Well, after 2 weeks deliberating over the damn 15′ 750lb beams, we have had to revise our plans somewhat! So here is the scoop…the original plan was to open the addition up 100% both in the kitchen and the basement, allowing a 15ft wide opening. To do this, the structural engineer has recommended a complicated pinning system that would in fact, hold up that side of the house while they put the beams in. This means opening up the second floor in about 8″ diameter holes in several locations starting at about the middle of the 2nd floor landing all the way across to the north side (garage side) of the house, so they can pin it up all the way down to the basement. Of course, they would fix all the holes. But that’s not all… since they have to tie it into the existing structure, the beams would hang down about 8-10″ from the ceiling height. UGH. No good in the kitchen and definitely no good in the basement.
The alternative is to leave a short 2.5′ return on the centre side of the house both kitchen and basement (original exterior wall) and rest the 13′ beams on the returns. This would allow them to tuck the beams into the ceiling and it would hang down only a couple of inches past the ceiling. It also prevents us from having to pin the walls from the stairs and start pinning only in the guest room and new addition (hence the losing of the temporary kitchen). Oh, and the 13′ beams weigh 850lbs! I definitely want to see this. The photo shows the kitchen, similar situation in the basement.
So, we are hoping the structural engineer will approve version 2 or come up with something better. Even version 2 is a bit sucky because we’ll lose about 9″ from our window seat width to accommodate the supporting wall in the kitchen, and in the basement it means we will not have a full open area to the addition (so our guests won’t be able to enjoy the future gas fireplace from the new queen-size bed!).
On a more positive note, we’re almost finalized with the windows (details, details). The window guy, Manny is a very nice guy and really excited about his product. I am hoping he will quote a decent price to do the entire house, so we could finally have windows we can wash (the windows in this house haven’t been washed since God knows when, as they have painted over the storms and we cannot get them off to wash the exterior!!!)
Oh, and there’s a thing about the kitchen. The person who put the original drawings into auto cad took it upon themselves to move the kitchen wall into the dining room about 20″ which we had no intention of doing. We didn’t notice because they forgot to show the original small wall in the kitchen so everyone, including me, assumed that the wall was in the original location…WRONG. What this means is that we lose an entire bank of drawers in the kitchen. DAMN. The bathroom is OK as JT and I did all our original measures with the existing dining wall as the parameter, so it stays the same. DAMN about the kitchen. DAMN. Trying to roll with the punches, but DAMN it is difficult. Oh well, on a positive note the kitchen and counters will be cheaper!