Sorry for the radio silence this last week, guys. Maya had the stomach flu, and then on the day she started to feel better, mama was down for the count! It was a doozy. Thank goodness for Dan’s strong stomach and grandparents nearby. Happily, we seem to be all recovered here for now, so life is getting back to normal.
Okay so I know I haven’t given you guys a renovation/addition update lately and thought it was definitely about time. If you’ve been reading along here for a while, you’ll know that adding to our current pad has been in our dreams for a while now. We love love love our neighbourhood and neighbours and want to stay put… but the 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom main floor of living space that we occupy is starting to feel pretty tight with Maya cruising around (reminder: we rent out the basement of our bungalow to tenants). I totally admire families who make it work in small spaces – you have to be so smart about storage and organization. I have to admit, I am having a hard time with it, lately. It seems like there is always clutter somewhere – even though I am constantly tidying up. How does this happen? I dream about having a big closet or even a room (!!) where I can shove things and close the door until I have time to deal with them. Even our recycling is constantly piling up and spilling out onto the floor in our kitchen. Anyway, enough with the moaning – I do realize how ridiculously lucky we are to own a home, and that it is huge when you consider home sizes around the world.
Our house – the first winter we lived in it
So over the winter we have been working with an architectural draftsman to draw the plans for our future house. Our hope is to keep the basement as untouched as possible (we renovated it in 2010), but pretty much re-do everything else, and add a whole second floor of square footage above our existing house and new garage.
Main floor – We’d like to put in support beams and take down all of the walls in our main floor to open it up. No more bedrooms on this floor – just an open kitchen, dining, and living space, with an office for Dan tucked in at the back. We also plan on removing the freestanding garage that currently sits on our property and building a new, attached one to the side of the house. This will mean that we can park our car and then come in through a side door, and our tenants would come through a door and hallway in the garage, and then down to their apartment. The bathroom on our main floor is just about the only thing that will remain. Although the kitchen footprint will stay basically the same, everything will have to be gutted and redone. Oh and we will be adding doors from the back of the house out to the backyard.
I drew up some seriously rough floor plans to give you a general idea. These are by no means to scale and don’t show windows, doors, closets, etc but they give you a sense of the potential space.
Second floor – Ahhh! A second floor! This is ridiculously exciting for us. We plan on having our bedroom + ensuite at the back of the house, and then 2 bedrooms for kids up at the front. We will also have a guest bedroom, but plan on using it more as a second living space/play room – kind of like what I imagine we would use our basement living room for if we didn’t rent it out. Oh and there will be a small area for laundry on this floor, a linen closet, plus a bathroom for the kids/guests.
And third floor? We aren’t sure if this will be a reality, but we are hoping to have a loft space in the third floor to act as a studio/office for me, plus as additional storage. We have been able to draw this into the plans and it doesn’t seem to have added a ridiculous amount to the budget/quote, so we are hopeful that we might be able to make it happen. Dreamy, I tell ya.
Exterior – The exterior will look pretty different. I don’t think you’ll be able to even recognize the bungalow that was once here (which isn’t a bad thing – I don’t want it to look like an addition, you know?). Since we are attaching the garage, and since our brick is currently in really terrible shape, we are going to do a mix of new stone and siding over the whole house. We are still making those choices, but I have a dark gray siding + lighter gray stone vision, with thick white trim around the windows and tapered white columns on the porch.
Here is a sneak peak at our drawings…
As for where we stand now, a few weeks ago we submitted all of the plans and drawings to the City department that handles permits. We are still waiting to hear back, but expect that there will be some back-and-forth until we have permitted drawings ready to go. We are anxious to get their feedback and see what we might have to change.
We are also still in the process of getting everything in line with the bank, so are hoping that the financing all works out the way we anticipate it will.
So those two things are what we are anxiously awaiting. We have chosen a contractor, who was recommended to us by a personal friend. He has a big crew, has done lots of large jobs like this, and his references were stellar. He is more or less ready to go when we are.
We are kind of in this weird limbo place, just sort of holding our breath. Will the permits be approved? How long will that take? Will all the financing work out as we have been told it will? If everything is indeed a go, we will be booking movers, a storage unit, and getting our butts out of here as fast as we can. But if things don’t work out? Will we have to wait another year? Maybe. We will of course be a bit disappointed and have to cross that bridge when we get to it, but it’s definitely at the back of our minds. We are trying to be cautious, but optimistic. We’ll see.
I will of course keep you posted every step of the way. In the meantime, since I haven’t wanted to do much around our place, I have been helping out a friend with her nursery, gearing up to help my parents’ with their bunkie at our cottage, and have a few small DIYs up my sleeve. I have been dyyyying to decorate a room lately, so I am super pumped to get going on these projects.
Have you guys done any architectural drawings before? Or dealt with City permits? When we did our basement, Dan was such a star with getting everything in order with the City department. We were pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was, and how friendly the inspectors were. Let’s hope for the same experience this time around.