Thursday, September 19, 2013

Scope of our current project

We've had a few questions about the scope of work for the renovation, so I thought I'd provide some more detail beyond just posting a floor plan.

The old (very small) 2-piece washroom is being relocated to where the butler's pantry was. This 2-piece was actually added to the house sometime in the last 50 years and the space was originally a servant's staircase that went up to meet the landing between first and second floors of the house.  We're also moving a stair case in the kitchen extension to be in line with the entry into the back rec room rather than perpendicular to it.

The stairs to the basement in the corner of the kitchen are being relocated to under the stairs to the second level.  This removes one of the entry/exit points in the kitchen so we can maximize space.

This picture shows the various walls that are being opened up in the main house.  The wall between the kitchen and dining room will be framed in the same way as the pocket doors between the dining room and living room so that we keep with the style of the house.  The relocated 2-piece washroom will be removed, along with the stairs to the basement to provide an additional 30 square feet of space in the kitchen.  We are also combining the sunroom with the kitchen to form one large open kitchen/sunroom space so that we can have an eat-in area and bring more light into the kithen.  We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how much we wanted to open up the kitchen areas to adjacent rooms.  We live in a 100 year-old house where the original kitchen was quite small and segregated from the rest of the main floor.  We wanted to balance the desire of keeping to the old style of the house while giving us a larger, more modern kitchen, with eat-in space and lots of light.

Here's the finished floor plan again:

There are a few things that I think are worth mentioning:

The old swinging door between pantry and dining room is being closed to make the space between the kitchen and new bathroom into a floor to ceiling pantry.

The window in the corner of the kitchen is being changed to be 10" shorter, but shifted upwards in the existing window opening, so that it will be above the kitchen counter top.

The back rec room which has been in a mostly demolished state for the past 2.5 years will be rebuilt.  The grandfathered plumbing for the old bathroom that was in the building will be upgraded to provide a laundry room and two piece bathroom. We had originally planned for a shower in this bathroom as well, but opted for laundry.  We will be retaining a drain under the stacked laundry to allow us to convert that space to a 3-piece bathroom at some point in the future if we want.

The back rec room will have a wet-bar/kitchenette area, and a large built-in unit around a gas fireplace on the back wall.  The door to the back yard will be a 13' wide, 8' tall folding sliding door that will allow us to open the entire space to the outdoors.  The rec room will be tiled to make the space amenable to people entering with shoes on without damaging the floor.

The entire lower level of the old sunroom is being rebuilt from the ground up.  The old sunroom was sitting on stacked wood and brick without any real foundation and was in very bad shape.

We will be retaining the upper level sunroom structure as it has way too many windows to replace and already has a nice hardwood floor and isn't in horrible shape.  It will be reinforced so that it is structurally sound, and we will be adding a pair of french doors out to the upper level deck (see next item).  The outside cedar shake skirting will be replaced with new and the roof on top of the sunroom will be replaced (with gutters and downspouts added).

New decks will be added.  One off the sunroom, and one on top of the back rec room/garage building.  They will be connected by stairs.  This will allow us to maximize our outdoor space.  The deck and stair case concrete piers were put in last year when we did some landscaping and are 6' deep with true footings and rebar throughout.

All of the renovated spaces will be upgraded with new insulation, modern electrical and plumbing, and be outfitted with in-floor hydronic heating tied into zones on our high-efficiency boiler (purchased back in 2009).

We are also replacing our side door and landing (not shown in the plans) which exits the house from a landing on the way to the basement.  The door and landing area were in pretty bad shape so we opted to include this in the scope of the work.

The new kitchen will have custom cabinetry up to the ceilng with crown.  We opted for granite countertops.  The range is a new Thermador 48" professional all-gas range with matching 48" hood.  The fridge and freezer are also Thermador and are counter-depth built-ins that are 84" in height.  The dishwasher is a stainless model by Thermador.

Windows throughout the renovated space will be replaced with new Marvin wooden windows with aluminum clad exteriors.  If you've been following the blog for a while, you'll probably remember my efforts to restore the old wood windows.  We decided to abandon our efforts to rebuild the original windows to go for new after realizing the time and effort necessary.  With work, family, and all the other commitments in life, I just don't have the time to take that task on.  The quality of the Marvin windows is excellent and we chose a style that is in keeping with the original windows in our house.

For trim, door and window casings, sills, and architraves, we opted to match the original trim in the house.  During demolition, we managed to salvage some of the original trim which will be re-used.  The remaining will be reproduced with matching knives from a wood mill just south of Ottawa.  We were lucky that most of the knives were available and only had to get one new knife made for the side window and door casing.  The trim isn't cheap to get reproduced but we felt it was important to keep with the original style of the house.

The garage will be turned into an actual garage, with a proper insulated garage door, an adjacent entry door, updated electrical for a workshop area and lots of storage space.

If you're still reading this blog post, then you likely realize that this project has a large scope of work, involves building permits, lots of structural work, electrical, plumbing, and insulating.  This is partly the reason we waited so long to get going on this part of our house renovation, to save the necessary funds and really try to get the design right.  We did use an architect who had some great input on elements of the design, but the overall layout and design is largely ours.

We're excited about the progress so far and we hope you continue to check in to this blog for updates!

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