Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Renovating is much harder than building from scratch. Everyone told us that. But how do you tear down a pretty good house, one which was loved by a former tenant withe three kids, and before that a British consul? The house was originally built in 1970, and I think it was built to rent out. Three bedrooms and a den, three bathrooms, living room, kitchen, staff area. A pool was added 9 years later. Lay out was basic and simple--no funny corners, no weird shaped rooms. Just square.
And so we began to renovate a little more than a year ago. We were going to extend the second floor and maximize the lot, without making the garden any smaller. We wanted an open layout, open kitchen, bright and airy house. As many rooms as could fit, and roomier closet since we were coming from a condo with limited closet space.
It was so exciting when the partitions started coming down. I still couldn't visualize what the spaces were going to feel like so it was nice that it was unfolding little by little. And of course, as in all renovations, once they start taking things down, you start thinking of more things that can be done. We're the worst nightmare of an architect and a contractor!
BUt also, as in all renovations, the as-built structure was not like the old architectural plans that we were holding. Beams and columns showed up where they shouldn't have--so we had to re-design as we were going along.
It was fun in the beginning, then it got tedious specially when the contractor had below par workers. Then as we are coming into finishing, it's getting exciting again. When will it ever finish? One thing for sure, I realize how OC I am and that I have to learn every detail about something before deciding what to buy. Search the internet, interview other homeowners, ask 2 or 3 architects what they think, confuse myself, and then okay--DECIDE. Whew, one down. And then it begins again with something else. The next project is going to be much easier and faster. IF there is another project!