Uncategorized October 11, 2017

What are we going to accomplish with this house?

October 10, 2017 | Day 19 


→ If you want to start the blog from the first entry, please scroll to the bottom.

In today’s blog I wanted to give you the full details on this house; what we have to work with and what we have planned to accomplish for our clients.

What Are the details of the house we are remodeling?

Split-Level Contemporary Home

Built 1963 | 1,800 SQFT Finished | 3 Bed | 2.5 Bath | Large 2 Car Garage

What is our goal for this project?
To enlarge the house, without going outside the footprint by opening up walls (to make small spaces feel bigger)and create updated living spaces (bring the homes interior design up to date). We also are going to update the electrical, plumbing and heating to current standards and make it clean (The house is filthy and we currently have a pest problem, more on that later).

We also want to lead our client with their choices but keep them on a tight/strict budget. We are teaching them where to spend their money and where to save. That is always the hard part of remodeling. How do you save money and not make the remodel look cheap? Where do you spend and where do you cut back? We get bids from our sub-contractors for lots of extras (we add the wish list items) and then fine tune the bids (a nice way of saying cut them in ½) to make the scope of the project fit with the budget. This is what Renee does best.

What is the scope of work we are doing to this home?

Opening up as many walls as we can to make it feel roomier, add new light fixtures, move electrical outlets to new locations, refinish the existing hardwood floors and add hardwood floors to the kitchen. Repaint every wall, ceiling and molding in the house. We would like to add all new doors and new door hardware to all rooms but this is low on the priority list.

We currently have a rat or critter infestation in the attic. There is a strong odor and many droppings that have been coming from the attic during demoing. Our sub- contractor has seen droppings soon after he has swept up areas, yikes we need to get this place cleaned up. Tomorrow we will be tackling this with a company that will take care of the pests and replace the insulation, and I’m sure I’ll have stories to tell, they may be gross.

Remove the door and ½ wall in between the kitchen and the dining/living room and install new hardwood floors to match the rest of the main floor. We will install new kitchen cabinets, new countertops and backsplash, new appliances, enlarge pantries and put new doors on them to match cabinets. There will be new light fixtures and we will widen the entry to the kitchen from the main hallway, it is tight and makes the kitchen feel even smaller. The glass slider from the kitchen will swap places with the current dining room window area, this will create a new eating space in the kitchen now that the door is removed and will add light and outside access to the new BBQ deck from the dining room.



Re-do the main full bath with new cabinet, sink, toilet, fixtures, lighting, tub, tile tub surround (to the ceiling) and new flooring. In the ½ bath replace the countertop, backsplash, sink, faucet, toilet and flooring.


There was a wall taken down between two rooms on the main floor to create one very large room, but this was done poorly by leaving the missing parts of the hardwood floor and it really made no sense. Our clients need the room back as two legal rooms so we are rebuilding the wall,  adding a new closet and new outlets to make it back into two bedrooms.


We had great ideas of retiling the whole fireplace (over the existing stone) and replace the current green slate tile at the base of the fireplace but with budget constraints we will be painting the stone façade and leaving the base tile, but clean it up. We will add a wood mantle and electrical outlet for a mounted TV.

This basement has great ceiling height, good natural light and plenty of square feet; three  great ingredients if you have to remodel a basement. Renee has a great eye for spaces and what there potential are, she saw through all the YUCK and saw what it could be. This basement is the scary and smelly part of the house. Regardless of the light coming through the windows, it feels so dark because of the wood paneling everywhere, rose wallpaper in the bedroom and an extremely tight small bathroom.  Demoing this basement will make for a clean start.

All the wall wood paneling will be taken off, and the whole basement will get new paint. We are creating from the existing basement bedroom a master suite with closet and master bath. It is our full intention to create a new full master bathroom, but with the budget, this room might only get framed and electrical added for now (this is one of those decisions we will need to see how much money we have and it’s a room that will not be seen by anyone other than the family so this could wait to be finished at a later date). We will be adding new carpet to the master suite and all new doors. To create the master suite, we will move the laundry, hot water heater and furnace to the back section of the garage. We will frame the new laundry/mechanical room, but we might not be able to completely finish it. We will install new flooring to the hallway and rec-room area, add electrical for a tv and new lighting. Once again, we are using what is there and improving it by rearranging things and moving things out of the way. This lets us use all 1,800 sqft of house space as well as some of the garage.


On the outside of the house, we took down the old deck off of the kitchen. We will be building a new smaller BBQ deck coming off the new dining room. We will paint the outside and add new light fixtures to the area around the deck, over the garage doors and front entry. The home owners want to add a cement sport court to the north side of the house, take out some tree’s and add a new fence.  These are things that can/will be done at a later date. There is one tree that is very close to the house which could be one of the “pathways” for the rodents. So, this tree removal could advance on the must do list.

As you can see we have a lot on our wish list but as we have been gathering all the bids from our sub-contractors, the numbers are high and decisions need to be made on what can be done and at what level of finishes we can buy. Things are moving fast. Another blog post coming very soon, there’s lots to share.

-Renee & Jessica