Finally, something new – walls!

Week 16 – Joe

We have been working hard this month completing demo and making tough decisions on the floor plan.  We have been putting in long hours at the house, but it is still slow going because one of us always has to watch the kids.  I can’t imagine how much easier this would be if Amy and I could both work on the house at the same time.  Anyway, all the windows in the kitchen are glazed and waiting until it’s okay to paint, all the walls that need to be removed are gone, and the floor plan is pretty much finalized (as much as it ever really will be).  Here is a glimpse of the latest plan for the first floor…


Still changes to come for the kitchen
Still changes to come for the kitchen

The small change (which really has a big impact) not reflected in his floor plan is that we are creating another doorway to the kitchen.  Originally we were going to seal the old doorway to the basement (indicated by the dark line behind the refrigerator) and putting it on the other side of the old staircase.  When I was done with the demolition to create the new door opening to the basement (just outside the bathroom) we noticed how GREAT it was to have another opening in the kitchen.   We are essentially creating a hallway that turns our circular floor plan into a figure eight. Having two entrances to the kitchen makes it feel more connected to the rest of the house.  This means we can avoid routing ALL traffic to and from the kitchen through the dining room.  In addition it means more direct routes to the stairs to the 2nd floor, the bathroom, and the front rooms. And it just FEELS good!

20140703-DSC_0256We will obviously end up leveling that floor and then putting a door to the basement on the right hand side of that intersection.   The only downside to this new development is that we have to reconfigure our kitchen arrangement.  What you see in the floor plan above will no longer work.  Here is the view from the kitchen looking to the front of the house (the doorway will eventually be completely open because the stairs will be gone.

That opening is right where our refrigerator was going to go.


Here is the 2nd floor…


The BIG progress this week was the framing.  On the first floor the only new room we are creating is the bathroom (it was displaced by the kitchen expansion).  The square in the framing on the right is for a medicine cabinet that we salvaged from the original bathroom.  The wooden door you see inside the bathroom is the current door to the stairs, but it will eventually be a linen closet for the bathroom.  The new staircase will eventually be in the space adjacent to the bathroom.

New bathroom and new entrance to kitchen
New bathroom and new entrance to kitchen

Upstairs, there was a lot of progress and immediate gratification.  I have to say that this was the most enjoyable part of the renovation thus far.  My wife and I both have creative professions and I enjoyed getting to stand there with the framer and our architect to make decisions about exactly where the walls will go.  I reminded me a lot of the creative/logistical conversations that I experience in my job.

Here is the new wall for the master bedroom.  It is exactly the same, but moved in about 16 inches to accommodate the staircase.


The bathroom turned out to be pretty big (7×9) and we were able to get the layout we wanted.  The tub and toilet will be on the left and the pedestal sink and storage will be on the right.  The window will eventually be bigger.


The new staircase will come up between the master bedroom and bathroom.

Eventual staircase
Eventual staircase

Aiden’s room is turning out great.  He will have exposed brick, areas with 12′ ceilings (at one spot), and dramatic ceiling angles.

20140703-DSC_0234He will also have a great bed nook…



Here is the view from the master bedroom looking towards Lucy’s room.  Aiden’s room is on the right and the bathroom is on the left.  To the left of the Lucy’s doorway will be the washer and dryer (yay for not having to hike down to the basement!) and to the right of the doorway will be a little extra play space.  This commons area at the center of the 2nd floor has a 15′ ceiling.  We will eventually add a window to the center of that gable.

You can probably tell where we will add the window

We will add flooring and create a loft area above the master bedroom.  There will be a ladder just to the left of the doorway.   This loft will look out over the commons area.

The loft above the master bedroom
The loft above the master bedroom

Now comes the big push to have plumbing, electrical, and hvac installed before the end of the summer!


Follow our story and read the next post: Window rehab- part 2

Read the previous post: More demo, more treasure


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Debbie Nolan says:

    You two are working so hard and doing a wonderful job! When we had our house built we put the laundry room upstair by the bedrooms. I love it! All of the mess stays behind closed doors and no one has to walk up and down stairs with laundry baskets. What would have been the main floor laundry is a walk in pantry that has been wonderful. Our builder put a pan under the washer with a drain pipe to prevent any accidental flooding. Since the drain pipe isn’t used on a daily basis we have to pour water down it about once a month to prevent the smell of sewer gas. Another great feature you might want to consider would be low wall lighting by the stairs with a switch at the bottom and top.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aunt Janet says:

    Hey Joe it is neat to see the Lapka home coming together. I love the lines in your new home and 15ft ceilings we had in our home in Terre Haute awesome they were. I love old homes…Rick and I both grew up in old homes guess that might be why we love them so. It touched my heart today when Amy said she loved our home….that meant a lot…’s just an Aunt Janet & Uncle Rick home. Take care….and keep on keeping on. Hugs and Love, Aunt Janet
    PS- It sure was a nice day at the Lake House we feel blessed that Mike and Nancy share it with us. Always good to see our family.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s