PoPville Renovations – Bedroom/Office Vol. 1

If you have renovation pictures you’d be willing to share please send some before and after photos to princeofpetworth(@)gmail and include how much it cost and contractors used and any other info you think might be useful.

“Attached are a couple before and after photos of my second bedroom/office. My partner and I applied for an HGTV show and long story short had 5 days to do all the demolition and remodel everything ourselves with no help or advice. Well, we did it- we had some temporary issues with the interior aesthetics of the skylight we installed but put it all together in under 2 grand. The filming of the show was really rough because they totally set you up for disaster, they script what they want to go wrong and in the end show every time you drop your hammer instead of successfully putting in drywall. Not much real about reality TV.

Basically what we did was remove the existing ceiling to expose the attic above then we rebuilt a new ceiling with drywall, installed a skylight, built a loft over the closet, redid the woodwork with exposed beams and raw trim, then painted. Still a few more details I would like to do when I get the time but we think it’s looking pretty great.”


More pictures after the jump.




22 Comment

  • Amazing! You and your partner did an amazing job!

  • Looks great

  • Looks very good. What, if anything, did this do to the insulation value of the ceiling?

  • I love this idea and dream of doing something similar, but also wonder about the insulation – will it make a noticeable different on your heating and cooling bills?

    • Not the OP, but the master bedroom ceiling in our house was raised a few feet, leaving only a couple of inches of attic space. We had blown-in insulation installed back in the fall and were able to get the full 18 inches that they recommended in the rest of the attic but only a couple of inches above the master. I can tell you that our bedroom is a solid 10-15 degrees warmer than the rest of the house in the summer–partly due to the fact that our house is west-facing and the bedrooms gets full sun from about 1pm-6pm, despite closed/dark curtains, as well as the fact that our AC compressor is in the basement rather than on the roof. We actually have to use a portable AC unit for most of the summer, although I’m hoping that it’ll be somewhat better from now on with the minimal amount of insulation we now have. It’s also 10-15 degrees colder in the winter. The high ceilings (almost 12 feet) are awesome, but the temperature difference just plain sucks.

    • bfinpetworth

      I have a raised ceiling in our master bedroom – the front bedroom in a Wardman house, so the very front is open to about 14 ft (with the upper window exposed) and then it gradually slopes back towards the back of the house. Our first summer in the house we did have some problems with the bedroom being too warm relative to the rest of the house – a problem because I like a very cool sleeping environment. On the flip side, it was great in the winter!

      I rebalanced our ductwork by closing off some of the registers on the lower floors. In the basement, all but one was closed. Half on the main floor, and then all wide open on the upper floor. It worked and was comfortable.

      A ceiling fan helps a great deal also – keeps that air circulating.

      Overall, I’m glad we have the raised ceiling. In a smallish house it really opens up the space.

      I really like the exposed joists – it maintains the old character of the home while modernizing at the same time. Well done!

  • Nice job, I like it!

    Hey PoP, I really like this feature of showing off readers’ renovations.

  • very cool! I totally admire the fact that you decided to do this under so much pressure. If it had been me I would have done it at my own pace – which probably would have taken me a month or more! Good work!

  • Holy Sh!t! Someone did a renovation that doesn’t look like ass, and actually looks like it was done properly without corner-cutting.

    Kudos to you!

    Hopefully, though, it won’t make that space impossible to heat/cool. If you have central, you’re going to have to rebalance the duct work unless you want that room to be crazy hot in the summer (or have your electric bill double).

    Other than that, I think it’s really really nice.

  • PoP – I love the renovation posts too! More please!

    And to the homeowners – You have great taste! The ceiling is beautiful, but I also like the taupe walls, white trim and black doors.

  • I’m curious which show it was?

  • Kudos on the reno. Looks great! I hope people won’t rip me for being an ass by suggesting something, but…

    Maybe think about extending the same dark paint color to the white part of the newly-exposed wall above the entry door? (Leave the beam natural, of course, and I would say don’t paint the slanted part on the opposite side.)

    Similarly, I’m less gung-ho about this and I can’t totally decide, but maybe also paint the “first level ceiling” next to the closet which is currently white. Both of these suggestions would make the newly-exposed space seem less “separate” and make it feel like a continuous room with high ceilings rather than a room with a view into the attic.

  • Great job. I love it!

  • Hot top floors are a problem with townhouses with no attic, including in my own house. There are a huge variety of ways to deal with the problem. Options include:
    1. As some have mentioned, rebalancing duct work is the easiest and cheapest, though it’s not always effective.
    2. Window AC on the top floor, though not always desirable.
    3. Install a dual-zone AC and re-work the ducts in your house to accommodate it. Neither unintrusive nor inexpensive.
    4. Remove the roof membrane, add 4 or more inches of EPS insulation on the old sheathing, and add a new roof membrane over it. One of our colleagues did this recently and it had a dramatic effect.
    5. Perhaps in combination with 4, remove the ceiling, install as much insulation as possible, checking to see that all the perimeter beams are sealed, and reinstall the ceiling.
    6. Do the same with any walls exposed to the exterior (not party walls) especially facing south and west.
    7. Insulate any exhaust duct or plumbing vent that penetrates the roof or wall.
    8. If you can remove the interior window trim, it will help to re-seal and use expanded foam insulation around the window frame.

    Also, after re-insulating your roof, consider adding a planted roof above the membrane. Not only will it offer some additional thermal resistance but it will help reduce stormwater run-off as well.

    We’re happy to talk to individual home owners as well – just mention this post when you call!

    • That’s all great info! I’ve had a number of friends end up in “flipped” townhouses where the renovators basically removed the attic to give the appearance of a top floor with tall ceilings. Once summer rolls around, they realize they’re screwed by a quick, sloppy renovation.

      Insulation in flipped/sloppy renovations of old homes in general seems pretty bad from what I hear. Of course, it depends on the contractors used.

      Sounds like you guys have more scruples, though.

    • If you put a new membrane on the roof – go white. Cool roofs absorb less heat, reduce cooling costs and are smart. Think of Greece, the Caribean or anywhere tropical and all the white roofs.

    • I’m curious, and this may be fodder for a Dear PoP post: what do you think of mini-split systems? They seem like the quickest, easiest way to create a dual-zone AC (and even heat) system, particularly when you’ve lost attic space due to a raised interior ceiling, but they’re not so common in the US. My husband and I have seen them all over the world and they work great, but I’d be concerned that their unusual-ness in this area would be a drawback when it comes to resale.

  • Looks goo. I do have a suggestion. The remaining ceilling around the closet should go away to creat high ceiling all around OR put more flooring/ceilling past the first beam all the way to the second beam to create more useful space. Of course I might change my mind about my suggestions if I see it in person.

  • Looks Good! that is 🙂

  • These guys are my neighbors…they did an awesome job, worked through the night several times to get it all done! Way to go guys!!

  • Inspirational renovation. Love it.

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