They shrunk the rooms!

January 29th, 2008 by Peter Schmelzer

Drywall is hung

Well, the rooms only shrunk by one inch in each direction since the gypsum wall board is 1/2″ thick. But, the perception of smaller space when the walls are rocked usually sparks similar comments from our clients. Before, we could see from corner to corner of the whole second floor, giving the illusion of longer dimensions for each room.

Actually, that is a design strategy we consciously employ in our work. This photo shows how the windows allow the eye to stretch out into the yard (and even the neighbor’s yard) from the top of the stairs, which makes the spaces seem larger. From this vantage point, if the bedroom doors are open, you can see the great outdoors in three directions. This is really nice; perhaps less as our children discover closed doors as teenagers…

These photos were taken yesterday. We’re still waiting for the taping crew to come. They were supposed to be taping today but never showed up. Maybe it’s too cold out, although the house has been staying nice and warm with its new insulation. Matt and Gary foamed the window shim spaces this week, too, so the building envelope is about as tight as we are going to be, short of the siding.

Acoustic Insulation

Before the drywall was installed, we made sure to have batt insulation installed in the bathroom walls, the hallway walls, and the Master Bedroom wall. This will help isolate sound transmission from room to room. We figured the kids’ closets would provide enough of a sound buffer between their rooms, so we saved a few bucks by not insulating them.

Mary has been studying what kind of shower door we should install. It seems that our tastes veer away from the standard and inexpensive in this regard. A frameless glass door would be coolest, since it would allow the largest opening, swing both ways, and be the cleanest looking. Frosted glass would be desireable, too, but that would be a hefty upgrade.

This is an opportunity for a personal value judgement. Should we save some money or do it right? Odds are we will never change out the door “when we have additional funds”. It will be interesting to see what we do. I’m leaning toward the frameless, frosted glass… There is an outside possibility that a mis-ordered door at Polzin Glass could be modified to fit our opening.

The ERV (energy recovery ventilator) and its pre-heater arrived yesterday. The ERV provides fresh air while balancing the incoming air temperature with the exterior air temperature, saving energy from simply opening a window. In the winter, the fresh air is warmed by the exhaust air. Conversely, the summertime fresh air is cooled by the exhaust air. Makes sense to me. We opted to install a pre-heater for the wintertime, which uses electricity to warm the incoming air to 10 degrees, so the unit will not ice up when we want to ventilate the most and the windows are closed and locked for the winter.

So, now we wait for the drywall to be taped, then the finishes can begin.

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