Putting in a New Fireplace, Painting the Interior, and Installing Doors and Floors

Project: Building an Addition for an Elderly Parent, Episode 5, Part 3

The addition is nearly complete and it is time for the mechanicals, porch, flooring, and fireplaces. Homeowner Howard Brickman is putting a large farmer’s porch along the entire width of the home. He uses western red cedar for the decking and trim because of its natural tone, strength, and rot and insect resistance. A green building material, western red cedar boards are a dream to work with because they can be applied as decking or ceiling, vertical or horizontal siding, and with the rough or smooth side facing out.


Inside, Bob checks out the hydro-air boiler that runs the heat, hot water, radiant floor heat, and the indirect hot-water tank with a dual-coil feed to make use of the 30 solar heat collectors on the roof. Bob checks out the radiant-floor heating tubes, copper supply and return pipes, and the solderless sealed joints. The roof is insulated with dense-pack blown-in cellulose that is borate-treated for fire retardancy, mold and insect-resistance. Fiberglass-faced sheetrock completes the installation for mold-free walls. A new wood-burning fireplace is installed and faced with a lightweight thin-stone veneer. Prefinished red oak flooring is installed, the walls are professionally painted, and birch-veneer four-panel doors are hung.

Part 1: Constructing the Porch and Reviewing the Mechanical Systems
Part 2: Insulating the Roof and Installing Mold-Resistant Drywall
Part 3: Putting in a New Fireplace, Painting the Interior, and Installing Doors and Floors
The walls in the new addition are just about ready for paint. The new fireplace will make this new in-law suite very cozy. This Majestic wood-burning fireplace uses outside air for combustion. It operates like a standard wood stove with the doors closed while the fire is burning. Measurements were taken prior to installation, allowing for a six-foot mantle. The structure for the fireplace is trimmed out with lightweight New England fieldstone from Connecticut. The installation can go from the top down because it does not require any structural footings underneath. The home's interior is painted with Sherwin-Williams Duration, a self-priming latex paint designed for one-coat coverage. Best practices are followed to get a smooth, even finish. Homeower Howard Brickman sets up the interior doors for installation. He chose a four-panel contemporary door with mission sticking, commonly referred to as a Shaker-style door. The door features an engineered-wood core with a birch-veneer face. Birch was selected because of its versatility. The engineered wood is a high-density material, making the door more stable and resistant to problems like warping. Upstairs, the Bellawood prefinished red oak floors are put down. The floorboards are hammered into place by Howard and his son, Richard.
More and more homeowners are converting their houses into multi-generational homes for themselves, their children, and their aging parents. In Norwell, MA, Bob Vila meets a couple making room for a mother-in-law.