UPDATE 6: Interior Framing & Rough-ins
Framing – Less is More
Sometimes, redesigning a home is more about removing existing walls than adding new ones, which was certainly the case for this Lake Nokomis property. To keep the interior of the home as open as possible, we only focused on framing a few key areas.
- A large archway between the kitchen and dining
- Two partial height walls, or knee walls, flanking the staircase
- And some miscellaneous areas for proper cabinet install
For the enlarged opening between the dining room and kitchen, we started by framing 16″ o.c. just below the header to mark the bottom of where the opening would end. This set the height of the opening. Then we cut a piece of plywood to the exact shape of the curved top to cover the newly placed framing.
Knee Walls Solve Problems and Add Character
We framed partial height walls (sometimes called knee walls, half walls, or pony walls) on either side of the basement stair. These half walls keep the room from feeling compressed and allow light to flow seamlessly from the mudroom/sunroom addition to the kitchen and dining room beyond. When the cabinets are installed later, the cabinet maker will add vertical walnut boards above the mudroom half wall for added architectural intrigue. Though the partial wall construction helps to add light and architectural character to the room, they also provide a safe surface for cabinetry and plumbing installation and protect against falling down the stairs.
Rough-ins: Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical Changes Take Shape
With framing well and complete, we started rough-ins. The rough-in stage is the time in which our crew places new plumbing, mechanical and electrical lines that final elements like sinks, dishwashers, and light fixtures will eventually tie into. These are the real “guts” of the home and provide the major functional elements that homeowners and other residents rely on, like lighting control and cooling systems.
From Relocating Sinks to Venting
- The design team created a pretty efficient layout, which only called for one major plumbing move, which was a new location for the kitchen sink. We relocated plumbing for the new sink to the inside of the partial height kitchen wall near the stair.
- Soffits from the existing home housed important plumbing within the kitchen but created low ceiling heights and limited kitchen visibility. We moved waterlines and drains beside joist at the ceiling to keep an the room clear and open.
- We added an exhaust fan which required venting. Our team ran the exhaust along joists, then through the attic, to finally exit from the roof of the home.
- With any home, lighting makes a huge difference on how open a space feels. Dark rooms tend to make spaces feel smaller, whereas bright rooms feel welcoming and open. Though we added tons of additional natural light with new mudroom windows, we still roughed-in for new light fixtures and recessed cans throughout the entire kitchen and mudroom.