Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Full Renovations, Home Improvement, Remodeling, Renovation

Philadelphia Renovation (1/5): Exposed Beams

Finished Ceiling Beams

We are currently in the final stages of an extensive renovation in Philadelphia. Our client was very interested in maintaining as much of the character and feel of the original structure as possible, while still enjoying the benefits of modern remodeling. Right up our alley.

We completely gutted the entire second and third floors, including the master bathroom and three bedrooms.

The house is over 150 years old, and when we removed the plaster ceilings (which also had a ‘dropped’ drywall ceiling below them), we found the beautiful, original beams. We were determined, with a little TLC, to restore and feature them as prominently as possible in the master bedroom and bathroom.

This was a difficult process, but the result was even better than I had hoped.

On the beams that run along the roof, we first installed pine furring strips along the top edges of the beams to eventually receive the drywall. We then wrapped all the beams in plastic to protect them from the rest of the process. The insulation contractor sprayed foam insulation between the beams, from the roof to the bottom edge of the furring strips. Then the drywall team installed sheetrock between the beams, as well as wrapping the beams in drywall where they met the vertical walls. This process wasn’t easy as, after decades of settling, not one of the beams was square or plumb — not that I was about to adjust them and risk unhinging the entire roof.

Our taping/spackle expert rose to the challenge, flat taping the drywall against the beams in all their skewed glory. The painters followed him and cut the paint along the beams with precision.

Finally, plastic removal (judgment) day — and the work was flawless. An example of a half-dozen different specialties all performing their jobs perfectly.

I love it when that happens.

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