New Kitchen Window

For the family room project we decided to replace the window, as well as add in the skylights.   Since we have two other windows in the house that are the same size as the one in the family room, we decided to go ahead and get those too.  And of course since that meant we were replacing one of the windows in the kitchen we figured we might as well replace the other one too.  Gotta have them all match you know.  Of course this had the effect of lopping another couple thousand dollars onto the cost of our family room, but thats life.

We decided to get Anderson windows this time, the decision was slightly arbitrary.  The windows seemed pretty much the same, I liked the interior finish on the Anderson better, but I liked the aluminum cladding on the Pella better.   Although I must say the $40 ‘Fuel surcharge’ that Pella wanted pissed me off.  If your delivery costs go up, raise the price of your delivery, don’t add on an extra fee and pretend its not your fault.  /rant

I did run into a bit of an issue with the installation, the window we got was the exact size of the rough opening, which meant there was no room for any shims.   The opening was pretty level and square so it shouldn’t be too big a problem.  If it is I’m going to have the walls all open in a few years when we redo the kitchen anyway so I can re-frame it then.

Stone Veneer

Around the fireplace in the family room we’ve decided to put up some stone veneer.  This will server to accent the area around the fireplace, as well as provide a fireproof barrier for the wall.  The stone is going to extend past the edge of the fireplace by two feet, which should give it some weight without taking up the whole wall.  This is the ‘stone’ we’ve chosen to use.  It’s not a real stone, its actually a type of concrete thats been died to look like stone.  There are a few advantages to this, the biggest one is of course cost.  Its like half the price of a real stone veneer.  The second is weight, the engineered stone as they like to call it is significantly lighter than actual stone, and is therefore easier to install, and doesn’t require as much reinforcement.  Lastly there is a much greater variety of choices available.  This is the one we’re going with, its from a company called Eldorado Stone, and is called Walnut Ridge.  The picture isn’t the best and the sample is a little dinged up but hopefully it will look great in the family room.  We’re going to match it with a Pennsylvania bluestone hearth, and a wooden mantle.

Demolishing the Hearth

The plan is to keep most of the brick wall, for three reasons.  The first is that we don’t really have a way to get rid of all the brick, without getting a dumpster for $500.  The second is because at some later date, Jess thinks someone (certinly not me) might like to go back to the brick).  Lastly, and most importantly, it’d be way to much work to take down.  The hearth however, was a different story.  Since we’ll be putting stone veneer on the center of the wall, we wanted the hearth to match, and since we didn’t want to make it any bigger, the outer layer of bricks had to be removed.  I took my chisel and a sledgehammer to it, and with the help of my friend Greg, it was pretty well demolished in an hour or two.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the 50 or so bricks and mortar.

Family Room Begins

The family room has won the contest to be the next construction project for the spring!  Our current family room is very dark, and with wood paneling on all the walls, fake wooden beams on the ceiling, and incredibly ugly brick on the walls,  its also quite outdated.   This room, along with the kitchen and the master bedroom, are where we spend almost all of our time.    That means that we’re going to be putting alot of work into this room.

First thing to go will be all of the wood paneling, and the cieling.  There is no Sheetrock behind the paneling on the walls, so that will need to be added.  Normaly I wouldn’t bother with the cieling, but this one is textured, and has fake wooden beams across it.  Rather than attempting to skim coat or sand down the ceiling, we’re just going to replace it.  In addition we’re going to add in two big skylights to get some more natural light in.  The old aluminum window will also be replaced with a nice new energy efficient (read:expensive) casement window. The brick wall with the fireplace, will be covered up with some drywall, except for the center six feet or so, which will get stone veneer.  We’ll also be getting a nice new fireplace door, and a new hearth.  Lastly we will be getting some nice new carpet to keep our feet warm.

We’ve already got the skylights and windows on order, and will be ordering the stone veneer in the next week or so.  I’m starting the demolition this week, and hopefully will have the whole thing wrapped up before the middle of June, when it’ll be to hot to work in the evenings.