I just moved into a new home, which is 100 miles from my previous home, so I know I will want to reflect about this experience from time to time.  The biggest thing happening at the moment is a renovation.  This renovation involves removing a wall between the kitchen and living area to create a more open floor plan.  Although I expect to do future renovations myself, this one is way beyond my skill level because it involves removing a support wall, so I have hired several excellent craftsmen to make this happen. However, I will be paying attention to every detail and helping out whenever possible to learn as much as I can from the process.

Below left is a photo of the wall that will be removed as seen from the kitchen.  On the right is the view from the living room.  The wall on the kitchen side looks unfinished because I already removed 2 floor-to-ceiling maple cabinets.

Last week, the drywall was removed by Jim and Doug in very short order, which exposed the lumber supporting the second floor.  The short ‘stub’ wall on the right side of the left photo was also removed.


Early on someone suggested I visit the Cataumet Sawmill in Falmouth to see what they do with antique southern yellow pine, also referred to as heart pine.  I visited their website and lumber yard and became enamored with the beauty of this very special wood.  They reclaim this wood from very old structures, such as mills and factories where the lumber was used to hold up huge floors of heavy machinery.  Their wood is often hundreds of years old because it was generally harvested from large old growth trees that were already hundreds of years old at the time.  Check them out at .

The process of selecting the heart pine and determining the dimensions required to support a 10 foot space involving getting input from 4 people: Jim, my contractor, Nate at the sawmill, Lars, my structural engineer and of course, the Sandwich building inspector.  After a consensus was reached, the order was put in and the lumber was cut and milled by the team at the sawmill.  The finished product is shown below, where it sits in a heated warehouse at the sawmill, until it’s ready for delivery.  In the photo below you can see the finished lumber in the foreground.  In the background is a stack of lumber in it’s unfinished state.


To be continued…