Phil Morse




I will be working on this project through the summer of 2018 to complete the first phase including the basement level and deck. The idea is to pull together sections of a house that happened as separate projects over many years. The net will be a continuous flow in the basement shop areas below grade, making heating more effecient. Above, an enlarged kitchen will be more appropriate to the scale of the rest of the house and separated from the entry by a hallway, to make it more private. The living room will be extended as well, into a sun space. I will post progress photos below and you can follow by choosing one of the subscribe options above.


new kitchen space... ambrosia maple panels for the cabinets...planning to keep the appliances I have.



drone overview, existing


overall projected changes. deck: alaskan yellow cedar and mahogany; cable steel railings


some of the framing detailing. dropping the roof on the left side to accomodate the window above will requre a steel

beam header over the windws...a small one, W6 x 9.


8' of the kitchen windows on right will be re-purposed from the existing livin room on left


steel beam placement will carry an 18' span. allow inside entry to shop space on left



Removing deck revealed rot below. Those hemlock timbers lasted over 30 years because

I covered them with strips of tarpaper before laying down the cedar deck. Other sections are PT


Once the propane tanks are gone excavation can begin. That red power wagon will carry 800lbs. Block wall on right will come down


but hopefully, not the house.


and this guy will hold it up. W10x33x 20'7" weighs in at 680lbs.


moves around pretty easily with a bar, a chain and rollers.


Rented an excavator to do the digging


and the heavy lifting. Those propane tanks weigh about 1000lbs each. The steel beam about 650

it was a practice run to get it on the horses. I used a chain at first but the way it swung around scared me. A better way is to grab it with the bucket,

which you can do once you have a space under it

Its also great for tearing up the yard. Won't have to mow for a while.


Here's where I never felt so alone. When I spec'ed the beam I assumed there would be a frost wall under the outside bearing wall

of the house. No such luck. When I got down to the footings there was what we call hard pan (clay and stones) beneath it. So I wnt around whether I need to put in sauna tubes

and it would have been a huge jub...piuckand shovel work because there is no way an excavator could get under there. and then...

Twyla, who works in my lumber yard and who I alsways run things by because she's very smart, wondered if I really need to do all that and

suggested I talk to their engineer, who I didn't even know existed. He explained to me that the real point load I need ed to be concerned about was

at the middle of the beam. And to spread the load he said if I dug out and filled in a conredte pad, let's call it a mushroom, just 2' x 2' x 8" it would be more than enough.



next steps will be to put angle braces under the outcropping, knock down that wall, put up steel beam


All braced and the wall is out and that steel beam is almost in place

but first the wall had to come out

swing your hammer

we blocked it up with the excavator and used screw jacks

like this one

then comes a deluge of pipes

and cement for the footings

and the wall

used this bad boy to cut out the old wall to make the floors continous

basically, what you do is cut and hammer

these 8 x 8 beams will suppport the steel beam

and watching it all was Puff the magic dragon

2 x 6 framing for the walls. Did this myself

I also put up the joists, decking and exterior sheathng early in September. The only thing keeping visitors out was the green tarp

One day I saw what looked like a gray squirrel pop through the doorway and disappear under the stairs. Turned out to be a white weasel

Since then, every now and then I'll seesomething moving just out of my vision...c'est luis.

I hand dug the post holes for the deck suppoirts. Whenever you dig a hole in New Hampshire you find a rock. Had to take this one out with a crane.

Help arrived direct from Paris. He doesn't look like Paris but by this time I was pretty burned out so I was ready

to take whatever. In fact, Frederic was extremely helpful. He even worked in the rain, which I didn't want to do.

Really, he was in a hurry to get back to his astrophysics.


And then came we got the deck up and had a place to start the second floor

They even worked together

second floor framing

second floor framing

a new view from the living room

basement closed in. I did the plumbing and electrical for the laundry. The saw shop is behind

Just moved in 25 sheets of plywood for my next job


last major project was to install this wood stove. Had to cut a 12"D hole in the concrete wall. Burns anything, including sawdust. brings the shop temp up from 45 to 50 in ten minutes.

the cart will have a hinged top to support plywood when running it by the saw.

got it up and it works!

spent weeks reorganizing the shop. The wood stove made me do it


this was dead space before


The rest is waiting for spring...view of the new kitchen windows from the old.

and in the living room the bottom of the wall will come out, but right now there's time for other things.

broke through because i couldn't bear it any more

will put atile floor out here


New design for the kitchen

that column with the shelves and clock is the last of the existing wall. A steel beam will support the 16' span over the island

Entry hall is behind the wall of cabinets on the left











Located in central NH. For a veiwing contact: phil morse email: