Happiness. Short-term, stupid, self-interest.

Home Renovation – The Background

Our home in upstate New York is a 3 bedroom ranch style home with a bonus room (or, 4th bedroom). It also has 2.5 baths, a full basement and a two car garage. It is much larger than it appears and I have really fallen in love with the layout, though there are some trade offs.

house-in-october-004_sm_alt.jpgThe kitchen was not ideal. It was a small, galley kitchen, and not only do we like to cook, but the kitchen is the one place in the house that everyone eventually migrates to whether it is just the immediate family, or if you are hosting a party. We also had a formal dining room which was good for formal dining, but inconvenient for everyday use. The kitchen was going to be where our family mingled everyday and we wanted it to be a special place for our kids to grow up. So, justifying a kitchen remodel became easy and we and started talking with several kitchen designers.

One designer gave us the idea of flipping the dining room and kitchen and we loved it, so we went with it. We were deeply involved with the kitchen design and luckily had a designer that was great to work with. We both threw out ideas and the designer kept it in line with what was actually doable. The design was very functional and it still gave us all the features we take credit for, like the breakfast peninsula, the window to watch the kids play outside while washing the dishes, the cherry apothecary drawers, the open room eat-in family dining room, and all the lighting was my design.

Now, I’m not claiming to have done the work myself. We hired professionals so that they could have the whole thing done in one month, which they did. I also did not run into any contractor horror stories and they did a great job, so I have no problem saying that it was worth the $30K to accomplish it. (that includes appliances, floors, doors, windows, cabinets, lighting, plumbing, labor, etc)

kitchen.jpgWith more luck, we timed it just right and were able to re-fi the whole thing back into our mortgage due to the increasing value of real estate at that time. Looking back, we use it just like we imagined but tenfold. It is the center of our home and we love it. No regrets, I’d do it again in an instant. (except maybe to go for the under-mount sink next time and not let the contractor talk me out of one of my recessed lights)

That’s the background; and the fact that we love the room and layout so much and that we would do it again in an instant gives us an idea… (to be continued)


December 29, 2006 - Posted by | Home Improvement

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