I created a whole separate tab on this blog for floor plans because I wanted to give you an idea of where we’re starting with the house plans and where we hope to end up. I’ll start with the original downstairs floor plan:
So what’s changed? Well, now, Day 33 of the demo, we’ve taken out the kitchen stairs and all the walls of what seemed to be an old laundry room. We took out most of the long wall dividing the kitchen from the “porch,” though we had to keep some of it because it’s a load-bearing wall. We’re going to hold the whole thing up with a beam of laminated veneer lumber, or LVL, which is stronger than traditional lumber and used for headers and in other load-bearing capacities. The strange, 3-part wall dividing the porch from the living room is also gone. The image below has X’s through the now demolished walls:
And now for the exciting part: our plans for the downstairs:
You can see that removing the kitchen stairs, though it was a difficult decision, has opened up more space for the kitchen appliances and cabinets. I think this was a good idea, given that the whole house is only 1150 square feet. We need all the space we can get. There will be a small pantry area off the kitchen, and then a very efficient half-bath. We plan on using the toilet Nick got for $15 from a local carpenter who was doing a renovation on the East End (eww, I know, don’t be grossed out, we’ll clean it all up and buy a new seat). We’re hoping to salvage a sink at the Habitat Restore, and then we’ll just paint up the bathroom and make it all look nice. It will just be the plumbing that will cost a pretty penny, but I’m quite sure we’re going to want that half -bath.
A couple of other things to note: Though these plans don’t show it, we are going to bring the main stairwell up to code, giving it human-sized treads, not short ones made for those with cloven-hooves, and we’re going to stretch out the pitch of the stairwell so it won’t give us vertigo while climbing up and down it. That means the bottom of the stairs will turn out at the wall where the “other” front door is currently, which means we will probably have to replace that door with a window. We’re waiting to find out if having only one point of egress would put us out of code. (It makes me kind of nervous even if it doesn’t, to be honest.)
Also, we’re still trying to figure out what to do with that wall between the porch and the living room. We want a simple and natural entryway leading from one room to the next, but we also need a real entryway from the outdoors, a place to take off our boots, hang up our coats, and drop off the mail and keys. Like I said, it’s a small house–there’s no room for a grand entrance, or even a walled off entryway. It’s going to be tricky trying to figure that one out.
Now for the really exciting transformation: the upstairs! Here’s the original layout:
We took out the wall between our bedroom and the 3rd bedroom, took out the 3rd bedroom’s closet, and of course, the stairwell landing is gone. It’s now just a big hole. I guess when I say we “took out the wall” I should add that the studs are still there, it’s just the two layers of drywall, the several layers of wallpapers, and the lath and plaster that are gone, in addition to the old decaying insulation in the exterior walls. Again, X marks the spots of the demo:
And now, the plans! We’re going to move the bathroom into the far corner of the upstairs, where the attic stairs used to be. Then we’re going to turn the old bathroom into our walk-in-closet! Can’t wait for that one. Sadie’s bedroom will stay the same size and shape. We’ll put a little laundry room just to the right of the bathroom where the old stair landing used to be.
It will all be connected by that groovy slanted hallway I designed. We’re hoping we can add some daylighting to the bathroom and hall closet with SolaTubes, but that might not be in this year’s budget. SolaTubes are these great sunlight capturing devices that direct light down a mirrored tube that snakes through your attic, ending in a little opening that sort of looks like recessed lighting. The sunlight is then distributed more evenly and intensely than a skylight, so it’s almost as bright as having an electrical light on. One of our overarching goals with the Greening of 58 Turner is to bring as much natural light into the house as possible. This has the added benefit of reducing our use of electricity.