Construction is at a phase when photos don’t show much progress. Electrical is being laid down in preparation for the floor and walls this week.  I thought I would take some time to explain how we went about the design process that got us here.

When we talked about starting this project, I spent most of my time sketching new layouts for the kitchen/family room area.  I think I started there because it was the only place in the house that I could see and touch, and at that point we didn’t know what the wall repair/upstairs expansion would turn into.  I measured the house and put together a floor plan in Photoshop, grayed out the walls that were to be removed, and printed out several dozen sheets.

In the end we couldn’t afford the kitchen remodel, but while we were thinking about it we came to the realization that the wall separating the kitchen and our bedroom would eventually need to go, and it currently was load bearing.  For the second floor design, we were able to engineer it to take the weight off, so when we do that project, the wall can come down with no problem.

The other thing we realized is that the fridge was a total fly in the design ointment in the kitchen layout.  This allowed us to make another decision to prepare for a future remodel.  In the linen closet adjacent to the kitchen there was a large brick furnace chimney.  The original plan was to use this chimney to support second story framing, but we realized that if we were able to eliminate it’s footprint from the first floor, we could inset the fridge into the wall there, freeing up the floor plan.

Once we learned that we were going to do a complete second floor, we shifted our energies there, and started looking seriously for an architect.  We knew the short list of what we wanted: master suite (master bedroom, master bath, walk in closet), two bedrooms for the kids, an additional upstairs bathroom for the kids, and some stairs.  This post is getting a little long, so I will cut it off here.  I will do several follow up design posts, showing the original designs from the architect and how they morphed over time into the final product.

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