Drywalling a Second Story Addition….

Remember when I said Mike and I both grew up with dad’s in the construction trade? Well, Mike’s dad is a General Contractor and he surprised us with all the drywall loaded into our house one day. That was a great day because I did not want to help Mike load 250 sheets of drywall upstairs. Then, a week ago he sent someone to help Mike and I put up drywall. Between Mike, his friends, the guy and me the drywall was hung in about a week. Then the most amazing thing happened (I know, my “then’s” are getting pretty repetitive, blame the English language. Any other word sounds pretentious), on Saturday a drywall company showed up at our door (at *ahem* 6 am…) to tape and finish our drywall.



So, we got to stand back while an actual crew of people finished our work – enjoy all of our non-professional hanging guys. It’s a little rough 🙂

In case your curious, hanging drywall goes ceilings then walls. In residential it’s best to hang the sheets on the walls horizontally rather than vertically. The white side goes out. On the ceiling they run perpendicular to the trusses. I guess they run perpendicular to the framing in the walls too when you hang them horizontally… If you want to know more google is a wonderful tool!

Here are some pics of the process!

The entrance to the girl’s rooms:

Inside Red’s room:

Inside E’s room:
drywall_8_second_story_addition drywall_7_second_story_addition

From E’s room into the Jack and Jill bath:

Master Bedroom Entrance from inside the room looking out to the hall:

Inside the Master Bedroom:drywall_4_second_story_addition

The girl’s old room now the Playroom/Craftroom:

Hanging the ceilings in the garage:

Walls in the stairway:

Upstairs hall:

The livingroom/kitchen:

During the drywall taping/mud/sanding:

We are also smoothing out all the existing walls, goodbye orange peel!drywall_32_second_story_addition

The playroom/craftroom after skim coat:drywall_30_second_story_addition drywall_29_second_story_addition drywall_28_second_story_addition

Guest bath:

See the soffit with the light? That hides necessary plumbing and electrical. There is now one over the shower in this bath too. This was the old master and will now be the guest suite:
drywall_24_second_story_addition drywall_23_second_story_addition  drywall_21_second_story_addition

This pic shows where one of the posts that supports the kitchen beam (remember the missing “beam” we had to put back in?) and truss header (it spans on top the entire wall of cabinetry so that we wouldn’t have to tear up our kitchen to support the second floor. Think of it like a really big door header.) You’ll never even know this wall was ever tore open, our dishwasher and lazy susan cabinet will go right back in place. drywall_31_second_story_addition
This is where the other post is, the corner of the guest bath:drywall_38_second_story_addition

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Upstairs Hall and entrance to Red’s room:drywall_41_second_story_additiondrywall_39_second_story_addition

Looking down the stairs, up the stairs and then up to the whole house fan:

Under the stairs:

Entrance to E’s room:

From E’s room into the Jack and Jill bath:
drywall_44_second_story_addition drywall_45_second_story_addition

Red’s room:

From Red’s room into the Jack and Jill bath:

From the hall looking in to the Master Bedroom:

Inside the Master Bedroom:

From the Master Bath into the Master Bedroom:

Inside the Master Bath:

Here’s what we do when we take breaks:

We pump out flooded water from our parent’s yard #stormwatch2014

We make cotton candy!

We lose teeth

We watch cartoons in our pj’s on lazy Saturday morningsdrywall_13_second_story_addition

Nuts and Bolts

This part wasn’t very interesting (maybe because I only drilled a few holes myself), but Mike, who drilled over 60 holes into our slab thought I should write about it. I think he should write about it.

Guess who’s writing about it…

Yesterday was “special inspection day”. We had a deputy inspector come out and watch Mike clean, prep, and epoxy everysinglehole. One hole at a time. Does this sound expensive? It is. It’s expensive for a few reasons, one, we have to drill each hole with a hammer drill an average of 12″ into the existing footers and in some places up to 9″ on center – it is all dependent on the shear wall schedule – it’s intense and pointless to go into, but let’s just say, in case of another Northridge quake, I know our walls will not be coming down. Two, we have to fill each hole with an epoxy anchor adhesive that’s price changes more often than gas, it hardens to over 14,000 psi. I’m told it will withstand the apocalypse. Three, we have to pay a “deputy inspector” (guy with a certificate and can charge whatever price he wants) to watch us fill the holes with epoxy and rebar.

After the deputy inspector watches us fill each hole, according to the engineered details on our blueprints, he writes a report we submit with our footing inspection before we can pour our footers and slab. And even before we do that we have to have our engineer come out and check all of our epoxied rebar and the report from the deputy and sign his own report verifying we built it as planned.


Bored enough yet? I wish I could make this more interesting but I.just.can’t.

Here’s some awesome pics.
anchor bolts_second_story_addition
anchor bolts2_second_story_addition
anchor bolts5_second_story_addition
anchor bolts3_second_story_addition

P.S. we passed our “special inspection”.

Now if we can just get all our footers dug and forms up we may be able to pour that slab next week!

It’s just a little hole in the wall

The first day of demolition, or D-day as Mike has casually been referring to it, a.k.a. the true beginning of our possible demise, is tentatively set for this Tuesday, July 23rd. I know what you’re thinking, it’s been like two weeks and we’ve done nothing. Well, we’ve done some stuff, we started packing and we paid a ton of fees…that felt like a lot. Plus, we also enjoyed some family and friends time before taking the plunge into this deep hole.

Enough with the excuses, basically we are freaking the f out. This is huge people. HUGE. We are taking the roof off of our freaking house! It’s like cutting into the biggest cake you’ve ever cut into, where the heck do you put the knife?

Sorry about the language, I get a little trashy when I’m nervous.


This is my kitchen, it’s messy. I. don’t. care. This is the cleanest you will see it for the next several months. This doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m over it. In fact, not having to keep everything neat/tidy/clean allthetime feels pretty liberating.


Take another look at my kitchen and focus in on that red arrow.
If you’re colorblind you won’t be able to see this, I’m sorry life’s not fair like that.


That little shadow is not a not a bad lighting issue or a crack in my lens or any other excuse you may help me come up with.

That little shadow represents the bain of my existence right now.

That represents the absolute ignorance of the diy’s.

At some point, waaaaay before M and I lived in this house (because we’d like to think we would never have done such a thing and I’d like to think you wouldn’t either). A previous owner decided they didn’t like the beam that used to be there and they cut it out.

I think they used a steak knife.


See that sawed off piece of wood, that’s the remnants of a structural beam. I wasn’t joking when I said they used a steak knife. Look at those jagged edges, what was that a chisel?



It spanned from wall to wall, where the cabinets are to the header above the sliding glass door. It dipped into the kitchen by a measly 10″ can you say shoulda been a soffit or a nice exposed beam?

If that’s the only surprise we find during this master endeavor I think I’ll survive. We have to pull that stump out and put in a new beam because 1. The roof is unsupported, did you happen to notice the cracking in the beam and the 2×6 under the beam? No? Scroll up, it’s there. Imagine another Northridge quake…I predict a much bigger hole than the one we made. And 2. The new second floor connects to a girder truss that happens to rest on that beam.


So, what do you think? Are there any previous edits made in your house that make you shake your head?

kitchen_second_story_addition_before2    kitchen_second_story_addition_before4