Friday, January 27, 2017


What a week, huh? I've never heard so many discussions about (crowd) size in my life! Guess what, WHO CARES!  The only time I care about the size of anything is when looking at homes and trying to figure out how to make clients happy.  Sometimes I'm faced with the dilemma of enormous, hideous furniture and squeezing it into a tight space, or large, cavernous rooms with zero furniture (and no budget to work with). Last summer I faced yet another challenge with the friend I've mentioned here...the one who bought the cheapest house in the nicest neighborhood with the goal of completely renovating it from tip to toe on a tight budget. To bring her vision to life she brought me in to help her FOCUS. Because we've done so much comparing of photos this week, I thought it was a great opportunity to compare some of my own. When walking around her house initially I tried to determine where we could gain square footage without busting the budget. I turned an entry way into a bedroom, reworked the basement space to add another bedroom, gym, bar, family room and hang out area and when I spotted this porch I immediately thought about how we could easily rework it and incorporate it as usable square footage. Because of the pitch of the roof line (hidden but the original, ugly vinyl siding) I knew we could make an interesting space with little effort and minimal expense. Now, don't get me wrong, I've got manual labor on my side (I helped my friend with demo) and an incredible team that worked for great prices. The total of this renovation? Just a tad over $5,000.00 with all materials and labor. Not bad for adding 300 square feet and a dramatic room! I'm also aware that not everyone has a back porch or extra space to play with, but my point is to re imagine the spaces you have and not be afraid to think out of the box.
After removing siding and ugly carpet, we installed a vapor barrier on the exposed concrete floor with a thin layer of insulation and plywood (to protect from mildew, changes in temperature and humidity, etc.). We insulated the ceiling and added sheetrock, installed two windows on the new exterior wall and repurposed the original porch door. We added shiplap pine to the back wall to tie in with other areas in the house where we added the same accent and installed unfinished hardwood floors from the Home Depot. We added new lights and outlets to code and brought the heat into the room with new radiators. The goal handed to me was to create a dining room where she could place a massive table able to accommodate at least twelve, and we achieved that!