Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kitchen wall is gone

The load-bearing wall separating the kitchen from a small 4' hallway is now history. This opens up the future kitchen space to the lightwell, making the room feel much more open, even though it only gained 4'. The room is now 19' x 19', plenty of room for a huge kitchen island!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The wall of the future kitchen comes down & the storefront gets a subfloor

The crew finished laying the subfloor in the storefront this week. The rotted floor joists were ripped out and replaced and then topped with new plywood subflooring. The crew is now ready to rip out the load-bearing wall above and install new LVLs for support.

The start of the load-bearing wall's teardown on the second floor/future kitchen: This weekend, one of the guys from Jim Martin's crew tore out all of the plaster and lath. He saved the trim from the door and windows so we can reuse them in the master bedroom/bathroom.

It's difficult to know if this wall is original to the building. It is definitely an old wall, since it was constructed out of plaster and lath. However, it is load-bearing but has no support below it. There is nothing supporting this wall one floor below in the storefront. So LVLs will need to be added to shore up the 3rd floor floor joists and carry the load to the basement/foundation.

The details of the storefront...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Great weather this weekend! We were able to make a little bit of progress on the storefront, but paining in the detail is just so time-intensive. I finished the basket weave on the pillars, which really looks sharp! Reid scraped and primed the wood trim around the doorway/transom.
There's still so much more to do...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The floor in the storefront is really coming along. This past week, Jim Martin replaced all of the rotten floor joists and will be laying the subfloor next week. It's always so nice to see progress!

And we're still painting...
The cast iron details on this storefront are certainly what drew us to this building, but they are grueling to paint in detail. I managed to get the insets painted on one of the basketweaves of the pillars but there's still the other side to be done.
I know it will be beautiful when it's all done, but it really is a lot of work.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The painting has started....there's still A LOT more to go!

I'm hoping for some nice weather after Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Storefront facade restoration has begun

After spending several weekends scraping paint from the storefront's metal facade, we have finally reached a point where we're ready to prime and then paint.

With a spray can of Rustoleum rusty metal primer in hand, we finished what we could of the left pillar. I'll be back tomorrow to finish the rest...
Before priming, I found myself stressing a little bit about what paint colors to use to highlight the different details of the storefront. After priming, I see how much better the storefront looks with just an ugly coat of rusty metal brown primer! It obviously doesn't matter that much what paint color goes where. A fresh coat of paint, no matter what color, will look great!

That said, we decided today that the residential entrance and stained glass transom frame will be painted red to match the windows. The rest of the storefront will be either gray, blue or red...

Thanks Keep Cincinnati Beautiful Future Blooms Program!

Over the past week, out vacant, overgrown, garbage-ridden lot was transformed into an adorable park complete with straw to encourage grass growth and a tree!

In only 2 days time, a Keep Cincinnati Beautiful crew was able to scoop out demolition debris and stubborn weeds, add a foot of topsoil, and plant grass seed and a tree...

The lot looks so much better now! Thanks so much KCB Future Blooms Vacant Lot Stabilization Program!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Preparing the lot for landscaping


Prior to today, a tall chain link fence surrounded the vacant lot at 1700 Vine Street. Parts were falling down and all of it looked uninviting and certainly didn't keep any trash out.


Today, the fence was removed in preparation for Keep Cincinnati Beautiful's Future Blooms Vacant Lot Stabilization Project. KCB has contracted a landscaping company to beautify vacant lots around the city with the mission of eliminating blight and reducing crime by beautifying streets and vacant lots.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, we're excited to work with you. Thank you for selecting our lot for the program. We really appreciate it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

removing rotten floor joists

You may recall from the December 2009 posts that approx 200 sq ft of floor and floor joists in the storefront were rotted and had to be removed. In December (10 months ago now!) we removed the rotted floorboards. This week, a crew removed the rotted joists and opened up the entire 1st floor. They'll be rebuilding the floor joists and laying a new plywood subfloor over the next week.

The problem of rotted floor joists appears to have originated from the tear-down of our former neighboring building - the one that used to sit on our now vacant lot. I don't know exactly when this building came down, but filling in its footprint with soil is the culprit of our rot. The vacant lot has soil that has been sitting above our rock foundation line, covering several courses of our building's brick. This is 1870s (or older) brick and is porous, as it was originally made for an interior wall (party wall shared with former building). So our porous brick has been absorbing all of the water from the soil covering it, causing extensive mold and rot in our floor joists. This is just another example of why OTR buildings NEED to be preserved instead of torn down.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back to Work

After a much needed vacation, which included a beautiful Irish wedding, we are back to work. Before winter arrives, we are hoping to scrape and paint the storefront, clean up the vacant lot with some help from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, and maybe even paint the east wall of the back building facing Hamer Street. And we still have a few finishing touches to complete on the roof deck.

This past weekend, Reid milled a new piece for the storefront facade. We had removed the old, rotted piece sometime last year when it pretty much fell apart in our hand. The only catch is that we have to remove the metal security grates in order to reattach it without notching it... nothing is ever simple, that's for sure.

Reid and I both scraped paint from the metal facade this past weekend. It's getting there, but it's going to take a lot of time to really clean this storefront up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Well Deserved Vacation

Sorry I haven't been posting for a few weeks. Reid and I are on vacation from 1700 Vine, but we'll be resuming work soon!
Right now, we're taking time to enjoy the rest of Cincinnati and getting our current home in order.
Pictured is our dog, Miles, enjoying Bark in the Park at The Reds Game this week.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Detailing the Deck

This weekend, we sweated through the 100F weather and then the afternoon storm, painting and installing concrete hardieboard siding on the roof deck.

Reid installed the tap. As soon as we run a drain line we're ready for a keg!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Reid put the paper barrier over the plywood this week, so we're ready to install the hardieboard siding.

We found two recessed lights that will work for the roof soffit.
These two beauties will illuminate the deck with CFLs. And for only $5 from Building Value, they're a reused bargain.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The deck structure is complete

I've lost track of what "Day" this is of deck building. Basically, Reid and I have spent a lot of evenings - usually just a couple hours here and there - working on this deck. But this past Friday night, Reid and I finished the deck stairs and installed the remaining trex.
We installed an electrical box under the deck and ran a 24' strand of LED rope lights along the stair risers for safety and ambient lighting. It really looks nice and feels like such an accomplishment!
Although it took us until well after dark, we celebrated the deck structure's completion with some local beer and honey sesame cupcakes from Main Street's ForkHeartKnife. There's nothing else like a celebratory beer on a hot summer night on the roofdeck. It's so quiet 4 stories up! Nothing but the moon, stars, and a beautiful skyline.

Now for the details...the hardieboard siding & trim are next!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Miscellaneous Maintenance

The deck stairs are coming along. Even though they look a little crooked, Reid assures me that it's OK. He says he's got it figured out...(He had to work on them himself this weekend since I worked nights all weekend and had to sleep all day.)

I resumed the miserable task of scraping wallpaper from the 20' tall wall in the window well. There are at least 3 layers of wallpaper, topped with peeling paint. I've found that swimming goggles get less fogged up than safety glasses when wearing the respirator, hence my sexy headgear.

Reid made his way up to the roof of the back building to clean construction debris out of the gutter. Since there is no longer a stair for this building, there is really no way to get between floors. So Reid threw a ladder up to the second floor, then hoisted himself up to the third floor through a hole in the floor and then took the attic stair up to the roof! Crazy. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw him up on the roof with a rope around his waist.

The things we do for this building.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 5 - trex are installed

Yesterday we were able to cut the remaining trex boards and screw them into place. We set up a tarp to act like an umbrella, keeping us from getting sunburned and alowing a nice breeze to blow under. Despite the "umbrella," we were sweaty enough that sawdust was sticking to us!

next weekend, we build the 3 stairs.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 4 - beer tap positioning

We need to build the stair before we can lay any more trex.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 3: An early start

We got up early this morning to beat the heat (and I had to be at work at 10am). We finished the deck's framing, minus a couple stabilizers between boards. (Reid can finish those today while I'm at work.) When I get off work later today, we'll finish what we can before it gets too dark. More pictures to come...

Even our neighbors 2 doors down were out working on their roof! (this is great because they needed a new roof 10 years ago)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 2 of deck building

Of course, nothing ever works out exactly as planned. When we measured the position for the joist hangers, we used a scrap piece of lumber from the 16' long 2'x12'. We assumed it was exactly the same width as the 20' long 2'x12's, but turns out, they're 1/4" wider!!! So we had to shim all of the 18' spans to get them flush for the trex boards...

a minor inconvenience, really. and if this is the biggest glitch we face in this project, we're doing OK!

Halfway there!

Taking in the view from the new (half-finished) deck! We'll be working again tomorrow...

Thanks for all your help today, Alex. We couldn't have done it without an extra set of hands!