Terrific Broth

The life of two scientists, creating a small home, in big mountains

Tag: Office (Page 1 of 5)

Finished Doorway = Finished Office

Ladies and Gentlemen, our office doorway is FINISHED!

IMG_2490

IMG_2513

IMG_2475

Since we framed the office doorway back to Valentine’s day (!), we have been living with this rough opening for weeks.

IMG_1352

And today, we have this 🙂 :

IMG_2537

The original plan was to install a pair of 36″ french doors here. We picked out the doors early February, long before we framed the rough opening. However, longer we lived with the opening, more we prefer the doorless look and the uninterrupted flow. In the end, we made the decision to return the door slabs (thanks to Lowes’ 90 days no-fuss return policy) and finish the doorway with trims.

IMG_2505

The whole process of finishing the doorway was surprisingly straightforward and DIY-friendly. It included three steps: 1. Installing door jambs and door header (even though we are not putting up doors, we still want to finish the doorway as if we are installing them). 2 Installing trims to cover the gap between the jambs/header and the surrounding dry wall. And 3. caulk + paint.

1. Door Jambs and Header

The first step was to install door jambs and header. Door jambs are the vertical pieces on either side of the doorway (to which hinges would attach if there were doors). And the header refers to the horizontal piece at the top. The rule of the thumb is to have them slightly roomier than the door perimeter, leaving 1/8″ gap all around. They usually come with the pre-framed door purchase and ready for installation. But in our case, we had to buy door jambs and header separately. We ended up picking out two 8′ door jambs and a piece of pine board to make the header ourselves.

IMG_1584

As you can see from the picture above, pre-made door jambs have small notches on the top for the header to sit on. Due to the ceiling height, our door header sits a few inches lower than the framing header. So I added a few pieces of 2″x4″ blocks in between for the door header to attach to.

IMG_1613

The door jambs, header, and the floor below form a perimeter in which the doors sit. Understandably, they have to be a perfect rectangle, which means they need to be plumb, level, and square.

IMG_1632

To help squaring the assembly, I cut a spacer as the same length as the header and placed it on the floor and between the center of two door jambs. It creates 2 pairs of opposite, equal and parallel sides, so I knew I had a parallelogram to begin with.

IMG_1583

Let us talk about size for a second. The door jambs are ~11/16″ thick, taking just under 1.5″ inches of space total. The rule of thumb is to  leave 1/16″~1/8″ between a door and door jambs, which means 1/4″~3/8″ for a pair of doors (1/8″ in between the two doors and 1/16″~1/8″ between each door and its door jamb). With a pair of 36″ x 80″ doors in mind, I cut the door header and the spacer to 73 3/4″ so we have just the right width between the two door jambs both at the top and the bottom.

We also needed to leave 1/8″ above and below the door. For 80″ doors, the header should be 80 1/4″ above the floor. Our floor is 1/4″ off level, so I cut one door jamb to 80 1/4″ and the other 80 1/2″.

IMG_1591

To get a perfect rectangle, I made sure the door jambs were plumb and the header was level. This step was accomplished by putting shims between framing studs and the door jambs. It would have been a lot easier with two people – with one holding the frame while the other shim. I was flying solo so I screwed two plywood pieces at the top corner to hold the whole assembly in place.

IMG_1582

As you can tell from the gap between the framing studs and the door jambs, we framed the rough opening just wide enough (~74″). I always cut close – it give me a high for being risky. It also saved us unnecessary drywall work.

IMG_1635

Shimming was kind of fun. There was lots of leveling and hammering until everything was perfect. That is my definition of fun y’all.

IMG_1634

IMG_1610

IMG_1609

Professionals often square the door framing using a plumb bob, which aligns the center point of the header to the center point of the spacer. We do not have a plumb bob, so I measured the final opening diagonally to make sure I had the same distance between two measurements. And the result was pretty good.

IMG_1637

Once all the shims were set to place, I secured everything in place by shooting nails through the door jambs and the shims into the framing studs. Then I took the plywood pieces off.

IMG_1639

IMG_1619

After I finished framing, Slav patched the missing drywall:

IMG_1792

and finished the seams with tape and joint compound.

IMG_2380

Up until this point we were still on the fence about the doors – you can see them in the picture above. Ha! Although we decided on a doorless look, I am still glad to have framed the doorway precisely so that we have the option to add doors later.

2. Trims

Things started looking up after the drywall was finished. We picked out trims and Slav cut them to length on our miter saw. Finishing nails hold everything in place.

IMG_2415

IMG_2449

IMG_2418

We decided to have a tiny bit of reveal (<1/16″) between the edge of the trim and the door jambs. It gives a layer look while keeping a narrow profile. My understanding is that reveal is for hiding imperfections of whatever you frame around, such as a door, a window, or an opening at the front of a furniture piece.  More crooked the opening is (in our case, door jambs), wider the reveal you will need. Fortunately, our door jambs are perfectly straight and plumb, enabling narrow but consistent reveal along the entire length of the trims. 🙂

IMG_2451

We also chose a narrow reveal to leave enough negative space between the trims and the library built-ins.

IMG_2442

We love how elegant the trims look – it is more decorative compared to rest of the trims in the house (now I want to replace everything!), but simple enough to not be distracting. It makes the office feel traditional and elegant.

IMG_2444

3. Caulk and paint

To polish everything off, Slav caulked around the trims and filled nail holes with wood filler. I then coated everything twice with ultra pure white by Behr in semi-gloss, the same paint used on all the trims and doors.

IMG_2513

A new grille covered the vent return that had stared us for months. :

IMG_2475

Within a couple days, we went from this:

IMG_2380

to this:

IMG_2431

then to this!

IMG_2537

It is amazing how trims transform a room. With the finished doorway, we officially closed the curtains on the office renovation. Starting early January, we’ve accomplished a long list of things in order to convert this small bedroom to Slav’s office/library:

Reverse the office closet to face the bedroom
Cut out a new doorway
Put up drywall in the closet and old doorway
Open up the new doorway to its final size and rough framing
Patch the floor
DIY built-in library (bookcase assembly, create a built-in look, DIY  baseboard drawers, add crowns and trims)
Upgrade lighting and hang window blinds
Install Ethernet cables
Drywall finish
Finish the now-bedroom closet with trims and paint
and today, finish the new doorway!

The “Before and After”s

Out of everything we did, I am most grateful for the decision of changing the layout. It certainly created a lot more work, but as a result, our living space became much more functional. For example, this was the office/living room wall before the renovation:

IMG_0972

IMG_0952

And these are the shots from the same angles today:

IMG_2482

IMG_2537

Closing the original doorway made room for our dream library wall. This is the office/bedroom wall when we moved in:

IMG_6219

And this is the same wall just before office renovation:

IMG_0825

And today 🙂 :

IMG_2529

Changing the layout also added the second closet to our bedroom.

IMG_2545

This was the same wall in our bedroom on move-in day:

IMG_6228

It looked a little better before we reversed the office closet, yet still failed to provide enough storage:

IMG_6768

We now have his-and-hers closets which are much more functional:

IMG_2562

Our master also feels more secluded, a bonus we totally did not expect. Closing the old office doorway created a new “entryway” dedicated to our bedroom and the bathroom. Although small, it creates an effective negative space separating the “master suite” area and the rest of the main floor.

IMG_2557

Comparing to the hallway when we moved in:

07_before

And before the office renovation:

17_after

Quite a transformation, right?

I think Roxie agrees.

IMG_2525

 

Spring, Dry Wall, and Allegies

Spring is finally here in the ranch house. In what seems to be overnight, our crab apple tree put out thousand of flowers:

IMG_2185

The weather is still too cold to plant vegetable gardens, but it is warm enough for perennials:

IMG_2150

IMG_2155

I selected these sweet white flowers for the spot under the crab apple tree, and paired with them with some color:

IMG_2157

We also planted rosemary and lavender around the mailbox.

IMG_2093

The plants might be small, but I trust them to fill in nicely with refreshing aroma and green foliage in a few years:

IMG_2088

Just to remind you, this is the same spot last year when we moved in:

IMG_6456

We removed all the weeds and transplanted roses from the front flower bed.

IMG_6457

And one of these roses survived. Its new leaves just peeked out of the mulch.

IMG_2091

Our indoor plants are also all happy and growing well:

IMG_2112

IMG_2115

IMG_2123

IMG_2012

I am propagating some succulents I brought back from Southern California, hoping to use them as ground cover someday.

IMG_2009

IMG_2105

IMG_2109

Spring also means allergy. And I am hit. Flu-like symptoms kept me down, and drywall work inside does not help either.

IMG_2173

It has been over a month since we hung the drywall. So it is nice to finally get them finished. However, the actual work sucks. It is so slow and messy, and because this is Slav’s first time doing drywall, it is slower and messier. I wish we had hired it out – but with just a few seams no professional will take such a small job.

IMG_2170

IMG_2169

We would have had all the drywall patches finished it by now, but Slav found black stuff in our drywall compound and it turned out to be mold. Yes, the drywall compound we bought from the local Home Depot is contaminated with mold. 🙁 So instead of having the walls ready to paint, we are chipping and sanding everything off (with masks) and restart.

I have to admit, when Slav told me that he had to restart, I lost it. It has been two weeks since the mudding and sanding started, and now we are back to the starting line. To pick myself up in the midst of this conundrum, I started choosing paint colors.

IMG_2127

IMG_2128

The living room and office will stay white, just a brighter white. Our bedroom is more closed off from rest of the space. I am thinking about want to use a subtle pink color here:

IMG_2132

I like the slightly purple/lavender one on the top. We have lots of grey and a blue painting in the bedroom and this color speaks to them. It also looks good in the closet:

IMG_2140

All the trims will go Ultra Pure White. I am 99% sure that we will use SW’s Extra White in all the ceilings and rest of the walls. Now we just need these damn drywall to be finished.

I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I just need to see it.

Wrapping up in the office: Finishing Library Built-ins

Another week went by while we worked on office finishes. Yesterday, we trimmed out our library bookcases! It is a rather straight-forward task but really gave the bookcase a built-in look.

IMG_1789

Boy have we slaved for these books! Not to to mention moving cross country with all the books, just to make room for this whole wall built-in, we had to reverse a closet and moving the door way. Now the framing and floor work have completed, trimming around these bookcases became the first and foremost of finishing the room.

IMG_1146

I have made baseboard drawers for these cases to put the space underneath into a good use. To do so, we bought an extra matching bookcase so the grain and finishes match. While most of the shelves were turned into the drawer fronts and sides, the sides and the backing of the bookcases were saved to trim the space between and above the cases.

IMG_1701

IMG_1227

We cut the sides a bit narrower to create two long panels, which cover the space above the bookcases. Strips of 2″x4″s were attached to the ceiling (drilled into the ceiling joints above) for the panels to grab onto.

IMG_1755

IMG_1768

The panels were screwed onto the wood strips and plastic cap were used to hide the screw heads:

IMG_1766

IMG_1762

To cover the space between the bookcases, I ripped the backing of the extra bookcase to narrow strips on a table saw:

IMG_1770

The strips of backing were glued onto the sides of neighboring cases. Each space in between cases took two strips, which blended in quite well.

IMG_1782

The outside of the built-ins have ~3 5/8″ space to each side of the wall, we also covered them with the backing strips. We worked late into Saturday night and this morning, I was greeted by this beauty:

IMG_1784

Instead of a blank wall, this is now the view when you walk into our front door:

IMG_1789

To give you an idea of the living space, this is now the view of the office from our living room sofa.  You can see our bedroom door at the end of the small hallway.

IMG_1805

We are hanging the french doors this coming weekend, which should be the last immediate task for office finishes. It has been two whole months since we started the office renovation and it feels so good to be so close to the finish line! We do plan to paint and upgrade the trims and baseboards in the office. But these tasks have to wait until we finish all the wood floors, which is a big task we are tackling when Spring comes around. At the mean time, we will be busy with plenty of outdoor projects, aka preparing the backyard for planting!

 

Page 1 of 5

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén