Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Discomboobulate Your House....

I LOVE our house.  We first purchased the house in 2005.  The house, we thought, was built in 1890.  After a trip to the county courthouse though, there is a house on the property on the 1856 platt maps.  Part of the house is one story and the other half is two story.

After looking at the structure of the house, we think that the two story is original and built in 1856 or earlier.  The one story part was added on in 1890 putting it on the books for taxes.  So the house is old.... and built totally out of oak!  Yes, every part of the house is oak that is original.  It is even sheathed, inside and out, in oak.  On the inside someone put drywall over the oak lathe.

So what to do?

Like I said, I LOVE our house.  It is too small though and laid out badly.  The house was handed down and kept in the original family until about 1970.  Then it sat empty just waiting for someone to love.  The owner then, donated it to the local fire department for a training exercise.  The house wouldn't burn!  The old girl is stubborn!  So it was then donated to MSU's construction engineering department.  They went through and updated the whole thing and changed the floor plan.  The house changed owners a few times after that before we bought it.

We did a few small things to the house.  Minor changes.  The house was still small and had an awkward floor plan.  So we decided to get a little drastic.  We spent the winter trying to come up with a floor plan that the both of us liked.  Sounds easy, but it was not!  Finally, we came up with a plan that we both liked!

The next challenge was to break down the project in stages.  We would still be living in the house during the renovation and need it to function.  We also have kids, so it needs to be a safe place for them also.  We decided the place to start was to put in a new bathroom.

The house didn't have an original bathroom.  This one was added to the foyer who knows when.  It has a tub surround, full vanity and of course the pooper.  It's not big by any means, but serves it's purpose.  For the main floor, we just want to add a half bath.  A half bath is a bathroom with no tub/shower.  Since this is also our only bathroom though, we need a shower or something.  Atleast temporary.

Our new plans has a half bath in the back half of the existing kitchen.  Do you see where this is going?  LOTS of work!  We also planned to have outside of the half bath a small laundry room with a stackable washer/dryer.  We decided that we would put a shower stall in the area where the washer/dryer stack is going to go temporarily until we have another full bath added upstairs.

Now the juggling act begins!

We need to cut the kitchen in half for the new bath while keeping a working kitchen.  (Insert googly eyes here).  Yup!  It's not that much of a change.  The table needs to come out of the kitchen and all the cabinets in the back half moved to that spot.  It does mean that the stove will be out of commission until the new kitchen is done.  So I am planning out a temporary kitchen.  I got a burner that you use for camping to cook what I would normally on top of the stove.  I also got a small countertop oven for baking and what not.  Now granted I am not going to be doing a few dozen cookies or anything, but hopefully we can get by.  With the nice weather we can also use the BBQ.  I also lost my dishwasher!  I can see doing dishes by hand as turning into a real PITA.

My husband is quicker on the demo than I am on the camera!  Here is the back half of the kitchen where the new bath is going to go.  The cupboards need to be moved, the light moved, the floor ripped up and the drywall cleaned up from removing the stone back splash.

I think I should help instead of just standing here taking pics!


  1. This is quite a big job you are undertaking but I know it will be wonderful. My hubby and I built our last house, did ALL of the inside work. It was a huge undertaking but we did it and loved it and were proud of ourselves. Best wishes for your journey!!!

  2. oh, my goodness! i don't envy you one iota! good luck with the 'sharing temporary space' thing and all the work!

  3. Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it! But keep reminding yourself how great it will be in the end!! A close shower is great when you come in from working outside! My parents had one and my Dad headed there from the back door most days! LOL