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Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Posted by rlthomas7 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 6, 10 at 11:48

We're doing some major renovations to our home. They include:
1) tearing down one-story part and rebuilding as a 2-story part
2) That part will include a family room with small mud room, master bathroom and master bedroom
3) Adding windows in a window-less kitchen
4) re-siding and re-roofing the whole house.

Would it help anyone if I posted a weekly update about the progress and included photos? Demolition started this week, so I already have photos to share of that, plus plans.

I know I was always looking for info about large additions and found it hard to find stories like this...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

I'd love to see your progress!

Jodie


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

That would be really helpful. We are planning on renovating our ranch within the next 2 years and any info and pictures would be great!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

OK, this is my first attempt to post photos, but the photos will help to explain what we're doing.

This is our house two weeks ago:
House Before

Our plan is to totally remove the entire one-story side on the right and rebuild it as a two-story side. The footprint is the same. That room started as a garage, and some yahoos decided to spend a weekend and convert it into an enclosed family room. What they didn't think about is that they built it on the same slab, and water ran in over the years, rotting the wood and causing damage to anything inside. They also didn't attach it to the rest of the heating system, so you really had to plan ahead to heat it in the winter. The room has basically been useless to us the past 5 years, and we were using this huge room simply for junk storage. With a two-year old son who loves to run and play, we decided that we needed a room that we could use.

And then, while we were at it, why stop at one room, let's add a second story! And make a small mud room in the family room to have a place to store my son's toys - and later, bikes and sports equipment. Upstairs, we're going to add a pocket door between our new bedroom and our son's current nursery (which is tiny) and convert his room into a walk-in closet.

And while we're at that, let's change the siding, do a new roof and add some windows in the kitchen! Yeah, it's a big job. Our GC estimated 10 weeks, and we're one week in.

Here are the plans. The elevations:
Elevations>

The first floor:
Downstairs

The second floor:
Upstairs

Demolition started on Tuesday and in three days, the whole side is gone, down to the concrete slab.

Demolition of structure complete

Photobucket


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

I am also interested. I love this stuff!

Hope you don't mind my saying, but both I think both the mudroom and the master bathroom could be designed a bit better. The mudroom is small. I assume you wanted to see out a front window. However, you are leaving some wasted space there.

A 5 foot vanity is rarely long enough for two sinks and the entry door will probably always be in the way. Your bedroom is 19 feet long. You could borrow some to make your bathroom more functional.

Will your contractor give you time to rethink these?


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

There's really no other place to put the mudroom. And it's actually less of a mudroom than a storage area for all the kid stuff that accumulates on the front porch. We had to call it a mudroom rather than a storage closet to satisfy the township.

So it will be less of an entrance and more of a closet. We didn't want it in the back because our pool is back there and there's a fence around it that goes right up to the partway along the wall. So we had to put it in the front so that we can get to it when the gate is locked. And the little nook beside it is where my husband's treadmill goes. That way it's somewhat out of the way in the rest of the room, but the space will be used.

And you're probably right about the bathroom - I've been thinking along those lines myself and we do still have some time.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Are you living there while this is going on? How's that part of it going?


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

We are living there. Luckily, I work three days a week so we're all gone during work times on those days. Being home two days with a young child and keeping him from getting in the way/getting hurt is more of a challenge. Luckily the majority of the work is contained to one side of the house and we can live in the other half. The room that was removed was useless to us, so we don't miss it like you would a kitchen or only full bathroom. I'm sure I'll feel differently when they need to break through the walls and we're playing musical bedrooms while we convert our son's room into a closet.

I'll try to get photos up this week - not much visible progress at this point, but the concrete slab has been removed and the new foundation should be finished this week. The plumber was hard at work today when I left!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Please keep posting updates! It's interesting to know what we're going to be in for with this. Where did you move all your stuff to (or plan to move it to)? We're thinking about getting a POD or something just to put the entire upstairs in while we go through the remodel.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Sorry I took a week off from the update, but there really hasn't been any visual sign of progress until the last few days.

During week two, the concrete slab that you see above was removed with a jackhammer and hauled away. After that, the masons came and did a perimeter for the foundation.

Photobucket

Earlier this week, the workers (and my ultra-helpful son, Adam) added stone to prepare it for the concrete.
Photobucket

And when the stone was down, they added a layer of insulation:
Photobucket

Finally, yesterday, the concrete was poured and now we're ready for framing!

Two funny stories from this week. First, one of the masons backed his truck into our mailbox. I guess if someone is going to hit your mailbox, it's better to have someone with some handy skills to fix it! He's going to fix it for us.

The other thing is that we had a huge rain storm last week when the area was full of dirt. You may notice the black tube in the last photo above, which attaches to the downspout to take water away from the construction site. In the rainstorm, the water was GUSHING into that area creating a giant mud pool. So in the rainstorm, our GC came over because he was worried about the rain causing our basement do drain. We started talking about our awful front sidewalk and he said that because our footers were good, we didn't use as much in materials, so he'd be able to re-do our front porch and sidewalk for us and not charge us anything additional. He asked me to go out on the front porch and talk about it. It was pouring, so I told my son to stay in the house and I shut the storm door. As we were out there talking, Adam was looking out at us - and then he locked the storm door. Yes, I was locked out of the house - in a rain storm - with a toddler inside. After calling DH and finding out that he didn't put the storm door key on his keychain like I asked him to, and after futile efforts to get Adam to unlock the door, the GC kicked the back door open, and did it without damaging it!

Never a dull moment!


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where is our stuff?

Oh, and to answer the question of where our stuff went...

We really cleaned out our basement very well, throwing out or donating a ton of stuff and made room down there for everything we were keeping. So stuff is either packed away down in the basement or in our storage unit which we rented for this project. We probably wouldn't even have needed the storage unit, but I found some beautiful furniture at a yard sale and I couldn't pass up the bargain.

And everything that I'm buying for this project on my own - light fixtures, ceiling fans, toilet, etc. are stored in our sunroom so that they guys can get to it without having to navigate our now-packed basement!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Great idea to have everything you need for the renovation in a different spot. I'll definitely do that.

Looks exciting ... good story about your son locking you out! Never a dull moment, I guess!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

That's a priceless story! Your son is cute!

The framing stage is a very exciting part. If you haven't reworked your master bedroom, here is one option.

Photobucket


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

This is a dead week - framing and roofing isn't going to start until Tuesday. So I thought I'd share some of our fixture and color selections. We have definitely been budget-conscious on this project, since we are stretching to afford to do it in the first place. You're not going to see skirted toilets, natural stone floors and framless glass shower doors here.

First, here's the tile: All are American Olean and they do match, even if the samples here don't really show that. The floor tile is greener than it shows here, and it's Amber Valley Bowling Green. The shower and tub surround will be Amber Valley Millstone Beige. And the accent is Meadow. They do match in person!
bowling green
millstone beige
meadow

Here's the tub: Kohler ProFlex 6' jetted tub. The only thing my husband cared about during this whole process was a whirlpool tub. He plays a lot of sports (so he has sore muscles often) and is always taking soaks in our way too small, non-jetted tub.

tub
Here's the faucet: Kohler Brantford with a handshower in chrome:
tub faucet

And the toilet is a Toto Drake:
toilet

Vanity will be by AristoKraft with the Cocoa Glaze, with a cultured marble top and undermount Kohler Caxton 17" sinks"
sinks
Faucets will be chrome, Moen Brantford:
sink faucets

Medicine cabinets are NuTone frameless recessed cabinets, 34" high. Our current bathroom has absolutely no storage, so I'm excited to have all these storage options!
cabs

Here are the chandelier and the vanity lights. Chandelier is from Overstock and the lights are Portfolio from Lowes.
chandalier
vanity lights

Paint in the bathroom is Sherwin-Williams Sawdust, which is a brownish green.

Paint in the bedroom is SW Distance, which is a deep blue, and paint in the family room is SW Restrained Gold. We're still working on carpet.

And finally, here are the exterior siding and shingle choices. Siding is Savannah Wicker and the roof will be Weathered Wood. Of course, this isn't our house, and we don't have stone, but this is the only way I could get the two colors together.

exterior colors


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Are you re-siding the entire house?

Nice choices all around. I bet you're excited to see how they all look in the actual space.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Yes, we're residing the whole house, excluding the sunroom on the back. That looks enough like a separate structure that it shouldn't look wrong if it doesn't match. But we wanted the rest to look cohesive, so we're residing and re-roofing the whole thing. I'll be so glad to be rid of the awful, flaking white aluminum siding!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

It's been a busy week! We had an Amish framing crew and WOW were they fast! The framing is done, the windows are in and the roof is done (on the whole house). Today they're breaking through the wall upstairs and the plumber will be working all weekend. We also finalized the bathroom layout and I'm thrilled with it. We're sticking to a 60" vanity - we have that now and aren't cramped at all - and this allows room for a waste can, which is an important feature!

Here's the house as of this morning:

framing done

And here's the new bathroom layout.
new bathroom plan

Not sure how many people are still following this, but I'm sure the progress will be easier to see in the coming weeks!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

A much improved bath layout, IMO. One thought on the sink/wastebasket issue: you could make the vanity extend to the tub, but in the cabinet configuration, leave a "hole" between the two sink bases for the wastebasket, with the countertop covering the whole area. You get more counter + space for the wastebasket, which will be more hidden.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Wow, that is a lot of progress! Must be nice to see things moving now.

I agree with weedyacres: extend the vanity and just build room for a waste basket in.

We just started on our project on Wednesday and I'm shocked by how messy it is. The dust is everywhere, and they've closed off the area they are working as much as possible. It's only been two days, but I'll be so excited to see the kind of progress you've shown in your last report.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Please keep posting - it keeps me motivated! Great job, by the way.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Loving the progress pictures. It seems like it's really going quickly. How has it been for the family? Any tips on what to do/avoid yet?


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

It honestly hasn't been too bad yet, living with it. Admittedly I'm only dealing with construction "live" when I'm home with Adam two days a week. But since he's pretty sensitive to noise, I plan to be gone when the noisy stuff happens. Some days he's happy to be here and talk with the crew, who is awesome with him. But on days where there's a lot of demolition or sawing, I arrange a play date in the morning. And I made arrangements for him to take a nap at daycare when necessary, so that helps too. Not sure what I'd do if I was home with him every day!

The biggest thing is communication with the GC. I chose one whom I had heard was an "over-communicator." Since I don't believe that's possible on a project of this size, I went with him, even though other estimates were less. He gives me a Friday update of what's happening the next week. He also tells me if there's going to be a down day, and calls if someone's running even ten minutes late. It also helps that he has young kids too, so he really makes sure the guys clean up REALLY well at the end of each day. Down to sending over a cleanup crew after the framing was done (the Amish are fast, but not the best with the clean up...)

But ask me on Tuesday how it's been for us. The plumber is working all Labor Day weekend. Irony. So that might be a bit more intrusive, since I don't have my usual options of play dates and daycare naps.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

The week has been productive, although not really enough for photos. The plumber worked all weekend and now the pipes have all been run and are in place. The guys built the whirlpool platform. And the heating/air conditioning guys are running all the ducts and heating pipes today. We did our electrical walk-through and I confirmed my suspicion that I can't hang my cool chandelier in the bathroom because it's too close to the tub since changing the bathroom layout. Bummer. Maybe I'll buy another one and put two in the kitchen - I really love it and don't want to send it back!

Next week the electrician will be there to run all the wires.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

How are things going this week?


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Last week was another one where lots of things got done, but I don't have photos yet (coming soon). The doors are in and the electric has all been installed. I'm glad I was there while the electrician was there, because it helped to be able to better explain where and why I needed switches. And he is able to get me wall controls that will work together to run the ceiling fan/light in the bedroom. Tomorrow is going to be interesting, as the power is going off in the morning and will be off all day while the electrician installs a whole new breaker box and moves all the outside electric meters and cords and everything to a different part of the house. They're also installing a new giant window in our kitchen, so I'm wondering where to lock up the cats!

I'll try to get photos soon with the ducts, inside framing and doors. I need to do this anyway, because I want to put a measuring tape up and shoot photos so that I know where studs are later!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Sounds like things are moving along and I love your idea about photos of the studs.

So are you planning on changing out the windows in the existing portion of the house to match the new windows? What about the roof over the front porch? Will you leave it there, extend it, etc.?


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

We're leaving the windows as they are. We can't afford to change them just to match at this point. I'm hoping that once the siding and the shutters are done that they don't look as glaringly different.

What that photo doesn't show is that the addition comes out about six feet past the original house. So that front porch roof actually ends at the wall of the addition. Again, I'm hoping it looks more cohesive when it's done. But if not, we'll live with it!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Week 8 saw the completion of the electric, including the installation of a new box in the basement and moving the meters outside. Yesterday they insulated the whole space and drywall started today. It's amazing what a difference the insulation makes. Now you stand in this empty room without interior walls and you can't hear the outside anymore!

In addition, the giant kitchen window was being installed today.

Next week will be more drywall (should take about 2 weeks, from what I understand) and they should start residing the outside.

One thing that was added to the project was the walls where the stairs are. They've always been wallpapered (along with our living room). The paper isn't horrible, it's a small muted stripe and I've been able to live with it. But the border above the stairs was pink hearts and flowers. Totally NOT my style. I figured since we were cutting through the wall anyway, it was time to get rid of the paper. The wallpaper, however, had different plans. It was stuck directly onto the drywall, so that large chunks of drywall came off when the wallpaper lady started removing it. So for another $400, the drywallers are putting up 1/4 inch ready-to-paint drywall over the stairway paper. At least the awful border is out of my life now!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Doesn't it feel good to get rid of something you really hate? The same thing is happening with our project: they had to remove the living room ceiling to fix the sloping roof (not in the original plan). The bad news is that that will account for almost all the emergency overruns we budgeted into the loan. The good news is that I'm finally getting rid of the horrible swoopy plaster texture all over the living room ceiling and walls!

Sounds like things are going well for your project. Looking forward to more pictures, especially of that new kitchen window!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Finally, here are some photos. First, the before and after of the window. Please excuse the clutter in the kitchen - living through this is chaotic, to put it mildly. And these are old curtains, thumb-tacked up and tied with a bib. We're a high-class operation here. Having it is amazing. The kitchen has never had direct light before, since one side is the living room and the other side is the sunroom. Now I can be in there without lights on every second!

The kitchen wall before:
Before kitchen

And now:
Kitchen with window

Looking from the bedroom into the bathroom:
from bedroom into bathroom

Bedroom - of course this isn't where the tub is going, it's just out of the way.
bedroom

Tub platform:
tub

Shower:
shower

Family room, from front of house looking back. The bump-out there is a closet that will have shelves to hold board games, toys, etc. and also hold the vacuum:
family room 2

Family room from back looking front. The walls are for the small "mud room" and the nook is where my husband's treadmill will go. The angle of this photo makes the nook look much smaller than it really is.
family room 1

Mud room door:
mud room

This week they're working on the drywall and they'll start on the siding. Can't wait to see the house with the new siding.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Last week they did two coats of mud on the drywall and this week they finished the third coat. Siding hasn't started yet because we've had a ton of rain. Even the non-rainy days aren't good because the ground is so wet! Maybe tomorrow and Friday they can get the siding done.

One thing that we weren't quite prepared for is the affect that this would have on EVERY room of the house. Every single room has had to change in some way to deal with this project. The kitchen got a new window. Our bedroom is being cleaned out to become our son's bedroom. The guest room was rearranged (compressed the furniture) to hold my son's furniture once we come through the wall to convert his room into the closet. The living room is getting a ceiling fan.

But the one room that we didn't expect to change was our downstairs powder room. It is TINY. I mean you can use the toilet and rest your head on the sink if you're tired - it's right in front of you. But this room had the wiring for its light about halfway down the wall. Way too low. Leaving room for only a tiny mirror. We went with it because that's where the wiring was. But since we had the wall behind it opened up for the addition, the GC offered to move the light up for us, to a normal area. In doing that, I had to patch some drywall holes that were hidden by our ugly bar light fixture, get a new light fixture, get a normal sized mirror and repaint the drywall repair area (and of course that was the ONE paint I didn't have in the basement!). I am glad to report that the powder room is now DONE! So I guess I can claim that the first room is finished!

Next week I should be able to report on siding, bathroom tile and painting progress!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

You bring up a great point. I, too, naively assumed that the rooms that weren't being renovated would be untouched. Not so. The back room became our bedroom (which was sort of pointless since we only stayed their for about five days before we realized we couldn't handle it and just moved out), the kitchen was ripped apart because they had to go through the wall behind the pantry and now it's where stuff goes to get stacked, and the bathroom is just a pigsty because, well, like a dozen people are using it regularly. Dust is falling out of ceilings where you would never expect it to. The whole place is coated in it.

I'm anxious for this to be over ... quick!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Well, not sure who's still with me, but I do have some new photos to share! The baseboard heaters are in and the trim should be finished today. The siding is coming along and the interior is painted. Still trying to determine shutter color (to weigh in on the choices, see my post on the home decorating page). We've had our first issue - the tile for the whirlpool tub platform is delayed by a month and a half. Which really sucks because we can't get the new appraisal to roll the home equity into our current mortgage until everything is 100% finished.

Here's some of the siding. The other half of the front will probably be done last since we're adding a ceiling fan in the living room (downstairs) and the electrician needs to do that before it can be sided.
Photobucket

Family room:
Photobucket
Photobucket

Bedroom (it's a blueberry color, not purple, which is how it looks on my monitor):
Photobucket
Photobucket

Bathroom
Photobucket


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Moving right along ...

You've picked some great colors for the walls!

So this really isn't important but you've piqued my curiousity: what does a ceiling fan in the living room have to do with the exterior siding?

Other than the tub deck, when do you expect to be finished?


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Yeah, I guess the ceiling fan comment didn't make any sense. The living room didn't have any wiring at all for a ceiling fixture, so the electrician had to run wiring into the ceiling. To do that, he had to bring the wires through the exterior wall above the brick to come down into the ceiling, and he needed to do that while the aluminum siding was off, before the new siding went on.

We're probably about 2-3 weeks away from being finished, excluding the tub deck.

Just got my final bill and with our overages for doing tile in the bathroom, choosing decent bathroom fixtures and doing a higher end carpet pad, and we will owe an additional $4,127. I think we did pretty well in that respect.


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The exterior is almost done! Still needs gutters and a porch light and shutters on the bottom window, but here it is!

Photobucket

Today the tile guys are starting to lay the floor and shower walls and the electrician is doing outlets, switches and light fixtures. The carpet goes in next week, so next weekend we plan to start moving the bedroom furniture in!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

That looks wonderful!!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Thank you for all of this info... it is interesting to follow. We are also considering a similar project. We have a 10 ft wide x 20ft deep garage that we would like to tear down and add a second story...our house is one story spanish style in Miami. It's a question of whether to do the addition or move but with the housing market the way it is it is very difficult to sell here. If you don't mind me asking could you give me a ballpark figure of how much this would cost? I know prices vary from state to state and our house is also concrete stucco but it seems so expensive from what we have heard.....
Also in the end do you think it was worth it for you? Everyone has different opinions as the just buying a bigger house or adding on. Our house is only 1200 sqft but our lot is 10,000.....Big lot, small house :)

Thanks.....


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

All said and done, we'll come in around $92,000. If it was just a matter of not liking what we had before or just being too small, it probably would have made sense to move. In our case, however, the room that was there before was so poorly constructed and damaged by water that we would have had to tear it down and fix it in order to sell it anyway. We could not have sold it as it was. So it came down to rebuilding it as a single story to fix it, which would have been around $45,000, or taking the extra time and money to really make an improvement by adding another bedroom and bathroom. Our area has not been hit as hard with the housing issues, so we were able to take out a home equity loan for about half of the cost (the other half was a generous gift from my grandmother) and by the time we get it reappraised, we should be able to refinance our mortgage, roll in the home equity loan and only pay about $100 more per month for our mortgage. Hope that helps!


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Week 14 update!

I learned yesterday that the bathroom tile has arrived, so hopefully tiling can start next week. In the meantime, we've moved our bedroom furniture in and give our son our old bedroom. This weekend we're going to finish the details in his new Sesame Street room and get some things hung in our new bedroom, so I should have photos of those two rooms early next week.

Today they're doing interior door hardware, cutting off some of the interior door bottoms so that they don't hit the carpet and also to allow better air flow. One of the issues we're having now is that the new side is so much more air-tight. Now that the heat is on the new side is roasting and the old side is cold. The plumber will come back to put insulation around the baseboard water pipes, so that should help. We're also having issues with the baseboards being really loud when the heat is on. We're working on that too.

Still to be done:
Bathroom tile and fixtures
Bedroom ceiling fan and light switches (delayed coming in)
New sidewalk and lamp post
Turn our son's old room into a walk-in closet
Shutters on bottom left window and additional porch post


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

I have a few updated photos this week. Not sure why some are big and some are small - I'm sorry about that.

Family room carpet is in.
family room">

Bedroom carpet is in. We've moved our furniture in, but I'm waiting to really settle in until the final touches are done - paint, insulating the baseboard heating pipes better, ceiling fan switches, etc. So no sneak peeks of curtains or anything yet.
Bedroom">

Bathroom floor tile is in. And here we had our first major snafu of the project. The tile is the wrong color. It was supposed to be the green version of this (see way above where I showed tile samples). We do like it, and we're keeping it so we don't hold up the process too long. I just didn't want a totally beige bathroom, so we might have to make the paint a little more green to compensate, but we'll see how it all looks when the tub platform is done and everything else is in.
bathroom">

Shower tile, which I just ADORE!
Shower">

And finally, my son's room is the first upstairs room to be finished. He just loves his new big room!

Adam's room">
Adam's room">


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

Everything is looking great. You picked some great paint colors. The family room color is particularly nice!

Bet it's nice to have the finish line in sight.


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RE: Is anyone interested in a weekly addition update?

That's a really great transformation. I like it!


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