On the threshold of spring, we’re thinking renovations

It has begun. We are on the threshold of deciding what, if anything, we’re going to do with our house. The questions outweigh the answers at this point, but one thing is for sure: even if we ultimately decide to move, a certain amount of improvements and updating, if not downright replacing of certain items on the main floor is in dire need. So the hunt for answers has begun.

Sadly this hunt is going to be mostly on my shoulders. I say sadly because the entire project, or idea of the project, freaks me out. It just seems so incredibly…monumental. But he’s busy with work and I’m home so I will do the preliminary research and get going.

The house is not big. The main floor consists of a bright and sunny living room, which leads into an awkward, strangely placed kitchen. There are two bedrooms and a bathroom as well as a side door leading to an exit to the driveway and down to the basement. At the very end of the hallway (between the bathroom door and the bedroom door) there used to be a linen closet which is now a door leading to the backyard and a deck.

But neglect and use over the years (and a re-paint every few years to keep things from looking drab and old, which in fact this place is) has the main floor looking rather dated. The layout also seems very dysfunctional, now that the kids are older and we have different needs. (I used to think that a bedroom this close to the kitchen was a bad thing in terms of esthetics and functionality, but while I had toddlers in the house, being able to keep the kids in their room with their toys while I was in the kitchen, and able to keep an eye on them without them coming out (thank you baby gate) was a great thing.) Now, with kids going to bed at different times or sleeping in later than some other family members, the noise and light in the kitchen is disruptive and distracting. I’m a two-story house type of person, and never have I wanted that more than I do now. Especially with the new schedule DH has – on Tuesday mornings he commutes to another city and leaves the house prior to 6 am. Which means he’s in the kitchen doing stuff at 5 am…the light, and noise, no matter how cautious he is, is disruptive to the rest of us who are still sleeping. Same situation when DH would like to take a nap, or go to bed early on a night he needs to…the regular family noise is always directly outside the door of a bedroom. Add into that early hockey mornings, a microwave that beeps and beeps, cooking smells…it all makes for a very annoying and stressful time when at least some people are still trying to sleep.

But adding a second story isn’t in the budget for us right now. Changing the layout may be, depending on how far we want to go with a renovation. Right now, a list of urgent items that require doing for the purpose of selling may be the first step to take, even if it means we don’t sell immediately.

Urgent things include:

– replace original bathtub, and possibly entire bathroom, which dates to 1949 and has paint chipping off all over the tub
-re-sand all hardwood floors in the living room and both bedrooms
-finish insulating and dry-walling the laundry room downstairs which also contains a toilet and sink (making this a two bathroom house, definitely a plus for a bungalow.)
– replace the kitchen cupboards and floor tile in kitchen and hallway leading to back doorway

The not-so urgent  things include:

-re-design the kitchen or relocated elsewhere since the bathroom almost definitely will have some damage behind the walls when we rip it out (flip the bathroom and kitchen since the plumbing is already in place?)
-replace the windows. They sweat during half the year when it’s cold or there’s increased moisture to the degree where mold has grown along all edges of the wooden, painted (lead?) window frames
-replace the garage (possibly with insulated walls, in order to use it more effectively as storage for seasonal things that currently reside in my basement and make me irrationally mad.)

The prospect of what needs to be done is making me want to run the other way. It’s frightening to me, the huge undertaking this is going to be. Not only frightening, but overwhelming. So many decisions will have to be taken, and so many disruptions will occur in our already hectic life, I just have some doubt on how smooth this entire endeavor will go…

But one thing is for sure. Something has to happen. And to get the ball rolling, this something will have to start with me.

Next week I’m going to ask for appointments and quotes from local architects and builders whom I see in the area. Gotta start somewhere.

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2 thoughts on “On the threshold of spring, we’re thinking renovations

  1. Ugh, so very, very brave of you! This basement thing we have going on is the first real reno we’ve ever been through, and already it has me running scared. I can’t imagine the pain of doing a bathroom or a kitchen – or both at once! Looking forward to hearing all the details (and seeing pics!).

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