Saturday, January 15, 2011

Before and After

This is a remodel I found a while back that really struck a nerve with me. When we first started planning our renovation, we thought we'd rip off the roof and add a few feet in ceiling height (at 7.5 feet they're not exactly cathedral ceilings).

I hated ranches, and I really wanted to alter our ranch so it didn't look like one. Spurred on by before-and-afters that went from 50s ranches to literally ANYTHING else...two story colonials, Cape Code Cottages, etc. I wanted what those people had...but there was a HUGE difference between them and us. Those renovations cost anywhere from $250,000-$500,000. We didn't even have that much to buy a house, we certainly couldn't spend that on the renovation. So I came around to the fact that my ranch was going to be a ranch...forever. Then I came across this remodel...which also likely costs in that ballpark. The difference is...we can do this ourselves, exchanging our own sweat for the high dollars it costs to pay for someone elses sweat. We aren't ripping off roofs and pretending our house is something it isn't. Instead we're opening up ceilings, replacing windows and brightening the place up. That we can do.

I plan to open up the dining room very similar to this.

And the kitchen like this.

In the end I feel better about the choices we're making. For starters, we pared down the completed project from 2800 square feet to about 1800. (400 of it is coming from the car port we're enclosing for the pantry, office and laundry/utility room) We have also bought a lot of our windows and doors (and KITCHEN!!!) from the Habitat for Humanity store...which not only helps us financially (everything we've purchased is more than 50% off retail, and so far it's ALL brand new), but it helps them too. It also keeps more stuff out of landfills, which we can be proud of as well. We'll also be heating and cooling less space, and of course saving on the materials for the 1000 square feet that we are not adding to the current structure. I do believe that less is more, and I think that we are planning a house that is really livable for us. We need less living space, and more storage. We're not clean-freaks by nature, so if everything has a place we hope it will be easier to keep things picked up. So between the locker system in the hallway, the large pantry and the utililty room (aka laundry-studio-craft room) I think we'll be able to keep the mess in check. (or at least be able to shove it in those places quickly when people say they're coming over)

(click to expand)

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...