Group 6 2 minutes Read

progress report

Lauren Zerbey

I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was daylight savings time, or the rain, or the fact that we’ve spent the last EIGHT months immersed in the exterior project…but we have lost almost all motivation to finish the inside of the front porch. We had set a reasonable goal of completing it by Thanksgiving, but now even that seems unlikely. Even though it’s a small space, we still have to go through all of the same steps, which means a lot of stop.go.stop.go with all the various dry times for spackle, caulk, primer and paint. And there is a lot of trim work to do…which is fussy and not that rewarding. There’s also no looming deadline hanging over our heads. [This time last year, we were frantically trying to finish the bathroom and complete 3 (of 9) architect registration exams before Christmas.]

So we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, let’s see exactly where we’re at in this whole remodel thing.

In the design section we show “before” and “after” floor plans but the reality is, we’re currently somewhere in between the two. So we put together a hybrid set of plans to give an idea of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. [click on images to enlarge.]




The first major interior alterations started in 2008. By the end of that year, we had a new bathroom and bedroom. 2009 has been focused mostly on the exterior, though we will [soon] be finishing our mudroom/entry space. We also have a few spaces “in transition”. When the bathroom was moved over, we used part of the old bathroom as a mudroom – or, to be fancy, we also called it the “bathroom ante room” (since you had to go through it to get to the new bathroom). This summer we closed in the back porch and relocated the back door. The old back porch and old bathroom-turned-mudroom now serves as one big mudroom/storage space.




In 2008, we also gutted our basement and created a “short basement” where our crawl space used to be. We also replaced our old tank water heater with a tankless version that is mounted on the outside of the house. The gigantic furnace that used to sit in the middle of the basement was replaced with a new high efficiency gas furnace that fits perfectly in the short basement. Initially, we thought that our small basement would just be for storage, laundry and mechanical equipment, but with a little creative thinking we now we have a virtual clean slate to work with! 

So, everything except the bedroom, bathroom and front porch will be next year’s project. Daunting? Not really. I think we’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons during our previous projects and have also been able to plan ahead. For instance, when the furnace was installed they stubbed out for the new gas range and the duct work and registers were located with the remodel in mind. When we re-did the plumbing we made sure that the new kitchen lines would easily tie in to the existing system and all the windows have been replaced. There will also be a demo party. Oh yes. So hopefully, this time next year we can post a current plan that looks something close to the “future” plan (we probably won’t get to the basement till 2011). Of course, we don’t currently own about half the furniture shown in that plan (we’ve been coveting Eames plywood chairs for the living room), so we may be embracing a very minimalist look for awhile.

Besides finishing the porch (we will, we will!), we’ll be spending the next several months finalizing the details and construction schedule for the next big project. Stay tuned for deep thoughts on kitchen cabinets, flooring options, and lots of sliding doors.