Legacy Project: Third Floor Renovation 1998

A Look Back at a Pre-Blog Project

Okay, so in the beginning I don't think there were blogs (or at the least I didn't know about them), and I didn't really have the foresight to take a lot of "Before" pictures. But I did take some "Progress" pics!  
Exposed chimney creates a reading nook in the converted attic

No "Before" Picture

Back in 1998 we renovated the third floor.  I'd call it an attic but, there were two small rooms up there when we bought the house, and (obviously) there's one now...besides, after all the work that went into it, "attic" seems a little unceremonious!  Here's the earliest picture I could find:

At this stage I had already gutted the floor of the two rooms.  The walls were covered in beaver board and the floor had two layers of linoleum.

Sometimes So Easily Distracted

By the design of the linoleum, the bottom layer was probably from the 1940's and, as an added bonus, the floor was insulated with old newspapers dating from the '40s through the '60s.  The downside of finding the papers was that I (as I so easily do) became distracted and spent an entire afternoon just reading World War II news!

I Was Here

At the time of this pic I had already insulated the entire floor, ran all new electricity all the way from the basement (which in itself would be worth a post or two) and had begun hanging sheetrock.  Luckily, the two radiators were already up there and just needed painting!  The next pic is just a "proof" pic.  Yep!  That's me!

The Bruegger Meister

In this next picture, you can see two interesting things. First, the knee wall. It turned out plumb and straight, but as I found out later, I didn't build it quite correctly. Alas - it turned out okay though! The other thing - the little dog you can barely see: that's Bruegger the beagle. He was our buddy for a loooong time and just died two summers ago.

On the other side of the floor I built the knee wall out a little further so we could have a little "attic storage".

Here it is with the sheetrocking nearly done...

At this point it was getting very nearly done...

To the left of the chimney I put in some simple book shelves and created a bit of a reading nook. 

 Which turned out to be a cozy little spot!

Looking the other direction...

And here's just a couple bonus shots...

One more of the reading nook...

So that's the third floor makeover. As I troll through the photo albums I'll include some more "older" projects, and certainly newer projects will be more thoroughly documented (not to mention recent!).


This was my first major project so the lessons were innumerable!  But here are a few of the key ones:
1.  When building a knee wall, build it as one unit then insert it into position.  This will make level, square and plumb a much easier job.
2.  When mudding the sheetrock, several thin layers are vastly superior to one thick layer!  Oh the mess!
3.  The local library has a lot of books!  Some of them even cover topics like electricity!  
Maybe in future posts I will be a but more informative with my lessons learned, but looking back these were the chief lessons!
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