March 26, 2010

Building walls

The room itself is finally taking some shape and the actual dimensions (12x18 ft) are much more apparent. Between my mishap a week ago with the trees and the weather over the weekend, nothing much got done last weekend. But, this week so far: got the drain in, finished the wiring for the outlets, and put up the insulation. Last night, I got into the carpentry phase and framed most of the new partition where the door will be. It is not finished, because I need to leave a larger opening than just the door so that it will be easier to get the drywall up the stairs and into the space.

There was an existing half wall on the end of the room by the stairs. It was there to keep one from falling down the stairs, obviously. The plan was to completely close in that end of the room with a partition and a door. See the “plan”.

There was a bit of a kink in the proceedings. (Isn’t there always?) If you look closely at the “before” picture, there is a long stud going up from the end of the existing half wall to the ceiling. While no 2x4 stud is ever completely straight, this one had a curve befitting a belly dancer. From the top of the half wall to the ceiling, it curved nearly 2 inches out of plumb. Since it was to become the “king stud” for the door, that would not do. So, it had to be replaced. Not that big of a deal, except that I could only get so close to the ceiling with a saw (without tearing up the ceiling itself) and so had to chisel out the last inch of the wood. Didn’t take long.

There is an outlet just outside the planned door that will be relocated into the wall to the right of the door and will be on both sides of the wall. I’ll run an extension of this circuit over to the center of the “existing” wall, as well. A separate circuit will then be run from the breaker box below up through this partition, with switching just beside the door, and into the ceiling for general lighting. One commenter on an earlier post warned about the fluorescent lights that are currently in the space. I do plan to take them out. They may or may not “glow” as these types of lights are reported to do. What they do, however, is hum, and loudly. Plus, the existing switch for them will be on the outside of the darkroom, once the door is in. Can’t have that, either. So, new circuit and new lights.

Alas, the plan shows a 36” door. After measuring more carefully, there is only room for a 32”, or maybe even only 30” because of the slant of the ceiling. This shouldn’t make any difference in the long run. It’s not like I’m going to be moving stuff in and out all the time. I’ll just have to make sure that some things, like the 8 foot sink and my 9 foot dry side countertop, get up there before the door is installed. It could get tough turning that corner, just like with a sheet of drywall.

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