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Aug 26

Creating a Great Room: Part I

Our house, like so many lovely mid century ranch homes, came equipped with a standard living room (some people would call it a den) as well as a formal living room.  They were two separate rooms and somehow we seemed to only ever make use of the den.  Open floor plans are all the rage now-a-days and Kenny and I could really visualize the two living rooms somehow opening up into one enormous ‘open’ space. So we decided to create a great room for our house.  Initial Cut
Our first thought was to completely demolish the wall that separated the two spaces, but that is such a gigantic undertaking when you consider that you’ll have to not only frame, sheetrock, finish and paint the walls, but also the CEILING!  So, our second thought was to follow the advice of some noteworthy bloggers and just widen the doorway between the two rooms.  We’re talking w-i-d-e!  So, what do you do first? Just grab your sledge hammer and start bashing!Half way open
No, no, no that could be a real disaster.  We were smart enough to consider the fact that this expansive wall, right in the center of our home, could very well be a load bearing wall.  Which means, if we just started whacking away removing studs the whole ceiling and roof of our house could start to collapse.
Luckily my Dad is super handy and has done his fair share of remodeling and construction, so he was able to advise us how to handle demo-ing a load bearing wall.  All we had to do was make a header beam by conjoining two big, thick, heavy, strong, boards which would be inserted into the wall above the wide new opening.  This header beam would then support the weight of the roof without needing the little support studs underneath.Saber Saw
First things first, we made sure to locate any electrical wiring that could be running through the wall that we were fixing to remove.  Thankfully there was only one electrical outlet on the far right side of our wall. So, with our hopes high we made the first incision. We cut and sawed and pulled and pried and ripped that sheetrock right off the studs.Kenny peeking
I was so excited when we actually made the inaugural hole through both sides of the sheetrock that I had to take a picture to commemorate the moment. Kenny sweetly obliged my request. Isn’t he a cutie!
We powered through and got the sheetrock all removed and ready for the next step. Opening
Tune in for part II of ‘creating a great room’ soon.

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1 comment

  1. freda phillips

    Hard work but the finished product looks wonderful. I think you will like it.

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