Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
It looks like we'll be closing on the Ugly Duckling in mid-March and, thanks to you guys, I kind of have an overall vision of what I want the public living space (livingroom, kitchen, dining room) to look like. But what's the order of operations for finalizing those plans?
We'd like the star of the home to be the view to the lake. That means taking out walls, adding windows, probably replacing a door. Is that where I start? I'm pretty sure we'll need a pro to tell us what we need to do structurally. Who am I looking for -- an architect? An engineer? Can a regular licensed contractor reliably figure this stuff out?
The place needs an HVAC overhaul and quite possibly some energy saving upgrades (although it does already have newer windows). We want to get an energy audit and are considering a high efficiency ductless mini-split system to replace the old electric baseboard heat and the single a/c unit that is currently sticking out of the living room wall :/
We have talented friends/family including a furnace guy, a woodworker, some drywall guys, a slightly sketchy painter, and my brother, who used to be a KD. So we're thinking we could save money by acting as our own general contractor ... but it's all so 'which came first, chicken or egg'. Every time I start to think about it my brain feels scrambled.
Where do we begin?