We’re back! Did you miss us? Boy, did we miss you… and making progress on the firehouse. When we last left off Aaron was battling a year of random health woes that bled into our busiest time of year (fall wedding season). But, now, dear readers, things are ramping back up and we’re all kinds of excited.
A reader (Hi Robyn!) suggested that I give you an update on the grand plan in light of our impending 4 year firehouse anniversary (Feb 14th for anyone keeping track and planning to send us a gift) (And by a gift I mean wine.) It’s been three years since we took a broad look at what we’ve done and what’s to come. So here goes nothing… err everything.
One quick note: I didn’t do ANY staging for these photos except to make our bed and pick up the bra that was laying in the bathroom, because I’m not an animal.
% change: -10% I think I was being generous calling our exterior 40% done last time. We have LOTS of plans for our outside space and we hadn’t even finished the garage. Since then we’ve picked up even more land (thanks to buying the extra lot) and another list of projects.
Remove the sign on the front of the building Add new lights to the front Repaint the front garage door and hang new flags
- Remove the dead tree in the front yard
- Build an awning or entry cove around the front door
Buy Right Lot Lay a huge patio Replace the asphalt in back with a new parking pad Install a carport Fence the yard Plant grass Finish the carport into a garage , stain the exposed wood and install garage doors Run electric to the garage Fix the water faucet in back Get a new fire pit Light the newly discovered courtyard
- Add motion lights to the back and garage
- Section the patio into functional areas (like eating, lounging and a fire pit)
- Run electric on the patio side of the building
- Install a built in grill and eating area in the courtyard
- Build fire wood storage
- Buy or build patio furniture
- Build an overhang for part of the patio
- Add uplighting
Buy the extra lot
- Fence the extra lot, starting with a natural fence in front
- Create raised planting beds
- Pour a concrete pad for trailer storage (maybe)
Seal the roof
- Tuck point the building (likely in stages)
- Replace the bad second story windows
- Landscape (another tree or two, ivy, tall grass)
% change: +15% for some minor additions
Remove the windows between the home and work space Finish the drywall Replace the broken bottom panels of the garage door Replace bricked over windows Patch holes too numerous to count Run additional electrical outlets Remove old fire alarm system and cables Remove old alarm system Repair the pole holes Wash the walls and floor Paint everything white Build a room around the furnaces Replace fluorescent light fixtures with LED lighting Build a platform for Aaron’s desk Build a viewing area for client meetings Run Cat6 network cable Install gallery hanging system Set up Aaron’s office Add storage for Aaron’s camera collection Make canvas Hang art Build a partial wall for Heather’s office/printer area Set up Heather’s desk Build shelving in the mechanical room Build a conference table<– We bought a standing desk for Aaron and moved is former desk (which is actually a table) into the conference table spot.
- Build a new front door
- Design and build a screen door for the garage door
% change: +15% for getting the fire hose lights out of the way and ordering a new fixture for the space
- Replace the fire hose lights <– The lights are gone and the new fixture is on order!
- Finish the drywall <– In progress!
- Install new door between cube and studio
- Hang art and/or coat rack system
Downstairs living room
% change: +25% I don’t think this room looks 25% finished, but we did tackle the major renovations: windows and fireplace.
The plans for this space have expanded quite a bit, here’s a current list:
Run electrical for basement Add windows Add a cool, modern fireplace
- Finish the fireplace sheathing
- Finish the duct work
- Patch the holes
- Build window casings
- Install new flooring
- Build a custom couch
- Build firewood storage and custom shelves for the north side of the room
- Decorate – art, rug, etc.
% change: +15% for fixing the ceiling, adding a window and buying the slab that will become our dining room table
Secure the fire pole at the bottom with more bolts Patch all the holes, including the large one that was possibly a coal door.We decided to add a window to this space. It is a little overshadowed by the changes we made in the living room, but we still love it! Also it was an easy solution to removing the ill-patched section of this wall that we think may have been a coal door. See some before and after shots in this post. Skim coat the ceiling
- Finish the duct work
- Run more electrical outlets
- Put the dining room lighting on a different switch than the studio lighting
- Build a new door for the basement stairwell
- Re-do window casings
- Install new flooring
- Build a light fixture that’s been floating around in our heads for years
- Build a large dining table <– We bought the slab!
- Hang art
% change: 0% It’s crowded. It’s ugly. But it’s functional.
Replace two of the bricked over windows Add a new lighting fixture Buy appliances
- Eventually gut this entire space – tear down the wall between it and the dining room, put it on a platform, add cabinets, change the layout. It’ll be cool… when we get to it.
% change: 0%
Replace the bricked over window
- Replace the ceiling <– This is in progress… in that we have no ceiling and guests are forced to use a lantern when using the facilities at night.
- Add a new light fixture and fan
- Re-glaze the sink
- Restore the toilet paper holder
- Restore the door
- Add art and accessories, like a mirror and storage
% change: 95% We made a lot of progress in this space, but it’s a bit of two steps forward, one step back. For the sake of only explaining it once, see notes below regarding the living room.
Upstairs living room
75% done, but with a big project still looming
% change: 75% This space has come a LONG way from where it started, mostly because Aaron tried to surprise me with a full makeover. Read the full story here. The main stumbling block in pulling off that surprise was ALL of the work he did to fix the plaster on the exterior walls (in the photo below it’s the wall on the left, it’s also a big wall in the stairwell). One major flaw in this building is that the roof isn’t vented properly. It caused the plaster problems in the first place and we’re seeing the same thing happening. We spend a majority of our chill time in this space and it is grating on our nerves. So this space is back on the list, probably for this year, for us to tear out the plaster and expose the brick walls.
Make the roof hatch usable Fix the plaster on the ceiling Remove old fire alarms Replace the lighting Paint Buy and refinish an awesome mid century couch Get a new coffee table (and bonus side tables) Add a cool bar cart Hang art
- Tear down the plaster on the west side to expose the brick (possibly paint the brick white)
- Add windows on the west wall (maybe)
- Extend the furnace closets into a room, add sound deadening material
- Refinish the hall door
- Install a projector
Captain’s bedroom and bathroom
% change: +94% We tackled just about everything in this room over the winter in 2015. It’s one of my favorite spaces!
Secure the top of the fire pole with more than just electrical wire Demo the closet Fix the duct work Repaint the window sills Paint the walls Paint the floors Add trim to the brick wall Add lighting Add furniture: bed, dresser, desk, Mr. Chair Buy a rug and duvet cover Hang art Turn the bathroom into part storage, part vanity, part back bar
- Refinish the original doors
- Find matching bedside tables
% change: 0% Nothing has changed in this room except for the fact that I use it to dry laundry sometimes…
- Fix the leak that’s bleeding through the studio ceiling (it’s not an active leak because we don’t use this plumbing in this room)
- Replace fixtures as necessary to make sure everything works
- Replace the lights over the mirrors
- Remove the plaster
- Build/buy a storage solution for towels and other necessities <– We scored a cool shelf which is covered by a sweater above. I think it will probably stay in this room.
- Build an LED drop ceiling
- Get a new door
- Add a Great Dane washing station in one of the showers
% change: +5% for adding some art
Paint it white Hang art
Workout bedroom/extra bedroom
% change: 0% Not much has changed in here.
Remove the “stage”
- Remove the pole closet
- Build a Murphy bed and extra storage along the south wall
- Extend the laundry room by stealing the closet space and a window
- Fix the window sills
- Finish the trim
- Build out the exercise area (mirrors and a weight rack)
- Mount the TV
- Replace the flooring
- Remove the plaster
- Replace the fan and add lighting
- Install storage and a Murphy bed
% change: 0% I “re-organize” this room about once a year.
To be honest, we’re not entirely sure what we’re going to do with this space. Originally, we thought we might make it into a closet for our master suite. Now I’m leaning toward keeping it as a bedroom just from a value standpoint.
% change: 0%… not much to see here, folks.
- Expand the laundry room by stealing space from the workout room
- Build storage and a clothes drying rack
% change: 0% We painted this room a few years ago and it was enough of an upgrade to keep us happy for now. This is pretty low on the priority list.
- Remove the half wall
- Remove the double closets
- Seal the brick
- Adjust duct work
- Install a new door
Update slide dimmers to something more modern
- Replace the flooring
- Redo the lighting
- Build a platform bed
- Buy/build side tables
- Add a fireplace (maybe)
- Buy additional furniture as needed (chairs, dresser, etc) – maybe some vintage pieces
Add light blocking window treatments
- Hang art
% change: 0%
We actually discuss plans for this space quite a bit, maybe because we use it a lot, maybe because we stayed at a hotel in Kansas City over the holidays that had a huge shower that we both want? We haven’t settled on a layout, mostly because we’re not sure if we actually need to keep a tub (not that tub, that tub is going no matter what). Any thoughts on that? Will someone NOT by my firehouse some day because it doesn’t have a tub?
% change: +40% for finishing the workshop
Plan changes: Not much as changed down here, but thanks to some water issues (read all about it here) we invested in a water proofing system that should keep things nice and dry
- DryLok walls
- Replace the sump pump
Cover the sump pump hole
- Run electri
c and build a platform for the chest freezer<– We actually swapped out the chest freezer for an upright freezer with a lot more space. That was our exciting purchase with the bonus I received last year. We’re wild like that.
- Assemble shelving and organize our personal stuff and business materials
Spend more money than I’d like to publish on a water-drainage system Build a workshop
- Add a light to the stairwell
- Install a door for the stairwell
- Build a wine cellar
- Paint the stairwell
Install new HVAC systems Put a new layer on the roof
- Incorporate home automation, i
ncluding smart thermostats<– thermostats done with HVAC update
- Investigate on-demand water, especially for the upstairs bathrooms
- Rework the main electric panel
Whew! I feel like I need a nap after reading all of that. Per usual, we’re tackling things in smaller segments and the kitchen/living room/entry cube/half bath are squarely in our sights. Aaron is working on some of the less glamorous elements, like drywall and fixing the duct work. I hope to have some progress photos to show you soon!