Acoustical Ceiling Tile System – Living Room

Acoustical Ceiling Tile System

Day #182 and #183

November 13th & 14th, 2020 – This weekend my brother, Dave, is coming to the Cot-Taj-Mahal to install the acoustical ceiling tile system in the Living Room. On Friday, before he got there, I nailed some 1″×3″ furring strips to the bottoms of the Living Room ceiling joists. This will help to keep the batt insulation from sagging down onto the top of the acoustical ceiling. The first few images show the furring strips.

After the furring strips completed, Dave was able to start the acoustical ceiling tile system. Wall angle installation is first. This angle runs around the entire perimeter of the Living Room. With the wall angle hung, the installation of the main beams come next. The main beams connect together with cross T’s to form 2’×2′ squares. In each of the squares we place a ceiling tile to complete the installation.

Field tile or full size acoustical ceiling tile make up the main part of the ceiling. Cut tiles or boarder tiles install along the edges of the wall. The tile at each of the “can lights” receives a circular hole to accept the light, and a trim ring on the light finishes the installation.

It is important for the grid system to be level and square to avoid any unsightliness in the completed installation.

I’m sure you will agree, the acoustical ceiling tile installation looks great. It is much cleaner and brighter than the old yellowed 4’×8′ ceiling panels and if any tile suffers damage we can simply replace it.

At November 14th, it’s getting late in the season. Next week I will have to drain down the water and freeze proof the toilet and drain traps. I plan to work thru the winter but with no heat source I can’t take any chances.

Gutter, Downspouts and the Demolition Continues.

Day #145

July 21, 2020 – There is a lot of work scheduled for today. Spouting Unlimited will be installing our seamless gutter and downspouts. Jess and Phil are here to continue the demolition of the old siding and we will be starting the removal of the living room wallboard and ceiling. We have the dumpster back and we need to fill it up.

After our morning coffee we started in the living room, removing the ceiling. It’s not drywall but some type of fibrous wall board. Years ago I had a sample tested for Asbestos. It came up negative.

Ceiling Demolition
Removing the ceiling wallboard in the living room.

Mickey Mouse

Over the years we have had our share of rodent invaders, i.e. Mickey Mouse and his friends. Taking down the ceiling we discovered the remains of this little guy nestled underneath a batt if insulation. I guess he settled down for a long winter’s nap and never woke up.

Mickey Mouse
Skeletal remains of Mickey Mouse.

Gutters & Downspouts

About 9:00 AM the Spouting Unlimited crew showed up. They got to work right away. It’s pretty cool to see them roll out a 60 foot long piece of gutter out of the back of their truck. The installation went smoothly and in a couple of hours we had all of our gutter and downspouts installed, complete with leaf guard.

Seamless Gutter
Rolling out the seamless gutter.
Gutter Installation
Hanging the gutter along the porch.
Far end of a 60 foot long piece of seamless gutter.

As the afternoon wore on Jess, Phil and Robrandi made short work of the wallboard in the living room.

Living Room Demo
Living room ceiling, wallboard and insulation removed.

Early in the evening we decided to hold off until tomorrow to remove the living room window. It’s a lot to remove the window and temporarily close it back in. I did not want to be working in the dark.

Living Room Window
Living room window slated for removal.

After a good days work we baked some cauliflower crust pizza’s on my old Weber Grill. We have a Emile Henry Ceramic Pizza Stone that is made for the grill. It does a great job!

Homemade Pizza
Dinner pizza ready to be baked on the grill.

New Sliding Door At The Cot-Taj-Mahal!

Day #101

September 14, 2019 – Exciting day today! This morning our new sliding door was delivered! It’s a Pella 350 Series white vinyl door. It’s the first new door in the cottage since October of 2000. At that time I had to replace the front door because of a break-in.

While we waited on the delivery, we removed the old living room screen door, metal door, and frame for the last time. These went immediately into the dumpster. Good riddance.

When the delivery truck arrived we got the door up onto the porch. We unpacked it and gave it the once over. I was worried about the door delivery because of the rough condition of the cottage road. Thankfully, none of the glass had any cracks.

Sliding Door
New sliding door up on the porch.

Before we set the door, I prepped the threshold with Pella flashing tape and caulking / sealant.

Threshold Prep
Prepping the threshold for the new sliding door.
Inside Rough Opening
Temporary framing, screen door and metal door removed. Opening ready for the door.

We set, plumbed and fastened the door in place. Everything went very smoothly. It looks great!

New Sliding Door
Door set into the rough opening.

After the frame is fastened, Pella tape is placed around the door jambs and head to seal the flange to the building wrap. This makes for a water and air tight installation.

New Sliding Door

Slidiing Door Inside
Inside view of the new sliding door.

We will complete the inside door trim when we finish the interior of the cottage, some time in the future.

Thank you to Troy for his help getting the door off the truck, onto the porch and installed in the wall. I am very grateful!

I finished up the day installing some more hurricane ties and rigging up a string of temporary lights. Tomorrow I will be continuing the porch roof framing.

Door Blinds
Door blinds in the new sliding door.

Rough Opening – Living Room Window

Day #94

September 1, 2019 – We installed the stud framing and header for a new living room window today. The rough opening size is 7 feet wide by 4 feet high. This is a fairly large window and should provide a great view. With the new sliding door alongside we should also have plenty of natural light.

Exterior Wall
Exterior wall framing in progress.

Throughout the build we had several guest carpenters, helpers and Labor Day Revelers on site.

Guest Carpenter
Guest carpenter nailing up the window header.
Guest Carpenter
Personalized window header!
Helpers and Labor Day Revelers.
Rough Opening
Living room window from the inside.
Rough Opening
Living room rough opening from the outside.
Lots of helpers closing in the opening.
Helpers and Labor Day Revelers closing in the opening.

Luckily, we were able to cover the opening before the Hurricane Dan Rain Storm blew in.

No Rain!
…and then the annual Hurricane Dan Rain Storm blew in.

The front wall demolition and repair is complete from the old kitchen door across to the bathroom wall. This encompasses the entire section where the original porch roof connected. Due to the lack of slope on the old roof, we experienced a long lasting roof leak along this wall. Now, I am happy to report that all of the rotted wood, mold and wet insulation has been removed. The area is re-framed and we are ready to continue the new porch roof!

Living Room Window Demo

Day #93

August 30, 2019 – Continuing to prepare for the next roof section on the new porch, today’s plan includes living room window demo. Because we have disturbed the mice living in the attic I have to start out with the mice eradication image.

Mouse #1
Attic Mouse no more!

Let this be a warning to anymore of you mice out there. We have a zero tolerance policy in effect! Sorry…

Before I can do the living room window demo, I need to remove an electric outlet that is in the way. Up in the attic, I disconnected and removed more of the two conductor wire that feeds the outlet. In the process, I came across more burn spots on the insulation.

Old Wiring
More old wiring with burn marks.

After it was disconnected I removed the old outlet. When the living room window demo and re-framing is complete, new wiring and outlets will be installed in this area.

Old Outlet
Old electric outlet.

With this receptacle removed I cleaned out the rest of the rotted top plate. The nails sticking out of the ends of the roof rafters were cut out with a hack saw. In order to fit in the new top plate I had to jack up the living room ceiling. I used a piece of old 2×4 oak wall stud to replace the top plate. It went pretty smoothly.

Top Plate Rot
Rotted top plate, rafter and ceiling joist in exterior wall.
Nails sticking out of the end of a rotted roof rafter.
Ceiling Jack
Jacking up the ceiling joists to make room for a new top plate.
New Top Plate
New to plate installed.

Living Room Window Removed!

With the top plate repaired I removed more of the oak planking and eventually the living room window. At the end of the day we put up a tarp to temporarily cover the opening for the night.

Living Room Window Demo
Living room window demo.
Living Room Window Demo
Closed in with a trap for the night.

When we return, We’ll be framing up the front wall and creating the rough opening for the new living room window. Y’all come back now….

Temporary Front Door

Cot-Taj-Mahal Renovation

Day #92

August 25, 2019 – After removing the “snake tarp” I reinstalled the old door frame, metal door and screen door. The temporary front door is inside the rough opening for the new sliding door.

Entry Door Rough Opening
Rough opening for the new entry door.

I had to patch a small area of rotted wood on the threshold before I covered it with treated plywood. The threshold is a little high in the center so it will need some additional work before we put in the new door. Shouldn’t be to hard to level it out.

High Performance Wood Putty
High performance wood putty patch at threshold.

After the old door was reinstalled I closed in the remainder of the opening with exterior grade plywood and covered the area with Lowe’s building wrap. This will keep us dry and the temporary front door will keep us secure until the new door shows up.

Frame - Temporary Entry Door

Metal Door - Temporary Entry Door
The existing metal door is reinstalled.
Screen Door
The screen door was next.
Temporary Entry Door
Temporary entry door dried back in for the week.

Next weekend is the Labor Day Holiday weekend. Family and friends will be visiting so I’m not sure how much renovation we will get done. We always have a great time on Labor Day and I’m sure this holiday will be no different. Everybody drive safely and keep an eye out for the poe poe police.

Entry Door Rough Opening

Day #91

August 24, 2019 – Before the roof framing can continue, we must repair the front wall along the length of the living room. The majority of this wall is rotted out from years of water leaking through the old porch roof. We’ve been working on this for several weekends but I think we are nearing the end of the rotted section. After framing the rough opening for the new entry door, and removing living room window, I think we will have all the rotted wood repaired.

This morning I started removing the siding and oak planking around the front door. I removed the screen door, the front door and the door frame. The door frame came out in one piece. We will be able to re-use it, temporarily, while we wait on the delivery of the new door.

Front Door Demo
Screen door, front door and frame removed.
Front Door Frame
The front door frame in one piece.

I hit another big section of rotted oak planking next to the living room window. This was the end of the old porch. Basically, in this area, any water that hit the old porch roof was rolling backward into the exterior wall. It’s a mess!

Rotted Wood
Hopefully the last section of rotted wood.
Rotted Wood Planking
Close up of the rotted oak planking near the living room window.

Rough Opening

Near the end of the day I got the rough opening studs, header and jack studs put together and installed in the opening. The new entry door rough opening is 72″×80″. To re-use the old door and frame I had to increase the opening height three inches to 83″. Once I have the new entry door I can block the opening down to 80″ so that it fits.

Entry Door Rough Opening
Entry door rough opening framing in progress.

Before we left for dinner we installed a “snake tarp” across the opening. Thankfully there is no rain in the forecast this evening. We are hoping that the “snake tarp” keeps the snakes that live under the cottage from coming in. Tomorrow I will re-install the old door and close up the opening for the week.

Snake Tarp - Entry Door Rough Opening
Entry door rough opening covered with a “Snake Tarp” for the night.

Before dinner we stopped at Lowe’s in Lewistown and placed the order for the new sliding entry door. We purchased a Pella 350 Series Vinyl Sliding Patio Door. Delivery will take 3 to 4 weeks. It’s very exciting!

Tomorrow I will re-install the old door frame, door and screen door and temporarily close in the remainder of the opening while we wait on the delivery of the new door.

Wall Demo Continues

I decided to split this day into two posts. In part one we continue the wall demo. In part two I complete the porch decking.

Day #90 – Part 1

August 18, 2019 – When my Demo Boss arrived, we continued the wall demo in the living room. In the process, we uncovered more rotted wood and some black mold where the old porch tied in. We expected this because this area has been leaking for what seems like years. Some of you may remember that when it rained outside, there was just as much rain on the porch under that old roof!

Demo Crew
Demo Boss continuing the wall demo.
Wall Demo
Wall demo along the exterior living room wall.
Black Mold
Black mold inside the living room wall.

I am thinking that this section contains the worst of the rotted framing that we will encounter. In one section, the top plate of the wall has rotted to dust. When we vacuumed away the rot we found the roof rafter and ceiling joist in this area had no support. They are hanging in mid air. Ugghhh!

No Top Plate
Rotted out top plate.
Wall Demo - Wood Rot
No top plate. No roof rafter or ceiling joist support in this area.

The new sliding entrance door will be located in this section of wall. Have no fear, the mold and rotted wood will be removed and a new rough opening will be framed up. The old green wire and outlet will be replaced as the wall demo advances.

Now on to Part 2 completion of the porch decking.

Electric Upgrade and Relocation – Living Room

Day #89

August 17, 2019 – In order to continue the exterior wall repair and framing for the new sliding door it is necessary to do a little electric upgrade and relocation. Near the front door we have two switches. One controls the overhead living room lights and the other controls an outside light. We can remove the outside light but the overhead light switch needs relocated.

Living Room Wall Switches
Living room wall switches.

Originally there was a 30 amp fuse box to power the entire cottage. I upgraded the 30 amp fuse box to a 100 amp panel way back in 2004. When the old fuse box was in service there was a circuit for the well pump, a circuit for the electric range and only three other circuits to power the remainder of the cottage. I knew at that point that an electric upgrade and complete rewiring was in our future.

Electric Panel Upgrade
Old 30 amp fuse box and new 100 amp panel – 2004 Electric Upgrade

Original Wiring

The cottage was wired back in the 1950’s with two conductor cloth covered wire. In this type of wiring there is a hot wire and a neutral wire but no ground wire. There are numerous junction boxes in the ceiling. In some of these, the connections are soldered and covered with fabric based electrical tape. In others the connections have wire nuts. Some of the wire looks like there is burn marks on the outside of the insulation.

Electric Upgrade - Attic Junction Box
One of many junction boxes. The yellow wire is a new part of the electric upgrade.
Electric Upgrade - Wire Burn Marks
The “Toaster” outlet wire, cloth covered two conductor wire with burn marks.

After spending most of the day up in the attic I figured out the routing of one of the circuits and I was able to begin replacing old wire. I relocated the overhead light switch and added a new outlet by the front door. I was also able to replace the “toaster” outlet wire that Fanny used to blow the circuit breaker on. That one had some serious burn marks. It’s a wonder we haven’t burned the place down!

Relocated Switches & New Outlet - Electric Upgrade
Relocated switches and a new outlet in the living room wall.

The electric upgrade is well underway!

Tomorrow when my Demo Crew arrives we will continue the demolition on the exterior wall. In addition I am hoping to finish the Trex decking installation in the last section of deck, i.e. “Brenda’s Deck”.

Roof and Wall Demo Continues

Day #87

August 10, 2019 – Today the plan includes continuing the roof and wall demo but first we need to finish the new kitchen window. This closes in the big hole we made yesterday.

New Kitchen Windows
Third new kitchen window is installed.

After the window was complete, the roof and wall demo commenced. My roofing crew started removing shingles and I concentrated on the wall demo. It’s great to see the youngsters having fun together.

Roof and Wall Demo
My roofing crew looks very good but they seem to be having to much fun.

Demolition of the first living room window and the exterior wall went very smoothly. I got the window out in one piece and the rotted wood removed from this section. I discovered the rotten wood back in October of 2018. It feels good to finally remove it. Probably smells better too!

Rotting Wood
Rotten wood by the living room window.
First Living Room Window
First living room window and oak planking demolition.

I closed in with new stud framing and exterior plywood wall sheathing. The cottage is framed, old school, with full 2″×4″ rough sawn oak studs. To make things “dimensionally” easier I ripped full 4″ studs from some wider stock. This creates more waste but it’s much easier to line stuff up with the existing structure.

Roof and Wall Demo - New Studs & Sheathing
New living room wall framing and exterior sheathing.

With today’s roof and wall demo complete, my crew took a break out in the front yard before heading out to J.P. Edwards for some dinner.

Roof and Wall Demo Crew
Roof and wall demo crew on break.

Tomorrow we will finish up the shingle demo and tarp over the roof to keep things dry. Next weekend I hope to the continue the exterior wall demo, remove the living room door and frame in the rough opening for a new Pella sliding door. Keeping it going.