As you saw from the before photos, this place is ready for some updating. Style and features that were popular in 1943, just seem awkward for modern living. In a previous post (click here) I talked about the key factors you need to consider in a whole house renovation: safety, energy efficiency, style, function/traffic flow, and economics. I use that same process in every house, so we started by creating a wish list
And as usual, a huge chunk of our budget will be spent in the basement. Right now, the basement is nice and dry (albeit, a bit dark and gloomy). But, I'll never forget the rainy, spring day when our tenants called to say there was water in the basement. Not just a little puddle, but 3 inches of water at the low end of the room! We were quickly able to get it under control, but the house is built at the bottom of a 'ledge' rock hill and needs a full waterproofing system installed. It's an expensive job, but well worth it. And as previously mentioned, this antique furnace needs to go. We're pretty excited to install a new high efficiency, gas boiler in its place (and wait till you see how tiny it is!). Finally, the basement will be the hub for some upgrades to the electrical system - to accommodate all those wonderful electronic gizmos we all love today.
|Richard said I look like I'm from 'The Land of the Giants' standing here!|
|Awkward dormer in front of the staircase!|
Is it just me? Or is the lack of an upstairs bathroom is a safety issue? If I get up in the middle of the night and need to use the bathroom, I'm not really awake enough to navigate a staircase! So an upstairs bathroom is on the 'must have' list, but it requires more headroom to put it in place.
Equally important, in our cold climate, is getting adequate insulation into the attic. We punched a hole in the sheetrock ceiling and discovered a wimpy little layer of fiberglass insulation up there. But with the low pitch roof, there's not much that can be done, without changing the roofline.
|6' x 6' dining space…..think cafe table & chairs!|
Of course if we eliminate one of the downstairs bedrooms, we need to add one upstairs. And most families with young children want everyone sleeping on one floor. So we'd like to have 3 bedrooms upstairs and a bathroom.
Finally, we thought about curb appeal. The giant 'picture window' makes me a bit crazy. The center window doesn't open for ventilation and gives the house a very dated look. And we want a more 'cottage' appearance to the exterior. We'd like to replace it with double hung windows and add a dormer across the front, with a row of windows. It's much more cottagey (is that a word?) and we can gain some floor space upstairs.
So, that's the wish list. Now we have to figure out if we can turn it into reality, without breaking the budget! Stay tuned!