Now with the stairs in an operable state the work in the attic begins. The chimney came down, first the outside and then continued to the floor level. We will remove the rest of the chimney to the basement during the kitchen renovation. By removing that unused chimney we now have more floor space to give to the HVAC. Not my first choice for locating the mechanical closet but a good location since that will make the mechanical central to the house. Well balanced is efficient design for HVAC. The original intent was to align a closet with the bump out from the bathroom space and step slightly into the space behind the knee wall. The reality is that the mechanical closet turns out much larger. This is the same battle architects have at work with engineers. We say here is a space for the mechanical, electric and plumbing equipment and they say “I need more”. So when our Mechanical team said the same thing on our house, I wasn’t very sympathetic. At one point they wanted to take the entire right side of the stair opening for a closet. Yikes! that no longer is a closet in my book, that then becomes a room. So no. They did, in the end, give a little and so did we. The Mechanical closet actually bumps out past the location of the chimney, but in the end it all works out.
One of the very best recommendations that our builder saw in the space was to raise the collar ties. It never occurred to us that this could be done and how much impact that would make. In this photo the collar ties are in their original location. This would have left us with a ceiling height of 7′-4″. It would have been low but tolerable. But the builder immediately said we will come in and cut the ends of the ties and relocate them to raise the ceiling. That was brilliant! It did several things for the space.
- It gave us a more proportional appropriate space instead of a long skinny one. The ceiling height will be 8″-6″.
- It allowed us to have real lighting fixtures that even can hang slightly.
- And triple bonus, it allowed the framing team to get a level line so our ceiling wouldn’t be crazy wavy.