In the lexicon of house construction, the phase that usually follows framing the walls is called “rough-in”. With the room’s frame in place, but before the final wall covering, the electrical, plumbing, etc. systems, are “roughed-in”.

We are framing and roughing-in the sewing room. The addition side of the new kitchen wall will have the washer/dryer hookups, including hot and cold water, electrical outlets and dryer vent. The electrical system was the focus of our effort this weekend.

New kitchen wall, viewing from the addition side


  1. New light over the washer and dryer
  2. Washer electrical plug
  3. Dryer 30 amp electrical plug
  4. Existing light switches (to be moved)
  5. Data and cable lines
  6. New blocking to attach top plate of new wall
  7. End of the new wall

It’s going to be a few more weeks until we do the ceiling so we de-constructed about enough to get the current task done.

The original electrical system at 118 Henry Street was “knob-and-tube” and had a 100 amp breaker box in the mudroom. This means that the maximum electrical current that could be supplied to the house was 100 amps. That might sound like a lot but consider that central air-conditioning draws 50 amps, a clothes dryer draws 30 amps, and a typical electric water heater draws 30 amps. Bottom line, in the summer (air conditioning) we couldn’t do laundry (hot water and dryer) without the lights flickering and the breaker box overheating (50+30+30=110 amps). Not very safe.

A rat’s nest in addition to undersized

We had the electrical service professionally upgraded to 200 amp capacity.

Some of the best money we’ve spent on the house

The 2 images are approximately the same scale.

The next “rough-ins” are the dryer vent and the new water lines.

An old house story, Part 2

The P.O.’s (previous owners) of 118 Henry Street had a very specific vision when they commissioned the addition. Designed as a family room, it was the best insulated and quietest room in the house. When we first were considering the purchase, our meetings with the old couple would always find them in the back room, the addition, watching TV. They bragged about how warm the room was in winter. It was dark, quiet and cave like.

As mentioned in Part 1, the entrance to the addition was cut into the back wall of the kitchen, also the back wall of the house. This entrance removed a very large part of the usable wall space in the kitchen. The loss of this wall in tandem with the kitchen remodel, removed all remaining hints of the original 1921 kitchen floor plan or design.

Not long after finishing the mudroom, we innocently believed that the kitchen would be the next room to restore. My no-love-lost affair with the kitchen had begun even before purchasing the house and some…umm…changes to the floor plan had occurred early on.

We planned to take almost 2 years to repair and restore the kitchen. Unfortunately, we could not have predicted what the hurricane seasons of 2004-06, combined with the melt water from winter snowfalls would do to our plans. We basically spent almost 3 full years dealing with the effects from roof leaks, bad plumbing (hint: that ain’t exactly clean water), and other old house horrors.

Still, in 2004, our hope, and naivety, were strong…so began the wholesale demolition.

Our final plan for the kitchen has changed a couple of times. It’s really good that we were coerced by circumstances into taking our time and considering all possible designs.

Here is an excerpt from the current floor plan:


The mudroom renovation gave us another room

Here is the proposed kitchen/addition floor plan:


We’ve always used the “real” living room as our family room

The overall goals for this part of the Henry Street restoration/remodel are:

  1. Carole and I will split the addition as work space for our projects, tools, and materials
  2. We will restore the usable wall space in the kitchen so we don’t have to put the stove in an island, and
  3. Make the mudroom a “real” mudroom, not a laundry room

It’s pretty evident how important restoring that back wall is to the whole plan.

More updates from the end of winter ’08

A few items remain to be updated from the mini-hiatus this past winter.

One of the more significant changes to 118 Henry Street was the creation of a porch over the mudroom entrance at the side of the house. Once a porch, the mudroom has gone thru at least two transformations (the last one documented here) to manifest it’s current function/form. One result of these transformations was that there was no rain cover over the entrance.

One, very important, design goal of the new roof was to put some weather protection� back over this entrance.

Protected from rain, but not very pretty

Framing in place, kinda drafty

Basics of a ceiling in place

The ceiling is all new tongue and groove pine flooring that needed a little edge routing to match the other porch ceilings. One of the interesting things about 118 Henry Street is that the pine floor boards, the porch ceiling boards and the original roof sheathing were all the same size and type of southern yellow pine t&g boards. The only differences between the 3 applications were small router cuts (or lack thereof).

A traditional southern porch ceiling, crown molding and all

Note, also, that we got the window to the kitchen annex put back in.