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Let the Games Begin

As I mentioned in our very first post, in order to buy and maintain a house in our ideal neighborhood, we have been renting our basement. The original basement layout was missing several crucial elements that would allow us to rent out the floor as a separate unit, most notably- a kitchen.

Last January we discussed options and got quotes from two contractors. The quotes came back five thousand dollars apart. In addition, the layout and quality outlined in Pablo’s estimate was far superior. The first contractor wouldn’t even entertain our ideal layout because it involved moving our washer and dryer (and associated plumbing). It was an easy choice. We were able to get Pablo’s quote down another $2,500 by completing all painting and flooring ourselves, which brought the budget within reach.

The original basement layout looked like this:


And we had re-imagined the space to look like this:

basement NOW!

The plans were complete with plumbing to reroute, walls to remove, and the promise of hidden problems. We braced ourselves for our first renovation.



I played Ultimate Frisbee in college so I would love to start this post with a quintessential end zone layout picture to represent the only meaning of layout that ever used to be important to me. Unfortunately, I have no such picture to share. NOT because it was never captured on film. I was never able to fling my body horizontally forward at top speed. I would have loved to! I guess the kinesiology major in me could spot a contraindicated exercise from a mile away. More likely to cause harm than good.

Regardless, I have a new found appreciation for another kind of layout these days. I love a good house layout so I decided I’d share ours:

upstairs floorplan

Downstairs (as it was when we moved in in 2013):

(Very) Long Term Goals

Opening up the Kitchen:
We talk dreamily about someday knocking down the wall between our kitchen and dining room. We know the wall is weight bearing so we will need a structural engineer to put a beam in place. Pulling down the wall will allow us to put in a small peninsula between the two rooms as well as double our current counter space. While we are tearing things down we plan to add recessed lighting to replace our florescent lights and hardwood floors!

Current Kitchen and Dining Rooms:
That's my kitchen

Dream Kitchen Rendering:
Dream Kitchen!!

Master Bedroom:
Many of our neighbors have matching floor plans so when one of our neighbors explained how she and her husband put in a walk in closet we were thrilled! Very few original floor plans in our area allow for a walk-in no matter how small. Our trail-blazing neighbors simply knocked down the walls between two bedroom closets and a hall closet to make one jumbo closet! We would like to copy them and rough in a closet in the second bedroom from which a closet is being stolen. While we are at it we plan to replace our old off track metal closet doors. Converting the largest bedroom into a master bedroom will also require walling up a doorway that opens up to the dining room!

Current Dining Room, Office, and Second Bedroom Room:
Future Master

Rendering of Future Master with Walk-in Closet: