THE HOMESTEAD EXPERIENCE CONTINUED
The office addition is completed, and now I'm starting on the sheetrock.  
Originally I thought I'd have a little sheetrock work to do in the areas with
water damage.  As it stands now, I've got major sheetrock work too do in
every area of the house.  Since most of the sheetrock work is on outer walls I
wanted to make sure I insulated and sealed everything really well.  To
accomplish this I purchased some half inch foam board with a foil layer on
one side.  I cut the foam board to fit each area between the studs, put it into
place with the foil side facing out, and secured everything using a spray
foam insulation.
On the left you can see an example
of the foam board in place.
After putting the foam board into place, I attached a layer of pink
fiberglass insulation into the areas between the studs.  I
measured off the roll insulation and cut to fit each area.  The roll
insulation has paper flaps along the edges, which is used to
secure the insulation in place.  Once the insulation is rolled out in
place, I unfolded the flaps over the edge of the studs and stapled
it secure.  The reason for this is to keep the insulation in place, so
over time it does not settle and bunch up at the bottom leaving
open areas at the top.  Also, by stapling the flaps to the stud
edges, once the sheetrock is nailed into place, it will also help
hold the insulation in place.  Between the foil lined foam board,
spray on expandable foam insulation, and the pink fiberglass
insulation, I think the outer wall areas that I repaired should be
very well sealed and insulated.
On the left you can see an example
of the pink insulation put into
place.
On the right is a photo of the office
walls with the sheetrock going up.  
If you look at the ceiling in the
photo, you can also see where I
removed the short wall in the
living room area.  The wall had one
electric outlet located about half
way down the wall, and
approximately 6 inches from the
floor.  When I began tearing out
the wall I discovered that the
electric wiring for this outlet
dropped down into the wall from
the ceiling.  In the photo you can
see the wire hanging down.  After
tearing the wall out, I rerouted the
wire down the outer wall and
relocated the outlet by the front
door.
After completing the sheetrock repairs, I had another major project to tackle.  The Home was originally
built in the late 1980's, and at the time popcorn ceilings were all the rage.  Now, the popcorn ceiling just
looks dull and dated.  Also, the ceiling had a number of areas that had sustained water damage and had to
be repaired.  The decision was made to redo the ceiling and get rid of the popcorn.  I had never worked
with popcorn ceilings before, so I went on the internet and began doing research.  It became very obvious
to me that removing the popcorn ceiling was going to be a major under taking, and very time consuming.  
It was suggested to me that it would probably be easier if I just sheetrocked over the existing popcorn
ceiling.  In this process I would simply nail or screw 1/4 inch sheetrock over the popcorn ceiling, and then
plaster and paint just like I had a new ceiling.  This seemed like a good solution to the problem, so I
measured off the ceiling of the entire house, and calculated how much square footage of sheetrock it
would take to redo the entire house.  I had no idea how much square footage there was on the ceiling, and
after pricing out the sheetrock it would take to cover the entire ceiling, I found it cost prohibitive.  I began
looking for a plan "B" to get rid of the popcorn ceiling, and I found an article that described how you could
wet the popcorn with a soap and water solution, then scrap it off with a putty knife.  I decided to give it a
try.  I purchased a trigger spray bottle at the dollar store, and a bottle of the cheapest dish soap I could
find.  I sprayed a small area of the ceiling with a soap and water solution, and let it set for about 10
minutes.  I then took  a putty knife and tried to scrap the popcorn off of the ceiling.  Much to my
amazement, the popcorn came off fairly easy.  The popcorn is made from an asbestos material, so before I
took on the full popcorn removal, I took a few precautions.  I dressed in old clothes, covered my head with
a bandanna, covered my eyes with some full goggles, and put a particle mask over my nose and mouth.  
Dressed for battle I began the slow long process of removing all of the popcorn from the ceiling of the
home.  It was very labor intensive, and took several 12 hour days to complete, but eventually it got
finished.
Here are a few photos of the
ceiling as I worked on scrapping
the popcorn off.  It is not a very
easy job, but it worked and did
not cost much.
This remodeling job just keeps on giving me surprise after surprise.  Originally the home was
sheetrocked was 1/4 inch sheets with pre-applied wall paper on them.  At some point the interior had
been painted with a latex paint, and in many places the paint was peeling off.  Before I could finish the
walls, I had to go through the house and scrap any loose paint that was peeling off.  Also, because the
original walls had been wall papered sheetrock, the seams between the panels were never plastered.  
Instead the original builders had used thin wall papered strips of veneer to cover the seam between the
sheetrock panels.  To finish the walls properly, I had to go through the entire home, removing the veneer
strips, and taping and floating each seam.  Of course I also had to tape and float each sheetrock repair
that I had done throughout the home, so once again I had a very labor intensive and time consuming job
to do that I had not previously planned for.
Here are some photos of my tape and float work.  Taping and floating
involves using plaster and a paper tape to seal the seams and edges
of the sheetrock.  I also plastered over the nails used to secure the
sheetrock to the walls.  Using a trowel I applied the plaster and
smoothed it out as smooth and even as possible.  In many cases
after taping and floating, you would go back and sand the plaster
smooth before painting, but because I plan on applying a rough
texture to the wall, I was able to skip that step.
Now that I have taped and floated the entire house, and scrapped the popcorn off of the ceiling
throughout the entire house, I am ready to apply texture.  There are many different ways of applying
texture to a wall and ceiling.  Some use a trowel, others use brushes or brooms, but all take practice and
a degree of skill in order to get a good looking consistent texture.  I decided to take a simple route, and
roll on the texture using a special texture roller.  It is a method similar to rolling on paint, but instead of
paint you use the same plaster used for the taping and floating.  With a little practice, I found I could
control the roughness of the texture, and maintain a fairly consistent pattern throughout the house both
on the walls and ceilings.
Above is a photo of the texture roller, and the plaster used.  The
other photos above and too the left show the texture on the walls
and ceiling.
It took several long days, but finally I got every wall in the house
covered in texture, and textured the ceiling through out the house
as well.  The next step is to paint, but first I must make sure the
plaster is completely dry.  I have windows open, and fans running in
the house, but because there is so much wet plaster throughout the
house, walls and ceilings, the humidity is 100 percent!  I'll have to
wait several days before I will be able to paint in the house.
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