Wednesday, July 9, 2014

House Update - The Hallway

This past week I somehow managed to devote a little time to finishing the house. The last purchase of cedar tongue & groove needed to be polyurethaned, but it's been difficult finding a morning where it wasn't drizzling. But I lucked out one day and got most of the pile painted. This gave David enough wood to work with again. So after finishing the trim in the lanai, he started on the hallway that joins the two buildings. This hallway originally was a narrow 3 to 6 foot wide lanai (wide across the bedroom section) that served as a connecting walkway.  Hubby and I closed it in years ago, building louvered windows the full length. Our efforts were rough but solid and functional. Now we needed to make it look nice. 
We've decided to finish it off the same way that the recent lanai work was done. Cedar on the walls and ceiling. Sheathing on the rafters. We haven't decided yet about the floor. 

The work went quickly. David was a miracle worker when he integrated the weird angled connection between the two levels. The livingroom is a foot lower than the bedroom building. And there is a ramp between them. And just to make it more difficult, the buildings are offset and at angles. Somehow and David came up with a solution that looks natural and nice, without just building a false wall and thus robbing space from the hallway.
(Looking down at the odd corner connecting the two buildings.)

 Nor did he cut out any of the structural wood which would have compromised the integrity. 
The work went quickly considering the odd angles involved. 

Originally the space between the buildings was open. But we enclosed it. A solid wall made the new hallway too dark even with all the windows. So we added a window on the opposite wall. 
Since we didn't need more ventilation, here was my chance to be decorative. I looked into decorative glass. Well, I was really surprised by the selection. There's some nice glass patterns out there. Although there were lots of ideas that would have worked nicely, we decided upon a textured bamboo pattern. 

And then decided to compliment the door area with the same pattern in the three little accent windows. Those little windows have proven to be a perfect spot to display our little collection of Zuni fetishes. 
(The door leads to the outside. There's a tiny little porch and a set of steps.)

This hallway is wide enough to be useful. Perhaps a writing desk? Perhaps bookshelves or storage of some sort? Right now it just is a space to store assorted "stuff". 

Years ago when we enclosed this hallway we put in a pet door. It was a plastic one that is sold in pet stores. Over time, it had cracked. We didn't want to eliminate a pet door, so I had assumed that I would have to buy another one, but David said he could make one. What he made actually is better than the pet store kind. In the picture below, the slider is in place, shutting the pet door. 
Here the slider is off, allowing to doorway to be used by the cats and dogs. There is a black rubber flap over the opening that swings when the animal use the door. The flap keeps out mosquitos and flies. 
There's one little thing I'd like to show you that I kind of like. It's a homemade door latch that holds the door open. In the photo below you're looking down the hallway toward the livingroom. That door is to the livingroom and is normally open. But we close it on cool evenings and first thing in the morning to keep the warmth from the woodstove in the livingroom. 
When the door is open, we latch it so that it doesn't swing shut. It's a simple homemade system that works nice as can be. That slanted piece of wood swivels around. Vertical, it allows the door to be free. Any other position captures the door. To allow it to swivel we placed a washer between that little piece of wood and the rest of the contraption. It's made from from wood scraps. 

The next step on the hallway will be to complete the ceiling. First styrofoam sheet insulation for muting the noise of the rain on the metal roof plus prevent the house from heating up too quickly in the full sun. Then the cedar ceiling goes up. Then the rafters get sheathed and painted. Next the ceiling trim. Finally the floor and door thresholds. We still haven't decided what to do for the floor. 

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