Just had a pow-wow with my contractor, Karl. We discussed a few problems that necessitate some modifications to our plans.

This house has a gabled roof. Normally the ceiling joists would run parallel to the rafters. Not in this house. A related problem is that they are not continuous beams from one end to the other, and we were planning on removing a wall under a spot where they join. Fortunately, there were going to be non-structural built-in cabinets there, so it is a relatively simple modification to turn them into structural closets. There’s another spot where we want to remove a wall underneath another run of joints. There’s no easy workaround for to this: Karl’s solution to this is to actually take down the joists, install a reinforced beam to carry the load out to the nearest load-bearing walls, turn the joists 90°, and hang them off this beam. It’s a lot of fooling around, but I don’t want to cheap out on the structure. In 100 years, when someone crawls up into that attic, they’ll look around and wonder “…what the hell?”.

The kitchen is a little bit knottier because of tight dimensions. Our plan called for a 72“ kitchen island where a wall is now. The problem is that this would leave only 32” of space to pass on each side, and Karl is pretty convinced you need at least 36“. I’m inclined to trust him. The simplest fix would be to make the island 8” shorter, which we may do. Karl suggested a more ambitious plan that involved making the island into a peninsula against the wall, and running a narrow 12“ counter along the wall between the original counter location and the peninsula, and leaving the fridge where it is instead of moving it, as we currently plan to. Moving the fridge to the corner we’ve planned could clash with the island/peninsula.