Adventures in Renovation

It's a Keeper

My husband and I are embarking on a new adventure…building a 1,150 square foot addition onto our home. We started our “adventure” spring 2010.  So far, it’s been quite the learning experience!  We’ve learned so many lessons along the way.  Lessons that I wish someone would have shared with me before we started.  So, now, I’m going to share them with you (yes, I know, you’re very lucky!).

The Back Story

Like I said, we’re building this addition onto our house.  Well, it’s a kinda our house — but I don’t call it that.  It’s also my grandparent’s home.  They’ve lived there for over 25 years.  We actually purchased it from them several years ago with the intention that they will continue to live there.  In the meantime, we’re living somewhat cramped comfortably in a rented house.

My grandparent’s house is a small, 2 bed, 1 bath ranch.  But, it’s not the home that we love.  It’s the nearly 5.5 acres of beautiful land that it sits on (the fact that it’s also in our ideal school district and my hometown is a huge bonus).  We love the property.  Lots of room to play and garden and just plain spread out.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard or not, but the economy is kinda stinky right now.  New home sales are down (at least in our neck of the woods), builders and contractors are out of work and mortgage rates are at an all time low.  Essentially, the nation’s troubles became our perfect situation.  It meant that we could afford to build our dream addition. As long as we could lock in our rate before they start to climb.

We had some ideas in our head about what we wanted to do –renovate the existing kitchen, turn one of the bedrooms into a dining room and add on a few bedrooms with a full basement underneath.  Then we met with our contractor (and one of my hubs good friends).  He had some different ideas.

The Start of our Adventure

At the first meeting with the contractor, he had a different take on then addition — add a new kitchen, dining room and great room (and full basement underneath — the existing house does not have a basement).  His rationale?  Since the kitchen is the heart of home (duh!) why try to retrofit what you want into what’s already there?  Just build a new one.  To us, the idea sounded…brilliant!

He quickly sketched out his vision for us.  And the more we thought about, the more we loved the idea!  YAY!  A new kitchen!  The next step…find an architect.  Stay tuned for this adventure — it’s a doozy!


I’ll be sharing my experiences with you as we make this journey — the good, the bad and the ugly experiences.   I’ll also be asking your advice and input along the way — I have never done anything like this and could really use the help!

So, if you have any advice to offer a first-time renovator, please….feel free to share!

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Hi! I'm Christina, the chief cook and bottle washer here at It Is a Keeper! I scour cookbooks, recipe boxes and the internet to bring you only the BEST recipes that have my seal of approval. Most of my recipes are easy enough for busy weeknights and simple enough for those that think they can't cook. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Jill says

    Remember you and the Hubby are in this one together. Your on the same team. Ok that is the biggest thing. Now be realistic with the “wants” and be diligent in the “needs”. Remember a home is always a work in progress. You will expand and downsize as your family grows. When it comes to the cost, double what they quote you for the “unanticipated” costs. With all this shared, the first family dinner with the table set with your fine china, the smell of your pot roast filling your home will make this all worth it.

  2. says

    I’m a follower now so I’d appreciate a follow back.

    Renovation? Wow, that is huge! I hope that your adventures will be fun and exciting :)

    • says

      I’ll definitely keep you posted with our “adventures”! I have a feeling there are going to be big ups and downs! :)

      I’m also following you! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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