Prairie Village Demolition

Trevor Frets created this video about where we live and what we’ve been up to lately!  Concrete and Framing videos to come soon!

 

Click here to see the Demo Teaser video.

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Framing Fun

Framing started the week before my family went on vacation…and it will almost be finished when we get back 2 weeks later!  This is in huge contrast to the last 2 months for us.

Framing goes up so fast – it’s super gratifying.  We loved our crew.

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This phase also helped legitimize the dimensions of spaces I designed.  When I just saw the slab I wondered if everything was too small.  I knew I was designing modestly in square footage so that the scale goes with the home and the neighborhood, but I questioned it.  Now that walls are up, I feel much better as things seem the way I envisioned.

My neighbor was awesome and sent me photos while we were gone!

The ones above are from the side of the house where the private patio will be.

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Siding started going on and windows are being installed.  Roofing will start in the next week.

The above photos are of the master bathroom skylight over the toilet, and the bedroom.  We kept the vaulted ceilings throughout the house which also required installing 2 new separate mini-split A/C & heating units on the addition that work in unison with the current furnace and A/C.  That way we don’t have exposed ductwork along the vaults inside.
(which is cool, but more of an urban loft look)

The photos above are of the mid-century credenza I bought to use for the master vanity sink, a view of the finished bedroom space, and how I envision the master bathroom…your glimpse into the future!

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The master addition is starting to look like a real, live-able home!  We continued the style of siding that was existing on the rest of the house.  Roof line overhangs and angles on the ends were matched to the original.  My hope is that you won’t be able to tell where the old ends and the new begins.

 

My Concrete-phase Hiatus

I’ve been a bit deflated and irritable during the last 2 months.  I haven’t posted anything on here for a while due to a slow-moving process during that time.  It’s funny how excited you are when the smallest thing is changed when you stop by the house on your way home from work.  Things as little as new tools delivered to the site, dirt scooped back into a hole, or a dumpster delivered make you feel like there is forward movement no matter how small.  Compared to how bummed you can be when you drive by and nothing has been touched.  You feel stagnant.

It’s not like I think the world revolves around me, or my house.  I understand many have multiple projects that overlap, and heavy rain storms played a big part in our delays.  But some professionals aren’t the best at setting up your expectations accurately through communication.  I’ve learned it is so much better to tell clients something is going to take longer than I think, or cost more with the hopes of being able to out-perform those goals.  Rather than tell them something to keep them happy at the moment such as, “I’ll be there tomorrow to work on it,” and then not show up for another 3 days.  It feels deflating in the end.  It’s almost better to hear bad news letting your head wrap around it and soak it in with time, rather than to have high hopes and expectations based on what you’re told then to have nothing fall in line with those.  It makes you feel less in control, more chaotic, and less trustworthy of others.

The footings were poured first.

The slab form-work was done and plumbing was ran to specific locations.

Re-bar was added and ready for the final pour.

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Concrete was poured into a buggy and taken around back rather than having the large truck with a hose over our house to save us some money.

The slab is poured!

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The kids loved watching the concrete pour.

It’s a weird feeling to have the hopes that the people working on your home care about it as much as you do. Because that’s not realistic.  They have their own homes, own families, own schedules, and life outside of working on your house.  But don’t we all just want people to love and care about it with the intensity and passion that we do?  That’s what makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside.  We always want an advocate.  I do have an advocate in my contractor, but it’s hard balancing the extreme yearnings I have with the reality of life.

Last concrete project was the patios.  There is a small patio to the side of the house that will have a fence built for privacy.  In the back, we have two sections designed so we can plant a tree in-between for needed shade around 10-2.  We will later add a flush deck between the concrete pads like drawn below:

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I am well familiar with studying the emotional rollercoaster journey that remodeling (especially an addition) can take homeowners on.  I researched it, saw it first hand for the last 10 years, and am now experiencing it fully.  Any of the slower-moving parts of the process (or moments where bad news is delivered; usually referring to money) are typically where people feel disappointed.  When you see quick changes (such as in demolition, framing, and drywall) you feel a bigger sense of progress happening.  If anything, this experience is teaching me a deeper level of empathy for the emotions my clients go through.  I found a couple of graphics to better demonstrate what I’m talking about.  They vary a bit, but have the same general idea.

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The one below is pretty funny when you take into account the children and dog line:

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Correctly shown in the above images in absolute full bliss is the elation at the end of the project where you want to throw a party!  That spot is higher than all of the other happy points; even higher than when the project began or when you dreamt of it.  This is because you just saw and experienced a dream becoming built-reality.  Not many people get to experience this.  It is euphoric when you have a design and then see it come to life.  Any child that has seen their drawing become a mural, or a long goal of yours finally gets conquered, or the music you worked so hard to create gets played on the radio…

This is the moment it’s all worth the dirty, emotional, crazy.

This is when the open heart surgery becomes life-saving.

This is the moment that I tell clients to keep a hold of when they aren’t sure they ever want to remodel.  The end result is worth it!  Good design makes your life better.

This is why I will probably never be able to stop improving spaces; even my own.  No matter how hard the process is.  That vision I can’t help but see in a sad space, of the potential, the possible, the what could be is way too enticing to ever make me quit.  It motivates me more than most things in life.

I guess I’m right where I should be… (among the crazy)

The 1-Year Mark

It’s been one year since we sold and moved out of our old house (sold in July, moved in August 2016).  I’ve been a little nostalgic lately because of it.  Missing our old house all over again and the memories there.  I never thought I’d be one to put so much emphasis on an object (caring more about people), but now that we have kids and put so much sweat equity and love into that house… it’s harder to let go.

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Below is the photo of us packing everything into our POD like a tetris game.  There are so many times my kids have asked me about an old toy, a blanket, or forgotten object that’s packed in the POD, and I have to say, “we don’t have it right now, but we will when we can move into our new house.”  You have NO idea how much I can’t wait for the day that POD is delivered to our new driveway!  I will be happy to re-unite with our things, as well as getting rid of the monthly POD charge!

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Our old house had the main water pipes being replaced the week before we closed.  We had to call the foreman for the city project to make sure the section in front of our house would be done and filled in before we had to close so that the POD could be picked up.

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Our old house on Birch

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Our new house on Tomahawk

Now that things have gotten moving on the new project it’s finally the light at the end of the tunnel.  You can see and imagine the finished project, and it’s super exciting.  I’m not so sad now that I can look forward to us living here and making new memories.  I’m just extremely anxious and impatient now that it’s so close.

Here’s to hoping we aren’t completely broke after this!

Demo Days

We are doing the demolition ourselves to help cut some cost from the overall budget.  Plus, let’s just say it makes Matt “feel like a man” when he gets to bust through the walls and make quick visual progress opening up the space.

Here is a little teaser that I posted on Instagram to celebrate the 4th of July since Matt worked on the house that morning:

First, I put large “x’s” on anything I wanted removed, and green tape on things I DON’T want ruined saying “keep.” This isn’t just for Matt, but also other trades when they are there so important things don’t get trashed.

We even took off this old Margaritaville switchplate as a memento to keep from the old version of the house.  Not sure where we will relocate it yet, but it will return somewhere since we think it’s so hilarious someone actually bought this!

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Now for more demolition pictures:

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This is the picture that makes me really happy.  I can finally see the whole kitchen without that wall there.  Below it is a rendering of what I’ve been imagining for how it will look when finished.

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This is what you do when you’re done for the day:

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Empty House

What does a teenager do when they have an empty house with no parents in town?  Throw a party of course!  What do we do when we have an empty house just sitting there waiting to be remodeled? Have pizza parties with multiple sets of friends, and let the kids color all over the walls of course!

Now, hopefully, the kids understood the idea of us repeating “don’t do this at your home!”

He gone.

The huge tree in the backyard that provided more shade than I even realized was not in a good location, and would be very difficult to remove later once the back addition is there.  It was right in the center of the yard where the kids will be able to play.  We thought the chances of it surviving after roots being cut up for foundation was slim anyway, so buh bye big tree.

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Don’t worry, we will plant prettier ones in the future.  Our top fave decorative trees are: Sweet Bay Magnolias, Bracken’s Magnolia, Dogwoods, Ginkgo, Weeping Cherry, and Japanese Maples.

Hopefully, some more sun in the back will help our future luscious lawn grow since the front is way too shady to grow grass very well.