the Monday House, part x, room functionality and liveability becomes apparent

Each day the Monday House seems to make large strides towards our finished idea of a house. For example, the living room ceiling has been levelled:


Old houses have varying degrees of crookedness (so do new built homes too…) and this old house the “lowest point” of the whole bedroom level is on the left corner of the living room ceiling. Simply drywalling the ceiling on its existing plane would be OK if the slope was uniform (say, left to right), but here the lowest point is in a corner by the ceiling light fixture on the left, so the sense of a sloped ceiling might be more noticeable and disconcerting.

The amount of “levelling” is apparent by comparing the new ceiling board above the arch to the joist running above it: there is no gap on the left, and several inches on the right. The slope in the bedroom floor above isn’t noticeable when I walked across it, but drop a marble …

The dining room is just beyond the arch in the picture above. The bulkhead runs all the way around the room, made a bit more obvious by the particle board sides of the bulkhead and the open framework all along the bottom of the bulkhead:


By fully enclosing the dining room with a bulkhead the space will feel a bit separate from the adjacent kitchen yet still be visually open to it. The bulkheads carry ducts and plumbing and disguise the greenish LVL beams that replaced the former floorplan walls.

The picture below shows a closer up of the dining room bulkhead, and a complementary bulkhead in the kitchen food prep area. The steel frame in the foreground ceiling will hold a LED potlight; there will be one in each corner of the dining and living rooms to wash to walls or highlight wall art. These recessed lights are extremely effective at removing “dark corners” without the visual obstruction of a table or floor lamp.

And they make the room feel larger by “pushing out” the surrounding walls.

Also visible (below) are three metal octagon boxes mounted along the edge of the LVL beam. These will feed power to three pendant lights over the kitchen island that is between the kitchen and dining room. Actually its a peninsula, but everyone calls it an island. Grrr.


Over to the left side of the kitchen, where the pantry units, fridge,  and wall ovens will be, there is a wider bulkhead that carries the lines of the hallway through the kitchen open area to the doorway to the back addition future “family room”.


The continuous line of pot lights from the front door to the back of the house helps unify the space. It will be, in essence, a hallway defined by lights rather than walls and doors. The door way to the back room is about to be made somewhat wider.

The wall of the old house on the left isn’t perfectly vertical, and for various reasons a false wall has been constructed on which to mount the pantry, wall ovens etc.


There is a ton of wiring visible (not all attached in place yet), some running upstairs and some to the fridge, stove, microwave, and plugs. A water line will also go to the fridge for the icemaker.

The left corner of the kitchen is being termed the “command centre” and will have the main bank of light switches for the rooms, the recharging station for phones and stuff. Sometimes that area gets the less fancy term “drop zone”, since that is where people tend to drop their keys, small packages, etc. Every house has one … might as well plan it in from the beginning.

If you look at the top left corner of the wall, which is the top part of the command centre location, there are two metal boxes mounted on the studs. Looks like provision for a TV or similar device. [ooops, correction, it turns out that is the in-cabinet mounting location for the modem/router stuff]

You will recall from previous articles that the bedroom level had no “subfloor” under the pine floorboards which were under several layers of linoleum and old Ottawa Citizens and Evening Journals.

The lino has been left on the main floors to protect the wood floors during reconstruction work. Eventually the lino will be removed, and the wood floors  will be patched, sanded, and probably finished with urethane. In the picture below, some of the floor boards are removed, showing the very wide subfloor planks. We don’t grow trees like that any more.


Upstairs, a small wall separating the bedroom from the dressing room has also been wired for a wall mount TV:


And in the main upstairs bathroom, a false wall has been constructed to conceal that pipe organ’s worth of plumbing pipes. The short dividing wall has been constructed to separate the shower on the left from the tub on the right. Above that short wall will be a glass panel. A new door sill marks the entry point to the glass shower:


The false walls in the kitchen and in the bathroom offer an opportunity to add 4 to 6″ additional roxul insulation to the walls. This will make up for some of those spots elsewhere which don’t have a full insulation cavity to blow cellulose into.

It is also possible to add insulation around the bathtub if it is open from the bottom, which will keep the water hotter longer; and to the wall separating the bathroom from the adjacent bedroom, to reduce noise transmission.



One thought on “the Monday House, part x, room functionality and liveability becomes apparent

  1. What an exciting process to work through. To take an old but very usable house and give it a new life to serve us for years to come. I’m also getting lots of ideas for what I can do for my home here in chinatown. Thanks for taking us through this Eric.

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