Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Plan

Our "plan" for the cottage has gone back and forth from day one.  First we had these grand plans about all we were going to accomplish.  Then reality hit, and we realized just how much needed to be done and just how far our money was going to go (not as far as we hoped).

Here is a list of all the things were eventually hoping to do, in no particular order.  I'll talk a bit about each one, and in my next post I'll show you the plan for the new floorplan, and what we've decided to tackle first in our renovations.
  1. Foundation repair
  2. Landscape work (some of which is grading to keep water out of crawlspace)
  3. New (smaller) bathroom
  4. Full kitchen renovation (including removing post/beam)
  5. Add laundry space
  6. New shed
  7. New dock with larger platform
  8. Boat lift
  9. Tree removal/trimming
  10. Alter deck to better suit our use
  11. Paint sunroom 
  12. Modify gas fireplace mantel
  13. Add wardrobe/nightstands to master
  14. Add clothes storage upstairs
  15. Make the house navy - duh!
  16. Add dormer (currently in architectural plans)
This is just a running list in my mind....I may be missing some things, but that's most of the big stuff.  

I'll run through the list - hopefully quickly - now, to give you a better idea of WHY we want to change some of these items.

1)  Foundation repair

The cottage definitely has a spot where it slopes down to the middle.  We obviously knew there was structural issues.  One contractor that came out best described the cottage as someone's weekend project years ago, and that obviously some things needed to be repaired to make it more structurally sound.  After multiple contractor bids AND having a structural engineer come out, we had suggestions from adding piers under the existing beam to adding a full second beam.  We've come to the conclusion, with the help of the structural engineer, that a second beam is not needed (less money - yay!) but instead we just need to properly shore up the existing beam.  We are adding three piers under that beam, then bringing the house up 1/3 of the way every two weeks for six weeks, thus finishing the foundation repair.  It's expected that we could see the house come up 2-4" after all is said and done.

2)  Landscape work

We need quite a bit of landscape work, mostly to keep water from getting under the crawlspace.  We figured if we had them out there with the equipment, we might as well also have them add a beach space for the kids. 

3)  New (smaller) bathroom

The bathroom in this place is huge - basically a 10'x12' space.  As a result, with one small vanity, a toilet and a tub/shower, there is just a TON of wasted space inside.  The idea is to drastically reduce the footprint of the bathroom, making space for a mudroom/laundry area.  

4)  Full kitchen renovation

The kitchen is original to the space.  While totally livable, there are things that need changed for our needs.  First off, there is virtually no counter space.  The area left of the sink gets used for drying dishes.  The area left of the (old - now replaced) range holds a small microwave.  The area under the cabinets next to the doorway (behind the post in the picture above) holds jugged water and other snacks/etc.  So I'm most often working at the table, which isn't the correct height, obviously.  Our plan has always been (very hopefully, but not convinced we could do it) to somehow remove the post, or at least move it a bit and add a second for balance, and position them at the corners of a new kitchen island.  The idea was to also move the sink to the island and reconfigure the cabinets on the wall a bit.  We could also use a larger fridge, and a larger pantry area.  Currently we really only have food in the upper cabinet behind the post above, but a floor to ceiling pantry there would far better suit our needs.

5)  Add laundry space

Same as #3 above.  We'd likely do a stacked washer dryer as we have in our space at home.  We completed this renovation this past spring and I absolutely love it!

6) New shed

We have a number of items that need stored properly and we will likely need a new shed to fit it all.  Bonus points to make it match the house (once it's navy ;-) ).  Not a high priority item at this time.

7) New dock with larger platform

We would like to upgrade to a wider, longer dock with a platform spot at the end rather than just the dock.  We lose the sun early due to being east-facing, and the platform extends the time in the sun.  It's also very difficult for three children to fish off a 3' wide dock while casting, snagging hooks on one another, etc.  Ask me how I know. ;-)  Originally we thought we might tackle more outdoor items, such as this, first, but the quotes are rather high and we are turning our attention inside yet again.

8) Boat lift

We actually purchased a used lift right after purchasing the home.  We never installed it this year because after weld repair, there was so little season left it didn't make any sense to pay to have it installed, only to pay again a month or so later to have it taken out.  It is currently sitting and waiting to be used next year.

9) Tree removal/trimming

We have a number of very large, very old trees on our property and neighboring property that we love, but needed some TLC.  The large tree road-side is visibly showing a split down the main trunk and one of it's large branches is hanging directly over our neighbor's house.  We have actually had this work done already, and we are VERY glad we had the tree removed based on what we found.  More to come on that.

10) Alter deck to better suit our use

This really just means removing some of the front panels they put on the front of the deck. It just doesn't make any sense, in our opinion, to have a home lake-side, and then put on deck on the front and completely close it in.  We'd like to have lakefront access directly off the front of the dock.  This should be an easy DIY fix that we'll likely tackle this fall or next spring.

11) Paint sunroom

The room is all currently brown paneling. After paining the paneling in the master Derrick swore the only way we're paining this room is with a sprayer.  An easy DIY fix, but not as high on the priority list with so many other things we have planned to tackle.  I'll likely tackle this when there is a lull in things I can help with.

12) Modify gas fireplace mantel

I don't love the gas fireplace they installed, but I suppose it adds heat and we'd have to hire someone to remove it.  Seeing as how it's a small cottage with only one central heat source (furnace in the middle of the house) we may come to appreciate it, and so building out the mantel to something we prefer seems like the better option.  Not currently high on the priority list.

13) Add wardrobe/nightstands to master

Ultimately we want the home to have adequate storage so that we're not carting suitcases back and forth every weekend.  Just enough room for bathing suits, shorts, shirts, long pants and sweatshirts for cooler nights.  The master has a very small closet under the stairs, but we'd like to be able to utilize this for other storage as well, so we can't just close it off and build shelves, etc.  We also plan to hang a television facing the living room, and we'll need access to the closet side of the wall to do so.  So, plan is to purchase a PAX wardrobe unit from IKEA and install it as a built-in. Two small nightstands, or shelves and sconce lighting will finish this room.

14) Add clothes storage upstairs

One reason to have the clothes storage as well is for those periods when my mother-in-law comes to visit for 4-6 weeks every summer.  We plan on her having this room as her bedroom when she comes to stay, and we'd like her to have sufficient space for her clothes. When this happens, we'd like to have sufficient storage upstairs for clothing as well, so that we can transfer our items up there.

15) Make the house navy - duh

Obviously a cottage named The Navy Cottage needs to be navy.  We really think that with residing it, and all the trim we can add around the windows will really make a big impact to the exterior of the home.  We have big plans that also involve moving the front door, removing two windows, etc, so definitely big changes coming here...we're just not sure how quickly it will happen.

16) Add dormer - (currently in architectural plans)

One thing we also did while talking to lots of contractors was to hire an architect to draw up plans. We knew that we wanted to do a decent amount of this work as DIY, but in some circumstances it makes more sense to hire someone.  Also, we didn't want to have an "idea" of how something was ultimately going to end up, only to have done something that later needs to be changed because of plans not quite working out.  It just made more sense to us to have a plan to work off of.  We love the plans (and more on that soon) but he also tackled the upstairs and the plans include a dormer which greatly enhances the look of the cottage lakeside, in our opinion.  That said, we have zero clue when we may be able to swing an upgrade like this, so in the meantime, this is quite low on the priority list.

I'll be back soon with the new floor plan and what we plan to tackle first!

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