It’s All In The Preparation

It’s a double post day!

We’re in serious new addition prep mode over here. Despite initially wanting to break ground for renovations in May, it’s  been one of those “hurry up and wait” processes, which despite my initial reservations on how I was going to handle the actual renovations, I now cannot wait to start them. Our initial prep list includes (in no particular order):

  1. Having the electrical moved from the addition side of the house, to the other side and hooked up to the road.
  2. Refinancing the house, including a new appraisal of the property.
  3. Going through our stuff and making a Salvation Army pile.
  4. Getting the permit
  5. Moving everything out of the old portion of the addition, upstairs and downstairs, into the original house.

As a reminder our house today has the original house and the old addition (livingroom in first shot below, and a master bedroom upstairs not listed). Update: The deck is 16×10, not 16×8.

In addition to the new addition and a porch, the entire house will be getting a facelift room by room, with a lot of rooms changing use. This is the proposed layout as it stands today, but it’s always subject to change dependent on what we find. After living with our current layout for 5 years almost, we think the layout below is closest to how we would use this house best. Oh, and I forgot to add it in but the laundry will be moving into the bathroom and the guest room becomes an office.

We were going to expand the kitchen into the old bathroom. After going back and forth a light went off and I realized if I sacrified a ginormous kitchen, we could actually utilize the current bathroom as a massive walk in linen/storage closet. My husband grew up with something similar in his childhood home and it was honestly great, and totally unexpected. We have very little closet space in this house so the more we can fit in the better. The door will be facing the “common room” and we’re pretty sure it will be worth losing the extra few feet in the kitchen for.

Back to preparations though. I’ll go through these point by point to catch you up.

1.) Electrical: The electrical hookup for the house was located where the new addition will go, so we had it moved over to deck side of the house and hooked up to the road. Andy did not do this himself as the electrical company is required to. That, and it’s ridiculously dangerous. This all happened when I was away, but Andy managed to get a few photos. This might look crazy right now, but once we have new siding up it won’t be that bad. We don’t really ever look over at that side of the house anyway. I have faith in my ability to ignore things after living in the house in it’s current state for five years, hah.

This was the old meter spot, which is now included in the new hookup and is digital.

Finally, it got hooked up at the road and is completed.

Now we’re all set on electrical, which was a huge help.

2.) Refinancing the home…oy vey. I’m not sure there’s much to say on this except it’s quite a process. We knew we would be getting an appraisal, but we didn’t realize we’d get about 24 hour notice, so a massive house cleaning took place. We’re still waiting on the final number to see if it’s high enough so we can drop our PMI (premium mortgage insurance). With a lower mortgage rate, and PMI dropped we would save a pretty penny every month and it might even put our mortgage under $1,000 including the taxes. The lower the payment, the more money we have to put back into the house. We aren’t planning on taking any loans out to pay for the addition, and we don’t often put anything on credit. We’ve been saving, so the lower the payment is the better. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

3.) Our house isn’t keen on having “stuff” around. There just isn’t room. Our basement is a wood shop, our attic is only accessible by a small panel above the stove that I could possibly fit through and though the garage has ample storage, we just aren’t going to store crap up there. So that means really keeping it simple. The addition has turned this into overdrive over the last couple months. The less we have the better, and so it goes that about once a month a carload of items gets brought to the Salvation Army. I always think that is the ‘final load’ until I realize I still have much more I can get rid of. We’re about at the point where we have what we want and that’s that….then again, after I drop this next load off I’m sure I’ll find more.

4.) Getting the permit: This sounds exactly like it says. Andy will be getting this on Monday if he hasn’t already. In a small town like ours you definitely need the paperwork, but everyone knows each other. The code enforcement officer knows my husband well, and knows how capable he is so I think it makes things easier when they trust you.

5.)  This is the exciting photo filled part! Yay! After painting the awful dark boards just so I could get through a winter without being in a cave, the living room looks like this again!

We are finally moving furniture out of the addition and into the original part of the house so we can start demolition. We still need to move everything out of our bedroom upstairs, but this is a start. As a secret sneak: all of the boards on the walls upstairs and down will be saved for a future project. *rubs hands together manically* Okay, it’s not maniacal but it’s a good idea Andy had and you’ll just have to wait and see.

So while the living room looks excitingly empty, the ‘common room’ looks like this.


I’ll be doing a house video tour before we start the addition and you’ll get a good idea of just how cramped things will be once we add the bedroom furniture into a tiny room. Even the office looks insane at this point, which you’ll see on the video.

We’ve already moved a few pieces of furniture into storage in the garage, including the kitchen table (which we’ll be giving back to Andy’s Mom), the walnut side tables (which are in the office) and the dogs kennel sans Kuranda bed. We didn’t want to totally confuse the dogs by removing their actual bed. While Winnie is a couch sleeper 99.9% of the time, Rosie loves her Kuranda bed and spends every evening on it. You can see the Kuranda in the first livingroom photo, and through the door in the photo directly above.

Whew! That’s where we are now. I really wanted to rip down some paneling but since I got my husband pretty sick, he’s taking a day to just rest and I can’t blame him. He’s on the mend, and hopefully we’ll be hearing soon from the bank if everything is approved.

Until then, we’ll be moving furniture, taking items to the Salvation Army and hopefully *cross my fingers* ripping some of these boards off the wall soon.

That day can’t come soon enough.



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