house post alert: future floor plan

in a previous post, i showed you the existing floor plan. the location of these walls really influenced the reinvisioned floor plan. Here’s the new floorplan below.

(apologies for this not being in an easy to view format. in switching laptops, both personal and professional, i lost all of my design software)

As you can see, still two bedrooms and two bathrooms, but no need for two kitchens. We were lucky and were able to create a big, open living space and a good sized kitchen.

the other thing we were able to do is keep most of the windows as is. this really helped on the cost.

house post alert: sad news

We had to put an end to a wonderful life this fall. Remember how I said everything was a-ok with the trees? Well, I spoke too soon. Our tree consultant stopped by the house and checked it out again. He saw some bad fungus growing on the roots and showed it to Nick.

a big hole - trying to see it as a view of the sky.
a big hole – trying to see it as a view of the sky.

Basically, the tree was fine to still leave up, but we had to keep an eye on it. It could need to come down in five years, or next year. As a planner, I’m not so cool with that uncertainty, especially since it’s right above our house.

so very very different view of the back of the house now.
so very very different view of the back of the house now.
 So, we decided to take it down. It was so sad. The yard has a different feel to it. However, we know it’s for the best. In addition to problems with the roots on the outside of the house, some roots were growing in the basement. We’re doing some work down there and I had major concerns about what that would do to those big roots.
that's not a small stump...
that’s not a small stump…
 The thing that really made me irritated was the response we got from people, including our house contractor. People were questioning us, “do you really need to take it down? It’s really such a great tree.” Thanks. We know. Do you really think we would willingly spend several thousand dollars to remove a wonderful tree unless we needed to? Cmon people. Common sense.
 One benefit we did receive, besides an intact house and more sunlight, is slices of the tree trunk. I’ve already got some ideas of what to do with them.
a remembrance.
a remembrance.

house post alert: fireplace destruction

It’s been way too long of a hiatus. Since the holidays have come and gone, I’ve found that a little time has been opened up to update everyone.

In reality, I shouldn’t blame the holidays. They were busy, but mostly because I make them so. In addition, I started a new job with the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), Nick was promoted (yay!) and my favorite youngest sister, Kelly, moved in with us. So, the fall held a lot of changes.

It also held a lot of changes for our house. We decided that the fireplace was not worth keeping. Some of you may think we’re crazy, but consider this
  • Every little bit of square footage is necessary in a 1200 sf house. The fireplace took up a solid 20 sf. That’s a closet!
  • We’re in the south. How often does it get that cold?
  • It was uuuuugly. And I don’t like ugly.
  • It wasn’t structurally connected to the rest of the house, making it easy to remove.
see? uuuugly.
see? uuuugly.
DSCN1404 (1280x960)
it wasn’t a short chimney…

So, Nick invited his friend Aaron down to help bash it up. Yes, Aaron did know what he was getting into before visiting.

 The men did a fantastic job of bashing. In the first day, they took down the chimney to the roofline. 
progress!
progress!
end of day 1
end of day 1!

The following day, it came down another 6 feet.

a beer well deserved.
a beer well deserved.

Nick and I followed up with the last 4 feet.

an evening of hard work brought us to here...
an evening of hard work brought us to here…

We came back the next day and the framers surprised us with taking it below the floor level.

looks like there wasn't even a chimney there!
looks like there wasn’t even a chimney there!
So what tools did we use? Nothing sophisticated. Just the guys guns, really. No, just kidding. We also had a chisel, several sledgehammers and pry bars. Some parts came off much easier than I thought they should. Others… Not so much.

So, if you ever decide to take down a chimney or destroy your fireplace, talk to us! We can definitely fill you in on what the true effort is. As far as if it’s worth it, you’ll just have to visit and see for yourself!