The majority of this blog will be a journal of our renovations as they happen. We purchase homes with a fair understanding of what we have ahead of us but don’t know exactly the extent until we dig right in. Join us on our journey as we uncover the hidden secrets behind the walls and underneath the flooring as we demolish and rebuild. Hopefully what we find won’t be too scary and may even offer some pleasant surprises!
Originally, this house had one very small bathroom on the main floor. When I say small, I am not kidding. You could barely walk through it sideways. I don’t know when indoor plumbing became part of this home but the bathroom was definitely an after thought.
Anyway, besides adding a couple of feet in width to the existing bathroom, we decided to add a second bathroom to the second floor. I always like have a master bedroom suite so wanted to have the second bathroom attached to the master bedroom.
One of the areas of the house I was most happy to have fixed was the rework that we did upstairs. More specifically, the area directly at the top of the stairs.
Originally, there was a small bedroom that had it’s door opening at the stair top. But, there was not a landing! It actually came out at the side of the stairwell.
Here is what it looked like before:
We closed up that doorway and it is now a walk in closet for the master bedroom. We had to add a doorway to the right of the stairs, coming from the office, for the master bedroom. The only way to enter the master bedroom before was through this little bedroom.
Finally, we can start revealing the finished renovation of our first project! I think a good place to start is with the foyer of the home. As you may remember, this home’s foyer was anything but welcoming. In fact, it pretty much screamed “Run the other way as fast as you can!!!”
Here is a little reminder of what we opened that front door to when we first bought the home.
After removing all of the plaster and drop ceilings, we installed drywall, painted and repaired floors and stairway.
Now that we basically have the house gutted, it is time to get to work on laying out our new house design. The majority of the changes are happening in the bathrooms and kitchen. In fact, one of the bathrooms didn’t even exist before!
Here is a look at the house design in the prints I drew up:
The trickiest area for the kitchen was the area by the window and stair wall. I decided to make it a little nook area with a counter bar and stool. The plan is to have a sliding barn door at the stair opening which will slide toward the refrigerator when open.
While we were busy at work on the inside of the house, things were also happening on the outside. The replacement windows were installed first thing! We also hired one contractor to tear down the old enclosed porch and build a new covered deck. At the same time we had a crew working on installing a new roof and vinyl siding.
Before all of the siding could go on though, we had some prep work to do as well. The old house design had two entrances coming in from the back.
It’s a little hard to see with the doors being the same color as the house. But, the one door has the screen door open and the other door is at the top of the ramp. We didn’t think the extra door with the screen was necessary and we also wanted to do away with the ramp.
Our home renovation project is already getting off to a larger scope of work than originally intended. The hope was to be able to repair the plaster and move on to the next project. However, even before consulting with a professional, we could see that there were just too many cracks, holes, and weak areas of plaster for us to effectively tackle those repairs. It was evident that new drywall was going to look so much better and alleviate the majority of our wall problems.
So now we begin making our biggest mess!
The first job we needed to tackle inside our reno house was all of the wall cover. Before we could really see the condition of every wall we needed to remove a variety of so called decorative materials that I never wanted to look at again.
I started with removing some of the paneling in one of the bedrooms. Which was only the beginning….
From there, there was a layer of wallpaper then a layer of paint then another layer of wallpaper and another layer of paint. The room was two times bigger when I finished removing all of the wall layers! You can see a little bit of the frame from the drop ceiling in this photo as well. When we removed those panels, the room also had an added height of about a foot!
The majority of our construction experience has been in new construction versus renovation. We were very involved in the design of our previous homes and we pretty much built our cabin by ourselves….with alot of help from our friends! That experience alone taught us a lot about all aspects of building and innovative design ideas.
We have also done some light renovation work in our condo and a couple of our rental properties. Things like painting, new counters and sinks, and shopping for updated appliances. Basically a warm up to a real renovation project.