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!