The renovation is complete. Well except for a stair nose piece we're waiting on & crown molding in the entry way, it's complete. I'll share final photos of the space soon, but thought it was time for a quick catch up here on all that's happened. I have shown what I can on stories, but it's been in bits & pieces, so today, a full recap.
This was where we started from, a two-story entryway with lots of railing.
When you came up the stairs it opened up into what was our loft. In this photo we had already removed the couch & TV set up & began transitioning it into a shared bedroom space. If you look close you can see the electrical outlets on the left hand side where the TV was mounted. The couch sat on the right hand wall.
Standing in the 'before' loft, you'd look out onto the open two-story entry way, it was light & bright just how I like it. Although, there was no part of me that was sad to say goodbye to those railings...all it takes is finding your 3-year-old on the OUTSIDE of them once. That's another story for another day, but I will tell you that it was by the grace of God I found him before he was across the whole thing & I didn't sleep for a few nights as my mind ran through everything that could have gone so wrong. So goodbye railings! One less thing to worry about with another boy about to make his debut.
The first step was putting up a bedroom wall where the loft had been. We worked with Treehouse Group on all the contracting for this job & this was our main crew. I can't tell you how much I love Juan. He was prompt, made my kids laugh & cleaned up before they left. A win in my book.
Once the bedroom wall was up, we moved on to framing out the deck, at least that's what the crew called it. This is the new loft space. My boys could have stood there all day, and mostly did. If I'm being honest, I could have too...it was fascinating to watch them build such a something from nothing. Can you tell it was red day at school for Max? hahaha...down to his socks he definitely nailed it.
Downstairs, this was the part I was most anxious about: the new ceiling height. I hated removing the 2-story entry, because it really was beautiful, but you know me, I'll almost always pick function, assuming it's not an eyesore. It felt pretty heavy with just the framing, but I knew once it was drywalled, we'd be okay. I might have run to my friend's house with the same ceiling height we were going to finish out at to make sure I'd like it. Believe it or not, they had all the faming done in one day.
Then we had to wait for an inspection from the CIty of Mesa. You can definitely do projects like this without permitting them, BUT I definitely would not recommend it. The whole basis for this project was that we'd get all our money back on resale.
If you read my last insta post, you'll know that we were doing this entire renovation while the option of moving out of state was firmly on the table. So as all this was going on, we were flying to San Antonio looking at potential new houses. A few close friends were aware of the circumstances & might have been scratching their heads at why we were renovating if there was a real possibility we'd have to sell it soon. The reason was pretty simple. On resale, say I could get about $140 a sq ft -- to build this addition was much less than $140 a sq ft, so in reality we were adding to our bottom line in the event we had to sell it in 6 months. Good news is, we DON'T have to sell it in 6 months & instead, get to enjoy our investment for quite a bit.
Moral of the story: always permit your projects so you can count the additional square footage on resale AND run the numbers before you make the investment. If you're not sure how to do that, email me. I've done lots of consults for people & would be happy to sit down with you too.
After we passed inspection it was on to drywall, mudding & texture. This was BY FAR the messiest & dustiest part of the project. I literally still have dust in cracks & crevices in my house. They hung the drywall, taped it, then sanded it. Then they mudded the texture onto the walls. Let it dry & you guessed it, sanded it again. We're still a bit of a dusty mess over here, but I've got a cleaning crew scheduled to come in next week & give this old girl a good scrub before the baby gets here.
By this point my kids had gotten used to the mess and chaos & worked around it. I actually think they enjoyed all the activity going on.
Seeing the ceiling drywalled was a huge relief at this point. I finally knew it was going to feel like a cave. Phew.
I'd give you photos of the upstairs, but I literally could not get up the stairs. They had scaffolding all set up in order to get that tall wall along the staircase & well, this pregnant body was not crawling through that. Feel free to visual that & laugh.
It was loud, dusty & a bit chaotic. Crews always started at 6 am and while I thought it would drive me crazy, by this point I could see the end & instead I was just so excited it was turning out like I had hoped.
After drywall, texture and paint, it was time for electrical again. I loved my entry light before, but it was way too big to use in this lower ceiling-ed place. So I turned to my friends over at Lamps Plus & found these. Did you help vote on Instagram stories??? One of the more difficult things about buying a resale (even a beautifully finished resale) is staying in the same lane. While I love the finishes in my home, they aren't always what I would have chosen. During the renovation, there were times I just wanted to pick what I wanted. Instead, I stayed in our lane and now, on the other side I'm really grateful I did. I absolutely love these fixtures and am so glad I didn't introduce the brass option I was considering!
While electrical was going in downstairs, flooring was going in upstairs & if there was a frustrating part to this renovation it was the flooring. Perhaps it was because we were so close we could taste it or that by this point I was 8 mos pregnant, but this is where the meltdown happened.
I'm pretty sure every project has a meltdown moment. Mine happened out front, at 7 am, 8 mos pregnant in a Mexican housedress. My husband was talking with the installers in Spanish, then translating to me, who freaked out back & then he translated my freak out into Spanish. Feel free to visual that.
in hindsight, it was more a lack of communication & us trying to re-align our expectations but AS it was occurring, I thought they were coming to install my flooring that I had ordered 6 weeks prior & that morning they indicated it wasn't a great idea to install it upstairs. So I thought I was going to have to, not only, change my flooring (did NOT want to do this) but also that it would set us back a week or two. I guess by this point I was kind of done.
As it turns out, we just needed to do some additional prep work to the subfloor so that the flooring we wanted would go in smooth. My husband kindly put me away while he sorted it out and they trade showed up & did an awesome job.
The flooring was another place where it was hard for me to stay in the current lane of my house. It's a vinyl product and while I love it (it's literally indestructible), I would always prefer the look & feel of wood. When we thought we'd need to choose another flooring option for upstairs, my husband trying to soften the blow of the change, told me to go choose whatever wood I wanted. Kind? For sure. But ultimately, if I couldn't have it match the downstairs, I was going to carpet it. One thing I've learned about renovations is this: you're flooring MUST match. It is always what will give you away & the last thing I wanted this space to look like was an addition. The flooring is important to get right. Luckily we found a solution to use the product we wanted but I was panicked there for an hour or two.
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.