A whole lot happened around our house last week, but it all started with the skylight.

The original version of the skylight in our dining room was pretty interesting.  Installed over 20 years ago by a drug addict who took off with the money before finishing the job, it leaked badly for a decade until the Chief had the chance to re-seal it correctly.  It left some major water damage, enhancing the, ahem,  unique appearance of the dining room ceiling.

Let’s start with an overview.  This is the last room in our house that really had not had any work done to remodel it beyond stripping off some of the wallpaper.

dr1 before

And now let’s take a closer look at that punched-tin chandelier complete with a Jack Skellington festoon hardwired in.  Oh my, it’s been installed half an inch from the edge of a horribly executed skylight!

dr2 skylightchandy
And a zoom in…  ooohhhh my.

dr3 skylightcloseup

So the Chief got to work gutting the skylight and making something nice out of what we had to work with.  Look at the insulation that fell out on the stepladder, then imagine 20 times that on the dining room floor.   Itchy!

dr4 demolition

After removing the bad stuff, he reframed the ceiling opening much bigger than before and installed insulation up under the roof.

dr5 reframed

Then he installed framing for the drywall and insulated that.

dr6 drywallframe

Much cutting and fitting of drywall later, he had the basic structure in.  It flares out from the skylight window to provide a lot more light to the room.  (Those facets aren’t as dramatic as they look - they’re very slight, and were needed because things were crooked enough up there that a flat panel on those areas couldn’t quite be managed.)

dr7 drywalledd

After a couple days of very  hard work, we had a dining room that might have been on its way back to normal.

dr8 endofday1

But that was only Phase One, as it turned out.

We’ve made plans for additions on this house and roughed out our ideas on graph paper.  One of those ideas is to add a room beyond the dining room (it will be where the patio is now) with a wide doorway between it and the dining room, beyond which you would see french doors leading to the backyard.

We said to ourselves, Selves, why not get the french doors now and put them where the house currently ends?   We have a hole in the wall there anyway where a window used to be [if you look at the first photo in the post and the above photo, you can see the plastic-covered hole]. We can install the doors in such a way that we can reuse them when we build that additional room onto the back.  So we decided to pull the trigger!  And our construction project grew much, much bigger.

The Chief took a day off work to finish the skylight and install the french doors.  When I got home from work at 5:30, I walked in to see THIS.  Yes.  The whole back wall of the dining room was gone.  I guess that’s what you have to do when you’re installing 72″ double doors.

dr9 wallgone

The Chief and a friend got the doorway framed in straight and clean.  His previous experience as a finish carpenter means we don’t have to pay someone else to install even a tricky door like a double french door.

dr10 doorframed

After several frantic hours of work, it was done! Luckily everything went in smoothly, and we were even able to get to bed more or less on time.

FYI, that brown wooden door on the right leads to the back room, not outside.  The entrance to that room will probably get moved at some point because it just looks weird there now.

dr11 alldone

So that is the crazy dramatic remodel story of the past week that we didn’t even know was coming down the pipeline.  It’s pretty awesome when the house progresses that fast with that degree of change.  Now we’re going on vacation to visit family for a week – I call it the Thanxmas holiday visit – and when we get back all rested and refreshed, we’ll finish up the last of the mudding and paint everything.  It will probably be at a more leisurely pace because it is just much more enjoyable when you’re not frantically trying to get everything done!

dr12 morningafter

Soon this lovely new space will be looking more polished and ready for that refinished farmhouse table.  We’ll get the chandelier  up too, and I already have plans for installing leaf-green curtains over the doors, moving out the old dark hutch, putting down some seagrass mats to catch backyard dirt at the door, and more.

Until then we’re oh-so-happy with the light and bright indoor outdoor dining room we can already enjoy every day.   What do you think of our changes?

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