Friday, March 2, 2012

The Church of the Perpetual Remodel

I’ve been remodeling and fixing houses and apartments off and on since 1979 and for the first time have hired a general contractor for our latest project. At my age, first time anything qualifies as an adventure. The project is to raise the ceiling in our living room to help decompress our overstuffed bookshelves and relieve a sense of claustrophobia in that room that after 17 years of living here I haven’t been able to shake off. A running joke between one of my friends at work and me is to hang our heads in unison and mutter “we have ranch houses” when the topic of housing comes up. Our little ranch house has good bones, a great location and neighbors, and the price was right when I bought it. But after years of taking care of more cost-effective and important concerns, addressing the "want" for a higher living room ceiling will be somewhat ameliorated by the need to fix certain aspects of the existing roof. The contractor kindly agreed to bid for the shell part of the alteration and leave the inside for me to finish (we’re soundly part of the 99%). Interior details, windows and ceiling height are not yet specified, so I’ve been looking in libraries, bookstores and internet sites for ideas. While engaged in this, another motivation for re-opening this blog came when I found some negatives of my house before I bought it in ’95 while helping my mom unclutter her house. When I met my wife in ’97, I had already done quite a bit to the place. It was difficult to adequately in words communicate to her the changes that took place before she came onboard. I hope that by organizing and presenting the past, it helps me with the process going forward.
Here’s the floor plan (approx.) as purchased in ‘95

Here is the present floor plan

So, to follow will be a series of "before and after" with a few "during" photos here and there along with some narrative for each section.

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