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Death to the squirrel freeway

Posted by rgps (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 1, 14 at 23:53

Loooooong time lurker and scared first poster so be kind. We are remodeling our 42 year old homemade home on an 8000 ft ridge in the Rockies. The fireplace and chimney were built by me when I was 18 and had no skill what so ever as a stone mason. It is now a super highway for mice and squirrels who regularly pay us nocturnal visits. It must go! In its place we are proposing to rip it out along with the front door and closet and window seat you see in the photo. This will expand the room by 3 feet in width and we want to install a wood burning stove. Because of the slope of the roof we will now have 3 feet of sloping ceiling which means any windows we'd want to put in would be silly low. In fact they couldn't even go up to the top of the new low ceiling line because eaves outside come down even lower. (Hang in here, I'm getting to the end).
We don't need the light or breeze since the whole rest of the room is 50% windows but the view that way is killer. It is a living room dining room with big bookcases being built in dining area so no need for more bookcases on the new wall and no TV needed or wanted. No front door needed. The wood burning stove will be centered on
the wall and I'd like to build a tiny pantry where the front door is now.
So what would you do? Forget about pushing to wall out 3 feet so I can keep the window seat and window therefore avoid having a silly sloping ceiling. The whole wall is coming down regardless, it's just a matter of how to re build it. Messing with the eaves and roof line are not happening. Any and all ideas welcome. Have I been as clear as mud? Now to try and post pictures. Fingers crossed.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

You built a fireplace on your ceiling?

I would've thought...at 18...well. To each his own, I guess.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

The rest of the room taken from outside porch


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

That one didnt work :-)


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Should have built it on the floor, like this.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Thanks for the correction. Why does my iPad do that and how do I fix it. Trying again on the porch photo probably be upside down too. Arrrrg


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

How to fix that? Oh, it's easy. Just stand on your head to take the photos. :-)


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Lauraeli you are a silly goose. just for that I am posting another photo taken after we redid that open wall to the porch. Fireplace is on right. If this one is upside down I'm just going to crawl away in embarrassment and never come back.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

...are you still here?

Hmm. Try posting it upside down this time. Maybe it will wind up right-side-up.

Very nice. I wish I could build a house...

This post was edited by Lauraeli on Wed, Jul 2, 14 at 0:48


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

please come back. All of them except the last one for some reason are righted just by clicking on them. There is some info on this site about taking pics so they appear correctly, but you'll have to search or wait for someone who knows to repost it for you. And whether on ceiling or floor, I am quite impressed that you did that fireplace stonework at 18 with no knowledge/experience and no internet to help you!


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Good catch oly (y) I never click on the photos.


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That's what I did. Oh the shame.


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Can I have your house? I love it, silly fireplace included! And from what I can see, the view is amazing. Take a picture out the window?


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Sorry I can't help but hang in there, tomorrow you'll get more replies.

This post was edited by yayagal on Wed, Jul 2, 14 at 1:05


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Here is what the view out the window would be if it were unconstructed by eaves and dirty windows and cruddy old blinds


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Wow.

I could stare out that window forever...


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Here is the dining end of the room taken before I reprinted it SW Navajo white and quarter sawn white oak flooring laid. No laughing at the light fixture my dad made. The spray painted orange juice can covers over the light bulbs have already been replaced with glass so no cheating by telling me I need to change them and lower the whole fixture. I'm already ahead of you. The wall is going to be covered with a snazzy bookcase I designed out of alder.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

It would help if I attached the photo I'm talking about. Maybe it's bedtime. I've never seen such a lame first time poster in my 10 years of faithful lurking. Forgive me. At least I've finished the bathroom and kitchen ( after this photo) so you won't have to live through that.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

I'm confused. Whether upside down or right side up, I can't figure out where your closet is now. Is it in that space between the kitchen and front door? Does the wood burner NEED to go in the MIDDLE of that wall? Is there any way it could go where the front door is now, then turn your closet (wherever it is) into the pantry that you want? I know you said you don't need more windows but, gosh, it sure would be a shame to waste that view. Have you considered turning the fireplace/window seat area into your dining space? Kind of like the one pictured here but with windows only along one wall and the bench seat under it - with the table out in the room and chairs on the other side? Clearer as mudder?


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Wow! Neat house, great location and a fun project.

I wanted to post what we did behind our woodstove, in case you are interested. We tore down an old house....before it fell down...and salvaged the beams to cap the stone wall.

If you want to capture the view, can you punch the windows up through the roof line with a dormer? To me, with that view, it'd be well worth the effort. And if you are brave enough to build a FP at 18, I'm sure it's something you can manage now....



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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

What about eliminating the wood stove altogether and putting in French doors with a deck or patio. It appears to be near the kitchen and so you can grow herbs on the deck and have you BBQ equipment out there.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

No, no! Wood stove is a great idea.

A wood stove is going to restrict what you can put over there anyway, since you can't have anything even remotely flammable near it.

If I understand this correctly, you want to knock out that entire wall, and behind that wall now is some kind of lean-to shed with a sloping ceiling?

Instead of putting windows in the new wall, how about putting skylights in the sloping ceiling?

Can you put the wood FP at an angle, leaving you some more room to the right of it?


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Ooooohhh,such interesting ideas. Annie your fireplace is exactly what we were thinking of doing. In fact I think I saw your picture here and that was my inspiration. We have to have the wood stove for heat come October. Edeevee I love the eating alcove but have to be able to seat up to 12. House is not grand enough to warrant 2 eating areas.

The idea of an dormer is very intriguing and will be considered.

I know this whole thing is very confusing so engineer husband has volunteered to do a spiffy computer 3 D rendering of the wall and eaves and roof so y'all can get a better handle on the problem. He wants to get going tearing this puppy out and is not happy I can't make up my mind.

More to follow and thanks so much for your ideas and the time you took to read through this messy thread.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Doesn't the wood fall out with the fireplace on the ceiling?

Skibby


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

skbby, if the trees don't fall out of the sky there, why should the wood fall out of the FP on the ceiling?


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

I protest not being able to pick on Dad's light fixture, though, esp. as the daughter of a similar father!

However, I so appreciate the sentiment you place on that "chandelier".


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Why not just make that whole area Wood Stove Central? As I suggested earlier, I'd put the wood stove at an angle in the corner, obviously jutting out far enough from the walls to be safe. Build a brick/stone alcove in which to store wood and FP tools.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Did someone say sentimental? I'll give you sentimental.

The cabinets in the new bathroom were made out of a walnut tree we had cut down on the family farm in Illinois.

The rugs in same bathroom (only bathroom) were woven by my late sis in law from wool from my brothers llamas.

The FP mantle is out of the church my parents were married in during WW II.

The LR oriental rug was bought in 1920s by a bachelor great great uncle.

I know I know, all tooooo precious but at least you can't call me trendy.


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Whoa ^^^^^ that's awesome.


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rgps - thanks for getting your husband to do up a rendering. A floor plan would also help me :)

Do you need the extra three feet? If you don't, I'd preserve the window seat and the view and do something interesting with the fireplace stone behind the woodstove such as Annie did. Or a dormer might be another really nice idea.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

set the camera in your device to landscape!! it is in the settings that should stop the upside down pictures. Or take the pictures with the ipad held in landscape mode.


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I may be misunderstanding your plans, but when you said there are killer views (which you'll never regret featuring) what about windows to capture the view, high or even low and put the woodstove in front?


or

Maybe with windows low like this (if you extend the room) - when you are sitting, low windows can really be the way to enjoy the view


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

my favorite pieces are my master bathroom mirror and my dining room sideboard, both of which were made by my father out of reclaimed barn wood from a barn I had to have torn down when I bought my house (because it was falling down). And my grandfather's easy chair, on who lap I sat in that chair when I was little.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

rgps - that is (1) an awesome story of your house, (2) a beautiful place in the Rockies with a view to-die-for, and (3) some wonderful plans you have going on. And you had me at 'death to the squirrels' since I battle them around my bird feeders!

Do you need the pantry space? If so I understand the 'need' thing. But to give up that view! I like the idea of flanking window seats or using dormers somehow, or even long windows just to take full advantage of that gorgeous view.


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I am impressed that you could build a fireplace at age 18 (or now that I think about it, any age), squirrel highway or not. I'd do whatever it took to be cable to see that view from inside.


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DH oooww'ed and aaaahhh'ed at all your suggestions.

Am posting current floor plan. Remember I am a nurse, not a draftsman.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Proposed changes. Yellow area is new gained area with sloped ceiling. Pink is new pantry which is much needed.

Let the games begin.


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There are many variations of how it might look on the inside, but here's one as an example. Picture a woodstove with the stove pipe punching up through the roof where the desk is. It could look really nice!


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The problem is that the sloped ceiling is already there, right?


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Here's a "peaked ceiling" dormer. How cool is that?


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Comparing the two plans, it looks like you want to move the wall 3' from where it is at the window seat but the door is already a few feet forward of that so it is only moving the wall a foot or so in front of the door.

Is there a porch or something that raises the roof line by the front door? It doesn't look that low looking out the window in the door. If that is where the roof line is all along, you will have enough height for windows even if you don't do a dormer.

The wood stove will probably have a requirement on distance from the top of the stove to flammable surfaces. So for instance, if the roof sloped down as low as it does near the desk in in the picture that Annie posted, you might have to move the wood stove far enough from the wall to have the clearance above.


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Cloud, you are right. We don't get 3' extra feet all the way across the wall. I think this picture from outside will explain the roof slope /low window problem. We will extend the foundation where the folding chair is.

Good point about clearances for the wood stove. Maybe we are in over our heads and need to get an architect but it's a pretty humble house for such highfalutin action. An architect would die laughing at the whole house just like all the other "pros" who have helped us out over the years. We would just leave everything alone but I'm afraid the squirrel playground may escalate to a skunk condo at any moment.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

If you're taking the FP and chimney out, why can't you take the sloping eave out and put a level roof in there, thereby allowing you you put a window of windows in there?


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Heavy heavy snow causes big problems with any roof with less pitch than we already have. Guess how we know.


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Is it possible to install some kind of screen or guard to keep the critters out of the chimney?


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We've tried that many times. The critters are smarter than we are. They get more inventive every year. You wouldn't believe the nests we've removed. If something goes missing in the house we find it years later. They love candles and insulation. There's a picture of last year demolition derby of the kitchen.

Any questions now about why the wall and FP must go? Eeewwww. And you thought you wanted to live in the woods.


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What about relocating the wood burning stove to the south east corner, then where the fireplace was go with something like edeevee posted at 6:03. Maybe move your dining table there going in a banquette surrounded by windows. That would be functional, comfortable and allow you to enjoy that awesome view while sitting at the dinner table.

Fun and funny thread! Great house!


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

I live on a farm and battle mice all winter long, fortunately only in my kitchen, and fortunately they leave once the weather gets warm, and fortunately I've made a lot of headway, but I can't quite close the deal. You just wanna go in with a surface-to-air missile and blow them from here to Kingdom Come. But, as you say, they'd find a way around the missile!

I wonder if this can be done? Wood stove in another corner of the room altogether; low bank of windows, or one landscape window; television (if you have one) on wall above the window(s); sofa placed facing both so you are sitting low enough to see the view while watching TV.

Or, if not a TV, shelving, artwork, whatever.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Is there a different (shed) roof over the front door?

It seems like a lot of work/$$ to redo the roof and foundation to add to an already healthy-sized living room.

I would be tempted to do something like:


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Or even move the wood stove to wherever you think your main focal point would be (or where it's most practical for heating). For example, in this location it would be visible from LR, DR, and kitchen:


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Robo, that is what I was suggesting in the post above yours…wood stove in the corner you have it in in your diagram, with windows along the floor of the west wall, and a television over the windows so a sofa makes sense facing those windows, and people will be sitting, so low enough to enjoy the view under the television.

There is no need to face a wood stove as it's just for heating.

Create a sitting area with a couple of chairs and a sofa in the southwest corner of the room.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Depends on the woodstove, they can be pretty charming and picturesque for me! I am super attracted to all forms of fire though, maybe because as a Canadian we're all very attached to our heat sources.


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Yes, I know but I think she's going to have to choose between the view and a stove. Maybe not, though. Maybe they can get the stove in the southwest corner safely with windows as well.


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I'm impressed that you and your dh built a house at 18. It's not handmade, it's a custom build. lol

I just have a few questions so I can understand where you are at here.

So is this the current progress of the room?

Do you have an exterior photo of the front door side of the house? Is the roof 6 & 12? Is it an illusion or if the roof bowed a bit over the window seat? Is your foundation pier & beam or will you have to extend a slab under the area you are expanding?

I agree that the fireplace needs to go and a wood stove would be more efficient. I agree with Annie that a dormer through the roofline would work best and look best.

I'd be willing to bet that the windows with stoves in front of them are a special (i.e. expensive) type glass. Freezing temp on one side of glass and high heat on the other side would be hard on plain glass. All the wood stoves we've ever had got quite hot from time to time.


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You guys are awesome to hang in there with me with all this.

Marti, good questions. Yep that's the state of the room now except we have all the wood floors covered with cardboard because we cannot sand and finish it until we get this west wall taken care of. To answer a few other details:
No TV, can't stand them.
There really isn't enough space in the SE corner for the stove. Maybe it could go in the SW corner.
Yes the roof over the window seat is at a slightly different angle since it was a later addition. It has no foundation under it so we will be putting in a pier and beam.
Can't really get a picture of the front door area head on because to get far enough away to see anything you'd go off a 500 ft cliff.
This is a house my parents built when I was 18. I was just part of the slave labor crew of 4 college kids.
Robots plan at 11:39 might be the simplest and best and just forget about trying to look to the west.

We don't really have to choose between good views and a stove because it's not like the view to the east is a walmart. In fact I'll post that view now.


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And here's the view to the south. No no just kidding. Trying to keep you on your toes. That's a friends house in Maine


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Gorgeous!!! If you can figure out glass to the west, tho' you'll feel like you're in a tree house - or rather, MORE like you are in a tree house!

Tibbrix: "There is no need to face a wood stove as it's just for heating." Most woodstoves have glass doors to enjoy the fire - some can even be enjoyed with the doors open. They are as much a focal point as a fireplace.


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My feelings are kind of hurt. I bought my house BECAUSE of the view of Walmart it affords. And I paid top dollar because of that view!

I'd still put in a low bank of windows and make that sw part of the room ad nice sitting area with the wood stove in the corner, artwork over the windows. I think it'd be really unique and cozy.


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Tibbrix, LOL!

Now I get it and what you were trying to do with gaining a pantry. I agree with you re the 11:39 post, but it sure would be nice to snag that west view if you could. Something balanced flanking the stove would be more pleasing IMO.

The open concepts posted by olychick are gorgeous if you could somehow leverage off that idea with long windows and a narrow stove with windows behind it.


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Just wanted to post a follow up photo to show you what we ended up doing. You all were very helpful in your feedback so thank you.

We ended up nixing the window seats, too clunky and limiting. Hole in the wall is for a wood box. Funky old green pantry will go on right wall. Yes, the windows are small but we really didn't want any more big windows in this room. The wall behind the fireplace will get four carved tiles I am making to fill the gaps. No elephants or squirrels, DH, Jethro vetoed them.

Back down in the desert now and letting the pros do the finish work and reupholstery. Yea!!


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What a difference! It's looking nice. I'm looking forward to more pictures.


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Very nice!


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Really great. What a place to hole up in in a snowstorm…if you're able to do so!


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Excellent! Such a nice clean look to it now. Can't wait to see the finished rooms!


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Beautiful! I can't wait to see more!


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RE: Death to the squirrel freeway

Thanks for posting - have been awaiting an update and look forward to more! Looking great!


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