Monthly Archives: February 2017

Designing the Space

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I wanted to do more than just draw my design on a piece of paper, which would have turned into several pieces of paper as I tried things out and changed my mind. It was a good thing I didn’t, because there were several iterations of the design. I also wanted something that would help all of us envision what the space would look like that was pretty close to being “to scale.”

I looked up a popular CAD program, SketchUp. They offer a free version and a Pro version. The Pro version is fairly priced for what it can do, but way too much for someone like me with one project. It really is for the pros who do this kind of thing for a living. As I was looking I found they had a beta of their web based version. So being me, I of course had to try it. And it is awesome! It does take a little time getting used to the different functions. If you’ve never worked in 3D modeling before, it may take some time to wrap your brain around the different dimensions. My first effort was a fail and quickly abandoned as a training exercise. My second effort looked great, but is not to scale at all. So when I learned I was going to have to change the design completely anyway, I went in and created a model pretty close to scale. I am not going to say it’s perfect, because I know it’s not.

Once you get the hang of it, you can throw up some walls pretty quickly. I am very happy with the result. It has been very useful figuring out the design and also planning my materials list. If you are embarking on any kind of remodel or design change, or if you just like playing around, I recommend checking out my.sketchup.com.

Here is my model:

The Current Layout

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Right now the north side of the house, on the main floor, features the master bedroom and another room, which they advertised as a bedroom. It doesn’t have a closet, so technically it’s not a bedroom. The current owners placed a little wardrobe in it to count as the closet. The master bedroom has a long shallow closet with sliding glass doors on the east wall, which abuts up to the extra room. We considered using the extra room as a dining room, but that just didn’t work. And with the weird bathroom layout I spoke about in my last post, we decided to open a door through the east wall and turn the room into a master closet and master bath.

Here is the master bedroom facing the closet

And here is the room facing northeast

So now the problem is having a bathroom for guests. We don’t want everyone walking through our closet to get to our bathroom. We also don’t want people to have to go down to the basement. So if we knock down some walls and resize some things, we have figured out a way to create a small washroom and still have room for the master suite. I’ll talk about how I did the layout in my next post.

Back to the Drawing Board

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We did the final walk through of the house today and I took some additional measurements. My original plan for master suite project is not going to work. I forgot to measure the windows the first time through and the window is not centered in the room like I assumed it was. That’s what I get for assuming! That cuts into the closet way too much.

The window on the back wall is also a problem. It’s bigger than I thought and in my original plan it was going to be in the shower. It’s still possible but way too risky dealing with water. So I am going back to the drawing board to reconfigure everything.

My plan for the washroom and master toilet are still intact at least. The current bathroom has a really weird diagonal sink and jog to the right to get to the bath. The chimney runs up through the bathroom on one side. So I will rework everything and come up with a new plan. Wish me luck!

Here is he current weird bathroom.

The Farm House Restoration Project

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We are a week away from closing on a little farm house built in 1949. We are so excited! It is in great shape for its age. The previous owner replaced the roof and poured some concrete sidewalks and steps, so all of the structural stuff has been done. He added a builder grade bathroom in the basement and installed a new furnace and AC unit. That means we get to focus on the remodel!

We were actually looking for something a bit older but discovered a few problems in our area. The majority of the old homes were built in the city center, which is now a business district or an undesirable area. If you want land, which we did, you have to move outside of the city. The only older homes with land outside of the city were on county land and depended on well water. That seemed fine until we started talking to some neighbors and they all have had to drop 35-40k in the last few years to re-drill dried up wells. No thank you!

This house is on just over an acre and is a horse property, so we are able to have small and large animals should we so choose. After we close, we have some work to do before the house is ready for move in. Throughout the restoration, I plan to write blog posts, take photos, and even post videos on my YouTube channel. So please check back often to see how things are coming.