25 February 2006

Structural Repairs

These shots are from a house I've been working on in Doylestown, PA for about a year now.
The project grew and grew from the original rehab and rental idea to the homeowner (who has lived in the row-home next door for 15 years) deciding to build the place the way they want it to be and move into it.

At this point the place has been completely gutted and the new construction is taking place.

The house is at least 100 years old and wasn't built very well...the boards holding the place up were too thin so everything sagged. The new design calls for an 'open floorplan' on the first floor with no walls so the weight of the house will now be carried by these HUGE 'glue-lam' beams. The weight is carried on the posts that will enclose the basement door/steps.

Many of the floor joists had to be straightened and 'sistered' (a second board nailed to it along the length to add strength and stability.

Above the doors the weight is carried by a lentil and transferred to the basement with posts.

The builders that did the beams did a pretty lousy job. They cut the joists too short and had to add an extra board to reach the center beam along one side. Here at the end I don't know what they thought they were doing with the one joist not attached at all and the other just with a 2x4.

Here you can see more clearly where they cut them all too short...the last 3 or 4 inches being carried by the new boards into the joist hangers nailed to the main support beam.

19 February 2006

Easy Vent Hood

Yes, it’s been a while.
I’m still working on my place and now working on a couple of others as well.

One of the easiest tasks when updating a kitchen is replacing the vent hood.
All it is really is 4 screws and 3 wire connections (2 wire nuts and 1 ground screw).

First turn off the breaker, then remove the electric cover plate and disconnect the house wiring from the unit. Un-screw the 4 mounting screws from the old unit (they usually go up into the bottom of the cabinet) and remove the old hood.

Installing the new unit is the reverse process. Feed the wire from the wall through the hole in the new unit and then attach the 4 mounting screws. If the holes don’t line up with the ones from the old unit make sure you pre-drill the cabinets for the new screws or you’ll risk splitting the cabinet. Screw the ground wire down to the unit (using the green ground screw almost ALL new electrical items have) and connect the white and then black wires with wire nuts. Put on the new units electrical cover plate to hide the wiring and you’re ready to turn the power back on and test the unit.