Monday, March 29, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3rd Meeting with the Builder

March 22, 2010

Off we go to his office for the big design reveal.

I like it.

We made a few tiny tweaks... like putting a tub/shower combo in the master bath and making a smaller single sink in there. I love the walk-in shower but..... if we don't have the budget to finish out the bathroom in the basement we will have NO TUB. All the little ones CAN shower but they like the tub. Also.... if I want a nice relaxing bath do I really want to (in 10-15 years) go down into stinky teenage land to do it? No. I want to be in my clean and relaxing master bath with an aromatherapy candle and a glass of red and my husband in the next room sprinkling rose petals on the bed.

Also.... closet space for the mud room. He's re-working things to build a closet into the stair-header space with a door behind the mud room door. Does that make any sense?

So, to explain the scan....

1. On the left is the outline of the part of the house that will remain. The outline is the house itself and the porch. The addition will line up with the existing opening between the kitchen and living room.

2. The door will be in the mudroom between the built-in bench and the utility sink. (There are no exterior doors or windows in this rendering for some reason...)

3. There will also be an exterior door (budget-willing) directly into the basement... for messy people and extra storage of outdoor gear. (A lot like how my mom's house works.... shitty boots go in the downstairs door and guests go in the mid-level door.)

4. The pantry is 5.5x5ft. Heaven.
5. The bedroom (for those of you in the know) is about a foot smaller than mom and dad's at the farm.
6. The dining space is about the same dimention as the current living room space (if you include the under-the-stairs space) so we can swap those areas if we want.... I'm thinking it would be nice to have the living area closer to the kitchen and to buffer the three bedrooms from the noise of the tv. (Although seeing those little jammie-clad bodies lined up like logs on the stairs sneaking tv viewing is kinda cute...) So that is something else.
7. The closets strike me as insanely large but I can console myself by storing all the table linens and the vacuum cleaner in there. And the little one has already been dubbed "The Man Cave" and will be Hot's primary storage spot. I look forward to closing that door. Also... those hallway doors will NOT be mirrored.... let us just be clear on that (shuddering... remembering the apartment at CamelToe Hump.....)
8. I fear I've already filled the pantry. I just keep thinking of more and more things to store in there. Of course an entire shelf will be dedicated to pet treats.
9. Thinking of asking about changing the shape of the island. More on that later. Also maybe a central vac.
10. Still planning some sort of retro-fit heating system so the baseboards in the remaining house will go away. The giant walled in chimney/cookstove/dead body will remain. Much sadness. But at least maybe the demo will allow us to see what it looks like... could be a cool brick wall feature or something. Curious minds want to know. Also wonder what is under kitchen flooring. Hoping for good wood under living room (existing) that we can keep.... but that's all for later.
Next up is the basement design (He's designing it even though we can't afford to finish it now). Then will come the picking of the stuff and the packing of demo rooms.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Builder Meeting Number Two

March 3, 2010

The builder met us at our house to do rough measurements. This, of course, meant we had to clean up our house a bit. But not too much.... I don't want to mislead them as to what kind of people we are, right?

There was much, "Huh, what do you suppose they did THIS for?" and "I wonder what THIS is..." discussion.

But they got the rough measurements. We found out the septic will probably be $7-8K. And demo anywhere from $10-15K. We can lower the price by getting rid of a lot of the stuff ourselves. A lot of it is based on the weight they have to haul to the dump. So we will be having a salvage party.

He will work on a design next.

Oh, and Hot wrote the first check. $2500 for designing the space and blueprints and whatnot.... half of that fee goes into the materials budget if we use him as a builder.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Builder Meeting Number One

February 22nd (the day of the infamous ER trip) was important for another reason that kinda got lost in the craziness.

We met with a builder.

We met to discuss remodeling our house. Well, really, we met to discuss leveling half of our house and, basically, building another small house alongside it and attaching them. (I know, I know.... jokes about just pulling a trailer house in there and taking off the wheels are perfectly acceptable....)

In January we talked about our goals and decided 2010 would be the year of the house. We'd do our research and either add on or let go of the dream. The basic driving force being.... our kids are little and we can enjoy it now....

So Hot talked to some friends who were having a house built and I called their builder. We set up a meeting for Monday, the 22nd of February.

So, here is what we learned:

1. Until two years or so ago he didn't build houses under $500,000. For the last 18 months he hasn't build one over $250,000.
2. He has an engineering background and graduated from MSU.
3. A few years ago a modest house was $150/sq ft. Now it is $75. He thinks he can do ours for around $100.

Here is what we decided:

1. We both like him and his process. We should do more research into other builders but, without plunking down a lot of money for design and bid stuff we can't really get more than a gut reaction to them anyway so, we're going for it.
2. The septic system needs to be re-done. We already knew this but it will be an additional cost. Also, we don't know what demolition will cost.
3. So this is meeting number 1. The next meeting will be for him to do rough measurements of our house and then start designing the addition.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The ER Update

The boys spent the rest of last week at home. They watched FIVE movies in one day. That has got to be some sort of record. I also have it on good authority they may have watched some movies that were not "child appropriate" during the week. But we will let the boys have their secrets, won't we? (Except each of them, independently, ratted themself out to me.) What is wrong with a little "Young Guns" and "Transformers" anyway? Heck, we let all three kids watch Harry Potter on tv last week..... and Tuff loves the Medusa-faced guy in "Pirates" so what the hell....

Friday morning I walked into the clinic, smiled at the volunteer on duty and sort of waved the pee cup I was carrying at her. She tipped her head and grinned back. I dropped the cup at the lab... taking a moment to notice how stylish and great-looking both of the lab attendants are.

Hot took Sweet to the doc that afternoon. He gets to wean off the steroids by early next week and has to do a pee test and bp check every Friday for the next two months.... then every month.... then every other month.... for a year.

Let's just stop a moment and say a big fat "amen" for health insurance. I may not love my job but I have health insurance.

Much love going out to my staff for getting him "Up" and a "Where's Waldo?" for get well, to his daycare provider for the balloons and m&m's, and to Hot's co-workers for making him able to be home all week.

Also to several really great docs and nurses at the hospital..... wow.