The front exterior underwent a major transformation last week, from this-
Shingles? Windows? Enclosed entryway? This might turn into a house after all. And I can't forget the pride and joy of my husband, father-in-law, and contractor: the all-new-except-for-one-wall garage. Take a moment to absorb its beauty.
I know--that portal frame leaves me speechless too.
The attic/bonus space is being framed, and it's amazing how it changes the entire look and feel of the house. It's technically only a half-story, with about 450 square feet of livable space, but on a small house that makes a very big difference.
Week 3 - If destruction is progress, then we made great strides this week. The crew keeps finding more rotten wood, and the walls keep coming down.
Remember when we called this our kitchen? And our bathroom, and the laundry hallway? Now we call it outdoors.
Week 4 - Subfloor is going down and the addition we've only seen on paper is starting to become reality. This is our master bedroom and bath-
This will be the office and mudroom/laundry area. And check out our sweet garage in the background! When this is all over it might a) not be ready to fall over if leaned on and b) actually hold one small car.
While we wait (and wait, and wait, and wait) to start work on the house, I'm working with our architect and Ryan to choose interior finishes. That's the most fun part for me, and while Ryan acts bored with most of it, he does have opinions and most of the time I listen to them. Case in point: We've decided to include open shelving on either side of one window in the kitchen, and he strongly prefers stainless shelves over white painted wood (like our cabinets). I like the stainless look as well, and fortunately Ikea has several options so it's affordable.
I especially like this last example because I want the shelving to be more practical, holding dishes and glasses we use everyday, than decorative. This is such a great cross between functional and pretty.
After our last report, you may have thought we were about to start on our renovation. Because after being approved by the planning commission, what could possibly stand in our way? Well, let's see. Did I mention the building permit? The planning permit and building permit are not the same, and they require separate applications. For real.
After the building permit application is submitted, the city reviews it for at least a couple of weeks, then returns it with dozens of nitpicky changes such as "Specify handrails with a circular cross section with an outside diameter of 1 1/4" to 2". If it is not circular, it shall have a perimeter dimension of at least 4" and not be more than 6 1/4"...." Then our awesome architecture team goes through and addresses each nitpicky change and resubmits to the city. If we cross our fingers, carry a rabbit's foot, and find a four-leaf clover, the city will approve the revised application and we'll have a building permit in two weeks. And then maybe, just maybe, we can get started. For real.
Finally, finally, finally we have something to report: Our project plans were approved by the city planning commission last night. Ryan attended the hearing and said the commissioners, known to be difficult on occasion, actually heaped praise upon our architecture team for a design that is thoughtful and appropriate to the neighborhood in style and scale. In fact, one of them said, "You've taken a rather ordinary cottage and turned it into something extraordinary." Yep, we think so too! We are thrilled, relieved, and very ready to get this show on the road.
I haven't posted any updates recently because, well, there aren't any. We had to make a couple of tweaks to the plan right before Christmas and then it was submitted to the city this week. So now we wait. And wait. And wait some more--probably four to six weeks, if all goes well. In the meantime, I'm selecting kitchen appliances and spending obscene amounts of time researching things like how much space is required between a refrigerator door and a fixed wall for it to open fully (the door, not the wall). Yes, home renovation is a glamorous job full of never-ending thrills. Thank you for asking.