwood and therefore not the greatest choice for holding a finish, but it is what we have for now. They had been painted in the past and, dadgummit, we’re going to do it again. We’ll throw down some rugs in the high traffic areas and hope for the best. Even without 3/4″ T&G rock maple, we will be so happy to have a bedroom & bathroom we just won’t care. ETA on move-in day? I hate construction timelines, but let’s say May 4th.
Oh, and here’s the hallway outside the bedrooms, finally getting drywall:Insulating the window weight pockets. We put a lot of work into saving the old wood window sashes, and now the challenge is to make them as energy-efficient as possible. The weight pockets are usually a tough spot to get to, but sometimes you just have to pull the casings off and fit some polyiso foam board back there. Caulk and spray foam are also handy if used with a careful hand. The trick is to insulate the pocket as much as possible without interfering with the movement of the window weights. I have heard the suggestioof fitting the weights into PVC pipe to act as a tight-fitting channel for the weight while allowing insulation to be packed around it. I haven’t tried yet, but it sounds like a neat idea:
Here you see the layers. We caulked the joints between our sheathing boards, fit fiberglass between the studs, 1/2″ foam board over that and then the drywall. I like the idea of having even thicker walls with more room for insulation, but our house is long and skinny and thicker walls would have compounded our design challenges. One does what one can.