Third Floor – Before & After

If you remember, the third floor of Woodside used to be a little creepy. For the first year or so after we bought the house, I would refuse to go up there alone. The practical reason was because there was a family of raccoons who had taken up residency in the attic, and I was certain they were going to attack me. The less practical reason was because I always got this inexplicable eerie feeling when I went into one of the rooms on that floor. I don’t have much experience with paranormal activity, but I am not sure I can explain the feeling any other way. (BTW, totally coincidental that I am posting this the week of Halloween!)

I hoped a gut rehab would clear the air, literally and figuratively. First though, we had to figure out a new floor plan to replace the original layout: three total rooms, one of which you had to walk through to get to the other, only room one had a closet (which took up half of that room) and no bathroom. To maximize the space, our architect reconfigured the plan to include three proper bedrooms and a full bathroom.

As with the rest of the house, the third floor was in rough shape, with crumbling plaster and floors that were beyond repair. I hardly have any pictures of the third floor from when we purchased the house in 2016 because it was so dark up there that it was difficult to get good photos (no electricity will do that).

We completely gutted that level, including removing the failed chimneys on both ends, and pulling out all of the original floor joists.

Then we had to rebuild the exterior walls, install new floor joists, build four new dormers and frame all the rooms, plus start installing the new windows.

Next up, spray foam insulation followed by drywall hanging. Even with the angles of the dormers and the fact that practically no wall in this house is square, our drywall crew breezed through it.

This is when a lot of people think – “oh, drywall – you’re almost done!” Not to scare you away if you’re planning a gut rehab, BUT – after drywall hanging, the following also took place: drywall finishing, paint, flooring, outlets & light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, doors and trim. There’s about six months of work that happened between the above and below pictures.

After all of that work, we are so happy with the final result: a bright third floor with plenty of room, no animal residents and (hopefully) no other uninvited “guests”. Happy Halloween!

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