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By 5 Acres and A Dream
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Rainy Day Project: Sewing Room Walls

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Last time, I showed you my cleared out space in the sunroom and told you what I want to do with it. Even though we’re in the middle of spring planting and the greenhouse build, there’s been time to make a start on the sewing room because everything outside is so wet and soggy from April’s parting gift of extensive rain. The goal here is not major renovation, but simply cosmetic. The first step was covering the exposed insulation, starting with the old door. 

This door used to exit onto the front porch

We discussed tearing out the closet, but my preference was to leave it because it’s useful for storage. It was added after the room was built, we think because the family had three children, two girls and a boy. The house was built with two bedrooms, so adding a closet in this room gave them three bedrooms. 

In some ways, the entire room seems like an afterthought. All the walls in the house are either plaster or tongue-and-groove, but the walls in the this room (dubbed “the sunroom” by the realtors) are plywood. Also, it wasn’t built with the electrical wiring in the walls; rather, electricity was added later using exterior outlets and a conduit along the baseboard to cover the wire.
Electrical wiring must have been added after construction.
You can see all the photos of the original room – here.

The foundation and roof give no clues, as they seem to have been built the same time as the rest of the house. Our best guess is that this room was originally part of a wraparound porch. If an additional room was needed, it seems logical to convert part of the porch. The floor was probably replaced when central heating was installed. The house’s original heat source was coal stoves in each room, so the ductwork would have been part of an upgrade. There are only inches of clearance under the floor in this room, making it impossible to crawl around under there. So it seems logical that they tore up the old porch floor, put in the ductwork, then installed the floor we have now. 

Anyway, our options for covering the old porch door ranged from tearing off the door trim and trying to match a new wall to the old one, to an inset within the door trim. Dan asked my preference, but since this wall is going to be covered with storage units and shelves anyway, I voted to do whatever was easiest. Maybe one day we’ll do a proper renovation on this room and can make a different choice then. For now, here’s what he did:
Dan filled in a few gaps with foamboard, then
added a vapor barrier and a board for nailing to.

We priced wall options and chose the least expensive – more plywood. 

Ready for trim and paint.

Then the front wall. It was a little more challenging because the last of the original plywood wall had to be removed. We couldn’t match its thickness, and the other option would have been a bunch of shims to try to build it up.

That one strip of remaining wall on the left had to be torn out too.

It was probably just as well, because the old blown-in insulation in that covered corner had settled a lot over the years. Dan managed to not disturb it.

Energy leak at the top where the insulation had settled.

We didn’t want to buy an entire new roll of insulation just to cut off a small narrow strip, so Dan filled the gap with a scrap piece of 2-inch form board. 

The foam board was leftover from our pantry upgrade.

Then the new plywood wall.

Ready for trim and paint.

I’ll wait to do the painting until after Dan’s done with his part. Baseboards and electrical wiring are next. 


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