Sunday, 22 April 2012


Taking stock:
With a small budget suited to loving "vintage" & being able bodied, we are committed to refurbishing this neglected home into a suitable family nest and investment. Most projects will be by our hands; we take pride and joy in actively creating our environment.

Our second turn-of-the-century home, we have experience living on-site through a series of major renovations, and hopefully prepared for leaning into un-comfortability.

The facts:
This is a lot of house for our family of three... five if the felines get a say (which, of course, they do). Floor plan below indicates present structure which we will try to preserve in essence of budget, but not compromise style.

Order of business:
Observe. Contrary to what I say to everyone who asks about renovations & my better judgement, we are not going to live in the house for six months before making drastic changes. We have six weeks from move-in before construction begins... I'm on hypervigilant alert to cram the nuances of this dwellings' feng shui and make quick confident decisions.

Fourtunately, we have a kickass Contractor. We obtained 5 quotes on preliminary drawings and onsite visits, and (once again, going against what I say to others about how to decide upon quotes: obtain at least four & choose a mid-range quote) we chose Mark with our gut instinct at the lowest bid. He's quick, but thorough, and trying to build a company for himself; young with apprenticeship and trying to prove himself.

CAD our floorplan. For Phase I of this renovation, we are reconstructing walls in the Kitchen (main floor) and future Master Bedroom on the 2nd floor; three of those walls being load bearing.

Floor Plan: Phase I:
Removing the wall between a bedroom and the Kitchen on the main floor decreases our property by one bedroom (out of 7) but we gain the space for a larger, more attractive kitchen. An intelligent renovation: Kitchens and bathrooms add the most value to a house.

The Main floor bathroom is also getting a mini-makeover. The awkward hallway from the Dining room will be remodelled to have access to the Bathroom from the Kitchen area only (and the doorway off the Dining Room filled-in). This provides a great flow to the whole main floor.

To increase this positive flow of the main floor, two doorways off the Dining Room that lead to the Kitchen (oh weird old character homes!) will be removed and a double doorway in the centre of the wall constructed. This is the load-bearing wall of the house and will require structural mathematics to be configured (good thing the man has Engineer pals).

The 2nd floor will get a makeover as well, by creating a double wide opening in the wall between two bedrooms (losing another of the 7 bedrooms here...), we open up a Master Bedroom... where the people who pay the bills sleep! This will allow room for a closet-area (rare in turn of the century homes) where one of the bedrooms used to be, and by moving the bordering bathroom wall we will create a larger 2nd floor bathroom as well (eventually... this is in Phase II).

Next up:
Create a calendar (or better known as "Project Management"). For Phase I we must co-ordinate with Mark, and do some heavy household thinking, for we must choose which projects take priority in accordance to our budget and available time. This is a "schedule" that will change almost daily... and we are prepared to roll with it. Being tight on time doesn't mix well with tight on money and wanting quality workmanship! So... time is our chosen flexible element.

Open a bottle of wine & get some good sleep!

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