I may have taken a break from blogging, but we did not take breaks from renovating. We have made lots of progress in the office, which I will tell you about this week. But first, one big announcement – we bought a table saw! It was well sought after for months and I am glad that we went for something new and in good quality – a Bosch. It cuts everything like butter. So worth it!

We started working on Slav’s office a month ago. Most of our work has concentrated on the library wall (here, here, here, and here), with much more to do for the rest of the room. I figured it will be better explained in a video, so here it is:

I cannot believe how many to-dos it takes to make a room. From the library wall going clockwise, the list includes:

1. Frame the new opening between office and living room
2. Patch the hardwood floor
3. Drywall work and paint around the new opening
4. Hang doors
5. Install new lighting and window treatment in the office
6. Enlarge office window (phase II)
7. Build a new desk w/storage cabinets
8. Build baseboard drawers for the bookcases
9. Trim out the bookcases





We want to address dusty tasks first, so here is the working order we have established:

1. Frame the new opening between office and living room
2. Patch the hardwood floor
3. Drywall work and paint around the new opening
4. Hang doors
5. Install new lighting and window treatment in the office
6. Build baseboard drawers for the bookcases
7. Trim out the bookcases
8. Build a new desk w/ storage cabinet
9. Enlarge office window (phase II)

We figured that establish the big new opening to the office will make the rest of the work easier. It will also help us to come up with a more realistic layout for the room. So open the wall we did.


Widening the Doorway

To minimize drywall work, Slav only cut off the drywall where the new opening would be. We had to cut a little higher in order to install a new header.





Removing drywall is extremely dusty so I did not take many photos. It took us a whole afternoon to demo, because we had to cut off small sections to get clean and straight edges.


Suddenly, the office and living room were much more connected. Slav loved it right away, which makes all the hard work worth it. 🙂

There were a pair of receptacles in the wall, Slav moved them a few studs over.




You can see the library wall as soon as you walk into the front door now, a much better view I’d say.


Framing the New Opening

This office/living room wall is parallel to our roof trusses and not weight bearing. However, we’d like to preserve as much of it as possible for lateral support. We also want to install a pair of doors at this opening, so Slav has the option to close off the room during conference calls. Our engineer friend helped us to figure out what we needed to do for the framing, which is illustrated below:

Framing plan

The framing includes a pair of king studs, which runs between the top plate and the bottom plate, and two jack studs on each side. The header will run right below the top plate, between the king studs, and be supported by the the jack studs.

The engineering plan also calls for installing ladder support between the king studs and the remaining studs in the wall. The ladder support is basically horizontal lumber that links two studs together to add rigidity. In our case, we need to add three pieces of 2″x4″s between the king studs and the next studs over.

We cleaned up the drywall dust and started framing. Since we preserved drywall on both sides, we framed everything one layer at a time, slowly filling inside the drywall cavity with framing blocks.


The first ones went in were the ladder support. We attached them to the existing studs deep inside the wall (yet still within arm’s reach) on both sides.


Then the king studs went in. They were screwed onto the ladder support and attached to the top and bottom plate.



At this point, we could cut off the studs within the opening:


The next one went in was the header. As advised by our engineer, we used two pieces of 2″x6″s, sandwiching a piece of 1/2″ plywood in between.


We assembled the header on the floor first, then Slav raised it in place. It was a very snug fit.


We attached the header to the top plate with screws:


We then filled in the jack studs on both side. They were attached to the king studs, bottom plate, and header with screws. The framing was now completed!


What do you think? I think it is the prettiest thing in the world. It is nice to be able to watch SNL on Slav’s monitor from the living room.


Next, the floors!