First, the electrical. My original plan was to run all of the ceiling fixtures via roundwire, in channels through the floors above, to a hub behind the fireplace. That was a great plan until I added some very fancy detailed ceiling molding and made it impossible, once I attached the ceiling, for the chimney breast, with it's fancy crown molding, to slide past it any longer. The thought of coming up with a new plan, one that would surely force me to take off multiple plugs, add extension wires, add the plugs back and hope everything still worked, was daunting and easier left for "someday".
|Old wire hub behind chimney breast.|
|Second floor with channels and wiring for first floor ceiling lights.|
|Hub removed and larger floor access hole for exiting wires to run under the house.|
|New wire channels from the floor behind the chimney breast to new hub location.|
|New hub location and future home of a disguising garden shed.|
The second floor lights will all lead to the bedroom closet, exit through an access hole in the wall and connect to the new hub. I can camouflage the wires in a downspout or some such when the time comes.
The next challenge came when I got the second floor wall and ceiling pieces out for a dry fit to refamiliarize myself with what I needed to do next. That's when I realized that unlike the first floor's wonderful 10" ceiling height, the second floor was only 8" high. That was not going to work for what I have in mind.
|Stairwell and hall.|
|Bathroom in front, closet behind.|
Luckily, I had a bunch of 1/4" plywood. I ripped 3" strips until I had enough for the 96" of total wall length needed. Then I just cut the strips to length for each wall. The really challenging part was that the top and bottom edges of the original kit walls were angled for the mansard roof. I would not know how to use a compound miter saw if I had one, and I don't, so coming up with a way to laminate the new height extensions while keeping the angle true was a brain teaser. What ended up working was to add masking tape along the seam to hold both pieces together on one side, add the wood glue to the edges, press together, then add masking tape on the other side. Once I had all of the pieces taped and glued, I did another dry fit, taping all the walls together and keeping the correct angle while they dried. After they dried I went back and filled in any gaps, using the wood glue like caulking to fill them up. It worked!!!
After the walls with their new extensions were dry, I installed pins (nails with the heads cut off) through the second floor and into the first floor walls, then drilled corresponding holes into the second floor walls before gluing to add stability.
The center wall piece, which connects the two upper side sections, has a hole slated for a dormer window. With the taller ceiling it seemed like a perfect place to add a french door, so I enlarged the opening. The kit has a tiny indented balcony spot on the front of the house, so having a door there seemed like a great opportunity. I may make the balcony just a little larger.
|New facade with added wall height, center french door and balcony location.|
|I'll have to make the french door to fit.|
The new floor height, french door and angle meant that this piece also needed many refinements. Cutting away, adding in, figuring out how to make the door work with the angled dormer - a real head scratchier. The way the kit was originally laid out, this center wall piece stuck out past the walls on either side on the interior. The dividing walls on either side would butt up to the wall, creating a hollow on either side of about 1". I am eliminating one of the dividing walls and arranging the placement to maximize the bedroom space. Because of this, the center wall needed a lot of modification. I also moved each of the side wall sections out about a half an inch effectively adding another 1" of floor space.
|Divider wall locations.|
One of the things I needed to do in order to figure out the amount of bathroom space was to get out the tile I have for the floor. It's been well over two years since I bought it, so I had completely forgotten what my plans were. It's the Marlike polished marble look tiles by Dollhouse Flooring. I bought three styles to create a central pattern, a border and then an edge, if necessary. In order to figure out how much I had and how I was going to lay it I did a mock up.
I settled on 8" x 10" for the bathroom, then cut the 1/32" subfloor to size, then began to lay the pattern. It's going to take me a while to get it done, but I think it will be fun!
So as you can see, I am definitely in over my head. Doing things way beyond my understanding, above my pay grade and beyond my skill level. But where there is a will, there is a way, and I am definitely willing to try!
Hope you are all getting to push for your mini dreams, too! 💗