Posts tagged home renovation
Demo Day | Garage Conversion Project

We didn’t want to spoil the surprise so almost nobody knew until yesterday when the excavator showed up for demo that WE GOT OUR BUILDING PERMIT! This has been a day we were waiting for for 2 years now and there have been so many unexpected delays that we decided to stop giving anyone updates until things actually are happening. It’s just too frustrating to have to explain over and over again why something didn’t go according to schedule.

We thought it would take all day but they managed to clear the site in about 4 hours. Two 40 foot dumpsters later the area is completely barren, and honestly it was bittersweet. I’m glad we can give this space a fresh start and build the right way, but I spent 20 years of my life looking out at this garage and for it to just be gone is more jarring and emotional than I thought it would be. I’ll feel better once framing starts next week!

How to Make a House a Home | Garage Conversion Project

4.5 years in, Jeff and I have set out on the biggest project in our relationship’s history. We actually started this journey over 2 years ago but obtaining variances, funding and hiring contractors and engineers do not make for very interesting blog posts, so I’ll spare you the details leading up to this point. I will say this - everything you’ve heard about renovation, the delays, the paperwork, the headaches, the unexpected hiccups, they are all real. Getting to this point in the project has been an uphill battle and we haven’t even started construction yet!

Things to know: The building is about 1400 square feet, 1000 on the main floor and 400 above in the open loft space that looks out over our neighbor’s fields. We are tearing down the entire structure and rebuilding on the same spot because the walls are currently too thin to support the insulation required to bring the building up to code (energy codes are no joke you guys. We had to have an energy audit completed just to apply for the building permit). Oh, and that garage door doesn’t even lead out to a driveway. We don’t know why.

We have to build within the existing foundation, because the building is being grandfathered in by the zoning board since the distance from the building to the road is 17 feet, and new construction now has to be built at least 35 feet from the road. We spent 6 months obtaining a variance from the town to allow us to convert the building into a residence. If we had just done construction to improve it as a garage, we wouldn’t need a variance, but since we’ll be living in it the usage is changing and we had to go through the town.

It’s a pretty major face lift! We are tying in water and electric from my parent’s house across the lawn, upgrading the septic system for both buildings, adding tons of windows, 2 exterior doors, re-framing the interior to make a living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and loft space. We’ll have a couple of skylights too!

We’ve hired a contractor to take care of the major parts. That includes demo, framing, roofing, siding, wiring, plumbing, insulation, windows and drywall. When he’s done, the building will be weather-tight…but not exactly live-able. We’ll still need to take care of flooring, painting the interior and exterior, installing the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and appliances, lighting, trim and any other finish work. Did I mention this is kind of a big project? Oh, and we’re planning our wedding for September 2019 and I’m running my business. We have a lot going on. I can’t wait to share it with you.