Part 2: The half-wall

The next step in the process was attacking the circa 1970’s railing that overlooked the great room. You may recall from the previous set of pictures how this railing looked. I wanted to create more separation between the loft and the great room and I thought I half-wall would do the trick.

Here’s a few pictures after I ripped it out the railing.

Picture 1: Railing removed (loft angle). Notice that lip on the outer edge of the floor, outside of the vertical beams? That needed to be removed as well.


Image 2: Railing removed (great room angle). You’ll notice the lovely dark stain on the beams. Many, many coats of Kilz were needed. Also, the lower stained facial board, once removed, would then ideally be where the sheet rock would line up, to hopefully continue the wall up from below to the loft half-wall.


Once removed, the half-wall could begin. I enlisted the services of a friend who does some contracting on the side. We spent a few days framing up the wall.

Image 3: Half-wall studs. We notched the top 2×4 to “lock” the studs into the main beams to give added strength to the construction.


Image 4: I would HIGHLY recommend a nail gun.


Image 5: Here’s a pic with the stained facial board removed. My goal was to match the half-wall sheet rock to the lower sheet rock hopefully creating a seamless continuation.


Image 6: Once framed, we started on the interior sheet rock. I wanted power to the half-wall to allow for both electrical outlets and in-wall speakers. We tied the power in from the back exterior wall (you’ll notice the tap in line in the back wall. Wainscoting will cover that so a marginal patch was enough.


Image 7: The loft is reached via a spiral stair. Thought about how best to tie these two parts together to make sure a strong support. Two metal straps (one at the top one at the bottom) tied into the post and to the studs became the solution. Both covered by the sheet rock.


Image 8: Six outlet boxes were present along the wall. The furthest box at both extremes were for speaker wire for the install of the in wall speakers. The interior four were spaced to provide power for any electrical needs.


Image 9: Since wainscoting was planned, I didn’t sheet rock the top of the wall.


Image 10: However, on the side facing the great room, that’s another story. I very much wanted to make a smooth transition between the existing and the new walls.


Image 11: The join between upper and lower was a bit tricky, as we had to work at bringing it as close as possible with mud and sanding.


Image 12: The doorway at the lower left leads to the kitchen, while the right lower opening is to the front door and stairs leading up to the 2nd floor of the house. You may notice that wire above the kitchen entry. That’s for a surround speaker for the great room sound system.


Image 13: A good shot of the relationship between the spiral stairs and the loft. The other surround speaker wire is on the far right along the support beam structure.


Image 14: And now the fun part, sanding down the stained beams and painting them white. at least three coats of Kilz were needed to get to the point where coverage was assured.


Image 15: Here;s a look towards the top of the spiral stairs. This is also looking towards the front of the house. You’ll notice the remnants of the exercise equipment under covers. I realized, at this point, that I should have removed this bad boy prior to building the wall…lovely.


Image 16: Undercoating the wall, left side.


Image 17: Undercoating the wall, right side. You’ll notice the upper right of the support beam isn’t painted. I saved that until last since I would have to get a substantial step-ladder to that point in the house.


Image 18: Overcoat, repainted the entire wall and left the vertical beams white. The outlet visible in the lower right is for a wall sconce.


Image 19: With the sconce light on, you can see a bit of the joint between old and new. Not noticeable when this light is off.


Image 20: A look to the right with the overcoat on.


Image 21: The angles around the spiral stairs and the tie in. Also the wire for the surround visible in this pic.


Click here to jump to “Part 3: The stairs”.

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One Comment:

  1. Looking good

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