Beach House Kitchen – Framing

While I don’t really like demo very much, my favorite part of a remodel is framing. I like seeing the new structure come into being.

The first thing we did was frame in the doorway. The original doorway (before the 1960’s got involved) was just about this size. I like the open feeling.

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We did the framing on a Sunday, and the only place open was Ace Hardware. I really like Ace – they have great service, fair prices and a very good selection considering we are in a beach town. However, they don’t have regular 2 x 10’s, so I had to go with pressure-treated, or wait until Tuesday (it was Memorial Day weekend). Double the cost, but worth it.

We used a jack to put the header in, so we cold push the joists up into place and remove the upstairs floor sag. That went fine, but then we noticed the floor by the right stud was bowing down. All the force was going down on the double studs to a single point load (see the photo below – the studs by the broom).

Normally this loading would be OK, but when I checked the joist in the basement, I saw it had a large notch in it. Notches are terrible for any horizontal support structure that has to carry extra weight. Building codes allows for some limited ones, but I prefer to not have any.

The force was pushing the floor down about half an inch – too much. I had two choices, strengthen the floor joist by adding another one next to it (sister it), or put a post / wall under it. I went with the second, since there was a lot of wiring running through the joist. I put a post and wing wall under it, which is fine for the basement floor plan.

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Here’s my reframing around the window. This window is coming out and a larger one is going is – basically back to the original width. That little piece of stud on the right side of the window is coming out.

Rather than pull everything out, I removed only what I had to and added in the needed framing. I rerouted the vent pipe to allow for an actual stud along the window, and blocked in the gaps. I did the same thing on the right side. You can add in blocks for the downward force, but you should also have additional support to ensure stability. So each side of  the window has 3 studs – crazy but it works.

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You could argue that the blocking isn’t a great idea, as it’s not solid enough. To ensure it worked well, we glued and nailed OSB to the lower wall. This will be behind the cabinets and backsplash. It will hold everything together and make a good surface for installing the cabinets.

My point is this: I could have gotten away with the framing I did above without the OSB – but I don’t want to get away with anything. I want to be sure the work done will be good quality and last a long time. It’s too expensive to do cheap work.

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A final point, I did not insulate the wall behind the OSB, which isn’t to code or good practice. My reason: there were obviously a number leaks over they years – this side of the house faces the ocean and gets a lot of driving rain. The current plywood siding is not adequate to ensure the water will stay out. Water + insulation = a mess. I am residing the house next summer with cedar shingles, and will insulate from the outside at that time.




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