August 16, 2011
So, maybe I should have done this when I first started blogging, but I thought it would make sense to step back a bit and talk through our design process—and how we got to doing this addition in the first place.
After living in a small apartment for many years, we bought our house four years ago after falling in love with it the second we walked through the door. We were ecstatic to be first-time homeowners of a house with such a storied history, and with such potential.
The house had been lovingly cared for by its former owners, but it needed some work. We wanted to tackle most of that work ourselves, hiring out only when absolutely necessary. After doing some structural work, updating the roof, and adding much-needed insulation, we started tackling each project one-by-one. Joe is a do-it-yourselfer who is incredibly handy, and grew up in older houses—I am not, and did not. Still, I liked the charm of the house, though I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS GETTING INTO. If I had, I probably would have suggested buying a finished condo, and spending our weekends traveling, instead of in Home Depot. But it was not to be.
So I learned that our marriage would begin not with matching bathrobes, but with matching HEPA filtration masks hanging by our bed. It would not be about sleeping late on the weekends and enjoying coffee and the paper after a long week of work, but about implementing overly ambitious plans to tackle the upstairs bath (or the linen closet, or the dining room). We have officially called every room of this house our bedroom at different points, as we moved from room to room fixing and changing things. By the time our daughter arrived, we had been in the house for 2.5 years and had gotten it to a steady state. I still hated the peeling paint outside, and the unfinished kitchen, but we settled down for almost a year before deciding it was time to tackle the next big thing (because raising a toddler as two working parents with high-energy dogs—and a steady stream of weekend guests—just wasn't keeping us busy enough!).
So, we applied to the show in the fall of 2010, and started our real planning over the winter. We were referred to our architect, Dan Quaile, who helped us plan a modest addition off the kitchen and a small mudroom entry point. Dan was awesome. He just listened, and listened, and listened, and did a wonderful job of making our dreams a reality. We considered a few different things (adding a bedroom upstairs, or a downstairs playroom), but ultimately settled on a family room addition that would serve as a cozy living space. While budget was the deciding factor for not doing a second floor add on, we also wanted to do higher ceilings in the new family room space, and would have had to sacrifice that to add a bedroom upstairs. So we kept it simple, and I'm glad we did.
We also decided to tackle some other projects—re-siding, updating our windows (80% of which are painted shut), landscaping, etc. And so here we are. The funny thing is that we still have things we want to tackle that aren't being addressed now. One of our upstairs baths, for example, needs a redo, and we still need to do some updates on the front stairs. Joe has endless amounts of woodworking projects he wants to take on as well. But since we both enjoy working on our house, we should have no problem tackling that bath project one of these days.
I do, however, want to put that HEPA mask away for good...
(6) CommentsComment on this Blog
Could someone please clean the "front" camera? Debris has been on the lens for a long time. Thanks!
This Old PROMO. This homeowner worked overtime to get his printer on the show which has nothing to do with renovating This Old House. How blatant FREE ADVERTISING/PROMO can you get? Public television... barely. Very disappointing.
We have seen two shows in our market and I noted to my wife that this old house makeover should be one the best. We are excited for this young couple as much as they are. Look forward as many are to the progress. Have fun and good luck.
It would be nice to include cost info so people know how much some of these smaller projects (within the larger budget) cost. For example, replacing the house sill or the cost of the addition. No personal info, but general numbers would be helpful. Thanks!
The house looks very good though I can't see the inside. I think it would be better if you could get pictures of the different parts of your house. Maybe we can get some ideas too on how we can arrange and design our own room and houses. Thanks