Monday, April 07, 2008

It's been too long since I updated this. I kept thinking that we were going to complete some project, and I would give a "look at what we did" post. What has happened is we have many partially completed projects. With that in mind here's what we are doing.

Earlier I posted about refinishing some chairs, and preparing to add to the back of the house. You saw the new front door before there was a curtain over the glass.

The chair project had to be put on hold because we were preparing for the house addition.

The door is now painted and has a curtain for privacy.

The addition ... After many weeks of working on the plans we finally got the drawings and gave them to the contractor. His estimate was 50% over our maximum budget. So we sat down with him and tried to get the costs down; we would do the interior painting, we clarified that we wanted lower quality floor treatments, we would do much of the demolition, etc. Not counting costs we picked up and what we already had spent we got down to a few thousand over our maximum budget.

I can blame no one for this as each person did their job well.
1. If we had started immediately the construction costs would have been lower. The construction industry in our area is being hit hard by stagflation, but the home remodeling industry is booming as people decide to remodel rather than sell and buy.
2. Our project was too aggressive. The architect, Dianne, and I all based the size of the addition upon a range of per foot construction cost estimates. We thought we were keeping the costs close to the lower end, but we ended up at the very top end.
3. To a much less extent we made purchases based upon our addition proceeding. For example we purchased tiles for the master bedroom based up the plans.
So, the addition is off. Instead we are starting a remodel of the existing space with the addition of a covered back porch. This fits the budget and accomplishes most of our original goals. Items 1 and 2 below are the main goals.
1. Our master bathroom needs to be redone. When we did the kitchen we learned that the master toilet was never installed correctly and had been leaking for 30 years. We corrected that problem, but suspect that there is more mold. We suspect that this is aggravating my allergies.
2. We need to move the laundry out of the basement and onto the second floor. Dianne's knees are giving out, and we are trying to postpone surgery for as long as possible. Today she must take the laundry from the upstairs to the basement.
3. The house gets very hot in the afternoon. There are large windows on the west side of the house. Plus this side is actually a few degrees south of west. We need to shade these windows in the summer.
4. We want a place to put our stationary bike, and a place to enjoy our view. It would be nice if this place had a non-direct light spot for house plants.
Our remodel will accomplish items 1 and 2, and do a better job of item 3 than the addition would have done. Only item 4 got eliminated.
1. The master bath is smaller than our original plan, taking up the same space it does now. Similarly our master closet will be where it is today.
2. The second bath will house a stacked washer/dryer unit. This will require "stealing" space from one of the bedroom closets. That closet will have the rod shortened and shelving added behind the washer/dryer.
3. We are adding a covered porch that will provide shade for the family room. This will provide all the shade that the original plan was to provide. We have added to that a pergola extending across the rest of the west side of the house. This will be topped with board slanted south to allow winter sun through while shading summer sun.
We had better make it a "go" this time. We never learn, and have bought more things for the remodel. On Friday we went to Habitat for Humanity and got the following items.
A used Hunter ceiling fan for $25
Two display unit wet area ceiling fans for the front porch at $15 each
New Schlage door handle sets for all upstairs doors at $15 each
Granite counter tops for both bathrooms. (price $ouch)
New Delta faucets for both bathrooms. List ~$590, On-line ~$380, We paid $90.
Non-perfect medicine cabinet for the second bath at $15. I need to add a trim.

Earlier we got tiles for the second bath at $1 per sq. ft. at Habitat.

I will let you decide if we spent or saved a lot of money.

Here are some other projects and their status.
We installed a new back door. It is in but needs completing.
We bought an old radio/phonograph with non-original case. I'm making it into a bedside table.

I will try to do better on posting what we are doing. Hopefully I will also complete some of the projects.

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Blogger Granny Smith said...

Wow! You have been busy, even if not at the things that you expected to be busy at. I hope all your plans work out this time. You suffer from a Smith malady when you go shopping: you can't resist a bargain. When Otto and I go to our local Salvation Army store or Goodwill to leave a bag or box of contributions, we almost always return with more than we started out with. All things that we might need someday!


4/8/08, 4:08 PM  

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