I haven't been around much lately since asking for some layout advice back in the spring. But I just had to share that my project is FINALLY STARTED! The revised plans got submitted a few days ago, I signed the contract yesterday, and the permits are supposed to be ready on the 30th.
So far, the contrator is doing what he can without a permit: lead and asbestos removal, some site prep, utility disconnection application, and so on. The house currently has no windows and no kitchen or bathroom tile, because the window sashes and tile glazing had lead in them. (The house was built in 1949.)
I learned something new about toxic material removal. Even though the whole place is going to be demolished down to the subfloor and foundation, the city requires all the lead and asbestos to be removed first and taken to a special dump. My contractor showed me one house where they had to take all the siding off piece by piece and bag up each board separately to be hauled away. I'm not sure if that's a California thing or just a Bay Area thing. I do know we have to get permission from the "air quality management district" to start the demolition since there were asbestos and lead present. I never would have expected that!
For those who don't remember -- it's been so long I hardly remember at this point -- this is roughly what my kitchen / dining / great room area is going to look like. The opening at the upper right leads to the rest of the house. The countertop is just a placeholder that I stole from cloud_swift. But I do love the way hers looks with cherry, so I'll have to see if the budget allows it. From Kitchen plans
On the subject of budgets, I'm learning how crazy they can get, especially when unexpected items like lead removal or new sewer laterals crop up. I'm very lucky that I started at my company before our IPO; otherwise I don't think I could afford all the budget creep that's happened. I might be losing some of my financial cushion and ability to retire early. But if I retired early I'd be bored out of my mind anyway, so I decided not to care too much. :-)
Thanks for all the kitchen design help last spring / summer. I'm sure I'll be around with more questions as things progress.