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What's Your Next House Project? IH14

sheilatorres's picture

From Inspired House #14 January/February 2006 House Chat Department (page 10)

What's the next house project you're planning?

Tell us about the home renovation project you plan to do next, and if we publish your story, we'll send you a copy of John Connell's Creating the Inspired House (Taunton, 2004).

Ways to respond:

  • Web: Reply to this House Chat posting
  • Email:
  • Mail: House Chat, Inspired House Editorial, The Taunton Press, PO Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470

(post #175776, reply #1 of 10)

I'm not quite clear on this--All we have to do is tell you what we PLAN to do next, not actually DO it, and you put...exactly WHAT in the magazine? 

Will you lend me a hand with the project?  Will you help me just get a contractor to SHOW UP to even give me an estimate so I can do more than dream? ;)

(post #175776, reply #5 of 10)

The next project is to continue what we've been doing for over a year now -- renovating and restoring a 1870-90 Louisiana center-hall cottage. Everything was going well until Katrina hit our area.

Fortunately, there was little damage to the house and I wanted very much to get back to work (after we cleared all the downed trees and debris on this property). Then, FEMA came to town and our contractor lost all of his workers to much, much higher tax-free wages. Try as we might to find replacements, we rarely receive return phone calls and if we do, they cannot possibly begin till six or more months down the road (many have suggested a year and a half) at exhorbitant prices. This nasty, life-altering storm continues to disrupt our once "normal" lives.

Painting walls and cabinets have been my contribution, almost finished the kitchen, but my biggest problem is carpentry. None of the inside doors have been hung and much wood work is still needed! I can happily say we do have one bathroom, laundry room, kitchen working and the floors are finished -- but none of the trim!

Hopefully the house we live in presently will not sell quickly but if it does, we'll take one step at a time and live in a house without doors!

(post #175776, reply #2 of 10)

Sheila:  Our next small remodel is to tear out the (awful) 70's style porch interior on the front of our 50's house, fake wood paneling and all.  We will replace the old panelling with some newer wallcovering, probably board and batten.

Our next big remodel is to reposition the kitchen and enlarge it. It is currently 8x4, with no counterspace and no windows.  No matter what we do, it will be an improvement!


"Every child can learn, just not all on the same day in the same way."
"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

(post #175776, reply #3 of 10)

What a great idea. I'm trying to decide between a major (for me) project and a less major one.

Major: Extending the living room by walling in and extending the roofline over a 12x9 concrete pad that is directly outside the patio door on the west side of our house.

Less Major: Removing a partial wall between dining area and what used to be part of utility room. Then building new wall with a door between extended dining area and the area which used to be 1/2 of a two car garage but is now used as a spare bedroom.

Norm (never been on TV)
Norm (never been on TV)

(post #175776, reply #4 of 10)


  Our next House Project (definitely deserving of the cap's) is replacing the plumbing in our house. The old galvanized is deteriorating and we'd like to avoid having the entire house go through a sewage ejection pump when the main floor could easily hook up to the city sewer directly. While we're at it, we are completely replacing our bathrooms and rearranging the fixtures so that they work better, as well as putting some storage in - which they are completely lacking at present. We figure since we have to go through the expense of replumbing anyway, we might as well have an arrangement that works better. As with all of our projects: "While we're at it, why don't we...."

(post #175776, reply #6 of 10)

Ours is the kitchen...updating from the early 80s mauve. Paint, new counters, floor, sink and maybe new cupboards. Possibly changing the window table to a window seat. The ideas are ever-changing because it's been two years in the offing and we've done squat. We'll be doing most of the work ourselves.

(post #175776, reply #7 of 10)

My BIG OVERARCHING PROJECT is to bring the kitchen & dining room in my 1914 Craftsman up to the main level from the English basement.  It's been renovated several times in situ, the latest being a 1970s hangover done in the early 1980s.  I debated long about whether it was worth the expense of an addition & a location move, but the basement is so restrictive (low ceiling, outside doorway now too small to get a bigger fridge through, limited windows, tile floors over concrete, etc.) that the cons outweigh the pro of minimizing expense.  My plan is to add on to the huge living room, using 1/3 of it as dining space, and creating a living-dining-kitchen expanse marked by low walls & columns, etc.  And to do all this, 2 flights of stairs need to be moved outside my stone foundation walls, as well, and the main entry (which is actually at the BACK of the house--go figure!) needs to be reconfigured, hopefully with a nice, welcoming porch so people know which of the 4 doors to the house they are intended to use!

Anyone who didn't get exhausted just by reading that and want to make suggestions or HELP? :)


(post #175776, reply #8 of 10)

FYI, Here's a side view of my house.  The main entry is on the left side, the kitchen entry is one story below it (a few steps down under the little porch roof), the dining room is the lower-level windows (the kitchen is in the interior with no windows or exterior walls), the classic "front porch" is on the right side, and the diamond-paned windows are where I want to bump out to put the kitchen (right over the "wishing well", which, of course, is a real well, though probably not abandoned properly, as I recently discovered).

(I guess if the magazine's folding, I should stop dreaming that they'll send me a team of helpers and offer to photograph the whole process for a later issue!)


(post #175776, reply #9 of 10)

Sally, your house looks beautiful, so I'm sorry it's planning is so inefficient. (Why was the kitchen in the basement?) Can you access it from within? I think your idea of a joint living-dining-cooking room sounds wonderful--after all, that's where we all congregate, non? I also understand why everyone remodeled it in place as that will be a huge project, but so worth it! I wish I had suggestions for you other than 'Go For It!' You'll be so happy when it's complete.

(post #175776, reply #10 of 10)

"in the olden days" kitchens were generally in the basement, particularly in the warmer climates, to keep the house cooler in summer.  Some old townhouses in historic areas still have 'em there, even in the million dollar houses, but in my case, it ain't pretty ;)  It is accessible from inside, but the stairway to the lower level is narrow, steep, and with very narrow steps (only half your foot fits on it!), and a low overhead.