Our story so far: During the demolition phase of renovating the 126-year-old Methodist church into our home, Tyler discovered the choir loft, and we decided to open it up to a balcony into the sanctuary, our future great room.
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Once the header supporting the second floor was installed, Tyler built the archway upon which the floor joists of the balcony would rest. He enlisted the help of the HVAC guys to raise the arch (witnessing this, all I could think about was an old-fashioned barn raising—it takes a village to build a balcony). Then Tyler—with St. Johnny’s muscle—began nailing great big two-by-tens into place. Pretty soon he had a pergola built above what would someday soon be our kitchen.
Putting a layer of plywood over the floor joists was easy—after the first piece. I was glad I wasn’t around to watch Tyler straddling floor joists nine feet off the floor to juggle that first piece of plywood and nail it on. He arrived home in one piece that day, so success had been secured.
To wrap up the balcony, Tyler constructed cross joists from the pergola to the north and south walls of the church. These were narrower than the center part of the balcony in order to clear the spiral stairway on the north side and the front window on the south. With the science part complete, a bit of art was necessary to draw the main part of the balcony together with the narrow part; Tyler planned a dramatic scallop and swoop to soften the edges of the balcony.
“Aren’t you impressed that I got that balcony built basically by myself?” Tyler asked me a few days later. He did not have to ask me this question because he knew very well I was impressed with his knowledge of construction and ability to carry out the plan. He asked this question out loud because after all he had built throughout his life, even he was impressed with this particular project.
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Tomorrow: What do we do with all that square footage? Read about it here.