Away back in April--seems like years ago--I wrote about our home remodeling efforts and how much fun we were having working with Black + White Studio Architects. Planning a home addition is like planning a vacation or a wedding--what's not to love?
Well a lot has happened (or perhaps NOT happened, if you're a glass-half-empty kind of person) since then and though we'd originally planed on starting work in May (that's your cue to laugh heartily at our expense) I can finally report that "Houston, we have lift off."
I won't bore you with too many details about the excruciating pains the Municipality has taken to ensure our project never happens. Forgive me my melodrama but a drama it has been, earning a spot in the Crazy Hall of Fame because in short our house was built before the current housing ordinances were in place. Regulations now require that homes be 20 feet back from the front property line when in fact our garage is eight inches over that line. Eight inches. Eight LOUSY inches.
At any rate, we wanted to build our addition straight up, flush with the garage but given the reaction from the city you'd think that allowing us to build on top of our own house on the existing wall would be akin to helping Al Quaida distribute crystal meth wrapped in asbestos to the starving orphans of the world. We had to be stopped.
They told us that no, we couldn't build straight up and that regardless of common sense the addition had to conform to the new laws and must be built eight inches farther back. On top of the garage. They didn't care that it would be more expensive and time-consuming, that it wouldn't be quite as pretty and wouldn't give us as much space as before. They simply didn't care. Oh I shouldn't say that, I'm sure the Municipal office workers down at Permitting got quite a thrill out of being able to tell another human being how they could or could not build their house, that kind of power always excites. It's always nice to see our taxes dollars at work--making the world safe from felons such as us.
So it's been slow going to get a contractor, get prices down to where we wanted them and then to jump through all the city's hoops. Not that I'm bitter.
There were a few points where we said "Do we really want to do this? Shouldn't we just forget it, sell all of our worldly possessions and buy a yak farm in Tibet? They don't have housing ordinances there do they?" but when it came down to it we knew we'd be happy with this beautiful addition--that and I bet yaks aren't easy to house train.
So we closed our eyes, held our breath, signed on the dotted line and ripped off the garage roof on Saturday. There's no turning back now. I made a time-lapse video of the demolition which I must say is very cool. After 170 pictures I've learned a few tips about the technique and plan on taking more and better footage of the construction then will put it all together at the end for the big unveiling.
I didn't get pictures of Andrew actually using the jack hammer so it looks like he's tearing up the concrete steps with his bare hands.
But for now all you need to know is that we're forging ahead and these pictures are what keeps us going:
Ta da! The exterior picture at the top is an earlier photo and doesn't show the darker paint we chose, the new entry and front steps that we'll be putting in or the Grasscrete we'll be using for landscaping.
Here's what it will look like from inside, as I've said before the design is perfect and it will be so beautiful when it's done. This interior shot is looking along the addition from one side to the other and you can see the sliding door in the middle there that will separate the girls' room from the boys' room. It can lock for privacy or open to create this large, bright, creative space that will have a great view of the mountains in front. And just look at all that desk and shelving space.
They're telling us that it will be done in two months. You can bet I'll be posting final pictures--do you think there's any chance on earth we'll be finished in 60 days?
Sponsored by Sweet Retreat Kids--for fun kids decor. Fun spaces are memorable places.
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