Remodeling Requirements (aka wish list): Help!

navi_jenJuly 5, 2014

Well, it's official. I sent off the signed architect contract my renovation is officially underway.

I have a 1928 950sq ft farmhouse (4500 sq ft lot) in a Boston suburb, last house on a dead end street with wooded public park in rear (and paper street in front of house, lightly wooded with path to next section of street). LR, KT, DR, 2 BDs, 1 bath. I am planning on a two phased renovation, keeping as much existing features and characteristics as possible. Phase 1: All infrastructure (plumbing, electric, heating, replacing basement lally columns), Replace kitchen & bath. Potentially add garage. Phase 2: Garage, 2 story addition with master bedroom, family room and 1/2 bath on first floor. Kitchen, Bath and 1st floor subfloor/HWF gutted before more in due to mold/animal and I've been 'camping' in the house ever since.

So, my first task from my architect (besides the land survey) is to build a 'wish list' for my renovation. Did anyone else have to do this? How long were your lists? This is the list I have thus far..what am I missing?

Requirement Priority (A=absolute)
Add collar ties to attic joists A
Pull down attic access A
Add attic ventiliation A

220v electric for Euro Washer A
Shore up cracked main beam A
Replace support columns A
Support under basement stairs A
Remove seepage in corner H
Get rid of septic piping H
Folding table for laundry H
Use more natural light in Basement L
Storage for 200+ bottles of wine M
Level basement floors M
Add cast iron/stone sink in basement M
Replace missing joist cross braces M

Install exhaust fan in Bath A
Vintage, deep cast iron tub H
Vintage pedestal sink H
More Storage in Bathroom H
Ledge or hanging spot for shampoo H
Old style external medicine cabinet H
Keep light/window in bathtub H
Bathrobe Hook H
Storage Shelf for Toiltries H
Keep handhead shower nozzle
(adjustable height would be nice) H
Space downstairs for eventual full bath L
Space downstairs for eventual laundry L
First floor 1/2 bath M
Add heat to Bathroom M

Leverage under-eave dead space A
Better circulation upstairs (too hot A
More closet space in master H
Three bedrooms H
Additional set of bookshelves H
Ability to fit King sized Bed H
Add Armoire M

Up to code deck H
Electrical access on deck H
Waterproof storage on Deck L
Able to charcoal grill on deck M

Room for my DR table (seats 10) A
Wine glasses, linen and platter storage H
Chair rail or wainscoting in DR H
Better view of park from DR M

Replace or shore up side entry A
New Doorbell A
Somewhere to store garbage bins H
Keep wood gutters H
Expose cedar shingles L
Add motion sensor lighting to exterior L
Change exterior to Bungalow, Tudor or Cottage L
Replace crappy trim on side entry M
Period appropriate wood front door M
More storage for my car stuff A
More storage for yard tools & furniture A
Covered Parking for 2 cars H
Pretty wood garage door (s) M
Electric in Garage H

First floor coat closet H
Add 2nd floor Linen closet M
Place for my hall table M

Keep in style of the period (mid 20s) A
Keep Gas for Dryer & Stove A
Keep & Strip all original woodwork A
Less/Drown out highway noise A
Use attic for storage A
Retain as much original HWF as possible A
Replace existing Oil Boiler with Gas A
Get rid of remaining cat smell A
Rewire house (bring 220 into house) A
Add insulation A
Dog Friendly A
New Hot Water Heating system A
Replace missing joists under bathtub A
Period appropriate lighting (no cans) H
Install crown molding H
No skylights H
Replace stopgap PEX with copper piping H
Keep existing radiators H
Replace plastic windows with wood L
In wall AC L
Less Moss on shady side of house L
Replace Advantek subfloor with original plank or 1" Marine grade plywood M

Remove excess vent piping in kitchen A
Take advantage of the park view H
Better counterspace in the kitchen H
Vintage wood cabinets H
O'Keefe and Merritt 40" vintage stove H
Farmhouse sink H
Vintage kitchen hardware H
Extend kitchen cabinets to ceiling H
oven that fits 1/2 sheet pans H
Good ventilation in kitchen H
Permanently cap kitchen vent in chimney (if chimney not removed) H
Standard Height Cabinet H
Good use of corner cabinet space H
Place for recycling container H
Gorgeous Vent Hood H
Music in Kitchen H
Walk in Pantry/Plenty of storage L
Space for my cookbooks M
In wall ironing board in kitchen (at least for spices) M Trash Compacter M
Pull out cutting board M
Glass door kitchen cabinets M
Kitchen seating M
Multiple ovens M
Space for platter storage L
Hanging Pot Rack M

LR/Family Room(s)
double door opening from LR to DR A
Better air flow on first floor A
More light in LR H
Fireplace H
Place for couch in morning sun H
French doors between DR & LR L
Coffered ceiling L
Place to drop mail near front door L
Add foyer M
Privacy in main living space M
Room for piano M

Strip Floor and restain floor & ceiling M
Keep Original Dentil Molding Supports H

Add Chimney Cap (if chimney not removed) H
Shore up mortar and gap between chimney & roof (if chimney not removed) H
Long Term Roof (Standing Seam) L

Space for hammock (stand or tree) A
Easy access to water outside (near drive) A
Block access to public path from driveway A
Remove Dead Tree in front yard A
Get rid of ivy A
Reduce water runoff from street into sidewalk/yard H
More electric outlets outside H
Stereo speakers outside H
Make backyard more level H
Get rid of sunken walkway/stairs M
Small garden area M
Firepit L
Direct access to park L

Thanks in advance!


This post was edited by navi_jen on Sat, Jul 5, 14 at 12:10

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First ... absolutely FIRST!
Make sure you have a sound roof, no leaks.
Same around windows and doors
Sound footings and walls ... all the foundations and beams and cross ties and stuff
Water control ... all the seepage, drainage, etc.

See this post for why you need to do this first:

Check structural things before removing anything ... sometimes old chimneys are serving as floor joist supports.

Then do your "remove this stuff" for everything you don't need ... old plumbing, dead wiring circuits, etc.

Make a plan of what has to happen in each area, and double-check the sequence for "sanity".

Make a detailed floor plan with call outs and scribbled-on pictures of walls.

Sometimes what you think is low priority may have to get done before a high-priority thing can happen ...

Wherever you plan to "add a light" later, make sure you have a wire and an outlet while the electrician is there.

Things people (including me) forget ...

Vents FIRST, Insulation LATER

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 6:34AM
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Lazy, thanks for the notes. I've already had a structural engineer out and know that the chimney is not structural or tied into the roof or building envelope.

I did catch a couple of infrastructure that were H instead of A...but I certainly understand that the envelop and structure must be sound before moving onto other stuff!



    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 9:26AM
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I've never done the "list" because we DIY remodel as we go, but I think it's a great idea. You've got a very comprehensive list, which shows you've put a lot of thought into it. That's good, and will help the architect

It's hard to say what you missed, since we haven't toured your house or seen photos, and since you're the one that defines what "functional" means. The only thing I see missing is attic insulation, which is likely needed. And I would question changing the facade to something it wasn't originally, ripping out PEX (which is perfectly good technology) or an Advantec subfloor (no one's going to see it; why replace it?).

I would recommend visiting the appropriate forums when you get to the kitchen design and bathroom design set, for additional input. Same with this forum for your overall floor plans, and Old House forum for checks and balances on your "authenticity preservation" efforts.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 4:43PM
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Yes, floorplans would be helpful.

Maybe I missed something. You said that A is Absolute. What is M? Must or Maybe? How about H and L -- Hopefully and Likely?

And maybe I missed these in the list of things, but do you have a broom/vacuum/cleaning closet? A utility sink?

Now is the time to get that laundry out of the basement. Move it up to the bedroom floor, even if it means cutting back on something else. It will make a tremendous difference in terms of labor-saving.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 6:50PM
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One more thing: If you have pets, a place to feed them and storage for their food and equipment would be very helpful.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:07PM
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