Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The addition to the house

I haven't really written about this yet. Probably because it has been part of my consciousness for so long it didn't really seem like news. But, now it really is coming to fruition and I am fit to bust.

When we moved to Vashon, we bought a 1908 "fixer" farmhouse on 5 acres. Our little piece of paradise. Although, it was completely trashed and had a gaping hole in the roof. I was scared to death but Jake knew what he was getting into.Or so he said. The house originally was said to have 4 bedrooms but after Jake took it down to the studs and added brand new wiring and plumbing it ended up a 2 bedroom house. Both downstairs bedrooms turned into needed living space.

Those were back in the days when it was just Jake, Molly and me. Two bedrooms was going to work for us but then the sky opened and dropped little Shea into our midst. We were thrilled with our family of four but had to go back to the drawing board on how to fit all of us into a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house.

Needless to say, we have been talking about a 3rd bedroom with bathroom for quite literally YEARS! At first we were trying real hard to just stay within the footprint of our existing house. Mainly to avoid getting building permits with King County; a particularly tiresome, expensive and frustrating necessary evil. Believe me, if it was possible, we would've done it that way, long ago.

So, big decisions had to be made, the inevitable really. With much thought and discussion, Jake designed a simple rectangle addition that would bump out on the north side of the house. To make sure the proportion worked, he changed the roof lines on the addition, one higher than the other which matched the existing pitch of the house. In the addition we were getting a big master bedroom with 2 walk-in closets with master bath. AND, another 3/4 bath which I lovingly call the glorified powder room. Can you tell we are a bit bathroom starved here at our house?

CAD drawings were pulled together from Jake's design. One thing we did right from the top was hire someone to help us with the permitting process. That was money well spent. He helped us pull together the important info and submitted it to the county. Wait, wait, wait. Denied. Non-conforming septic system. Argh! Thankfully, we found someone to help us with a new septic design and re-submitted it. Wait, wait, wait. This time is went through successfully! Hurrah! The permitting process ended up taking a year and a half total.

We broke ground in March 2008. I thought it was a romantic idea that the addition would happen when the house turned 100 years old. Jake did a lot of the work himself. He did the grading for the foundation, framing, sheathing, drywall & mud, siding and of course, will end up doing all the finish work. We brought in island help for the foundation, roofing, electrical, plumbing, tile work, insulation, painting and flooring.

Well, here it is Christmas eve and all I want is to move into my new bedroom. I was really hoping we would be in by Christmas morning but we won't be. Close but not quite. As I type, we have the last of the flooring happening, the plumber is bringing gas to the fireplace and setting up the new hot water tank. We are ready for fixtures to be set in the little bathroom but it may not happen until after Christmas. It's ok. We have come a long way.

With this addition, we've made the commitment to stay put until the kids get out of school. 15 years or so. Wierd to even think so far ahead but now we all have room to grow.

Molly will finally get her own room and Shea will stay and take over the existing kids room. We get to move downstairs with our own bathroom and closet space. Bliss.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

2 comments:

Cheryl said...

What fun, I love homes with history! We live in a log home about 100 years old. Good luck with the addition.

Shea's Mom said...

Thanks for visiting Cheryl,

Out here, 100 years is a big deal, back east, I know, it is a spring chicken.

It's all relative.

Cheers!

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