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Operation Renovation – Kath Eats Actual Meals


I’ve some dwelling updates for you a few dwelling renovation we’re planning and why we’ve determined to not transfer! 


I really like an excellent, juicy dwelling put up!

They’re my favourite sort of posts to learn from different bloggers. So right here’s the place we’re heading. 

Because the day Thomas moved into this home, we’ve been speaking about our long-term home plan. When you didn’t know, Thomas and his dad are basic contractors at their firm, Solar Constructions, the place they do customized dwelling renovations and new builds. Naturally, it looks like Thomas ought to construct his own residence sometime, proper? 

Thomas truly did purchase and renovate a fixer higher as his first home. He did a lot of the work himself, together with a brand new kitchen, roof, and plenty of beauty adjustments. It was a cute two-bedroom cottage that he a lot improved from when he purchased it. 

The backstory on our present home

I purchased this home in January of 2015 from an investor who flipped the home from out of state. I purchased it primarily for its location within the coronary heart of Charlottesville’s historic neighborhood. But in addition as a result of my “common homebuyer” eyes noticed new paint, new kitchen, new bogs and was bought. It additionally has a ton of area and storage. I’ve beloved residing right here! 

Flip on a Price range

When Thomas moved in, he identified a few of the renovation’s shortcomings. A mediocre paint job, cheap home windows, tile and fixtures that simply aren’t actually our model. Evidently, the home was renovated on a finances to maximise the flip and never as somebody’s endlessly dwelling. 

Right here is the deck off of our main bed room that we’d NEVER let a toddler on as a result of it’s so unsafe. It’s wasted area that we by no means use. (That’s an previous hammock stand in the midst of it). The deck is pulled up as a result of it was leaking under, and the railings are warped. 

We’ve Accomplished Tons Of Small Updates (and a Few Huge)

Over time we’ve step by step up to date some power environment friendly issues (Thomas put in three new doorways himself) and naturally there’s our screened-in porch that he constructed to interchange the “new” deck that was already warped and falling aside. We’ve additionally added a canine patio, a brand new children lavatory self-importance, gasoline fire, and completed a health room within the backside nook of our basement.

The Round Dialog We Have On The Common

For years we’ve had the identical dialog time and again:

  1. Let’s purchase land and construct
  2. The place would we try this?
  3. Kath: I don’t wish to dwell within the nation
  4. Thomas: this location/view/neighbors are nice
  5. Each: okay we are going to simply keep right here for now

The place Would We Construct?

Somebody simply paid $700k for a home two streets away from us and BULLDOZED it. That’s how in-demand land on this metropolis is! If we wish to construct a home, we’d should drive for it. This was underneath dialogue for some time, till final summer season once I needed to drive each children to camp. I spent 45 minutes within the automotive twice a day and HATED. IT.

I actually hate driving; I actually love strolling. Being in a walkable space is on the very high of my precedence checklist – much more than constructing our dream dwelling. In order of final summer season, constructing within the nation was off the desk. 

OK, Then Let’s Discover A Fixer Higher?

We began to contemplate shopping for a fixer higher on the town and renovating it. However then the housing market went nuts, and this concept fell off the checklist.

Whereas there would possibly nonetheless be an opportunity that we discover the proper fixer higher and transfer in that route, it appears unlikely given the market. And particularly after we take into consideration promoting our home and the prices concerned (getting it prepared for market, realtor charges), it appeared to make extra sense to only do one thing with this home to make it much more of our personal. 

Another excuse we’re not loopy about shopping for a fixer higher is as a result of we love our home’s view. Though our yard is sloped, the view is just unbeatable. We love the privateness we have now being so up excessive.

If we purchased a fixer higher with a street-level yard, we may simply don’t have any view plus neighbors trying down on us. Thus, we’d find yourself being actually choosy in regards to the setting of the fixer, making one we like even more durable to seek out.

We additionally love our neighbors!!! Once more, this home has such an excellent location. It’s walkable to each children’ colleges, walkable to downtown, and 5 minutes from every part. 

OK, Then Let’s Renovate THIS home

And that is the place the dialog has landed. We’ve enlisted the assistance of an architect to assist envision how we may reimagine our primary flooring to be extra of what we’d like for the long-term. Our plan is to enter the one-car storage and increase the primary flooring and in addition add a dormer to our bed room. 

On the want checklist for downstairs:

  • A bigger customized kitchen with an island
  • A real mudroom with a number of storage
  • A walk-in pantry
  • Set-down area  
  • Higher circulation from kitchen to residing areas
  • Potential small facet porch

On the want checklist upstairs:

  • Add a dormer off the again to brighten up the first bed room
  • Lengthen the roof and add unfinished attic storage over the falling-apart roof deck we by no means use (most significantly, this can shield and insulate the completed area under it)
  • Replace our lavatory finishes and presumably add a dormer there, too
  • Probably change our closets to make them a bit of bit larger and add a wall for our mattress

The tremendous darkish again wall of our bed room

The view our bed room may have if we had home windows!

Making This Occur

We notice we’re INCREDIBLY lucky to be ready to make this occur. Initially, we’d not be doing this if Thomas wasn’t the builder! That can save us cash and in addition permit us to be as versatile as doable.

Second of all, if the housing market wasn’t loopy, we in all probability wouldn’t have although to customise this home.

Third of all, we hope to have the ability to donate and/or recycle as a lot as we presumably can from the prevailing kitchen/lavatory cupboards, and many others.

The Price range

Understanding a reno or dwelling swap was on the radar, earlier than rates of interest went up we did a cash-out refinance from the fairness that’s in-built our dwelling over time. I’m VERY glad we did this after we did now that rates of interest have practically doubled!

We figured we may at all times make investments that cash if we modified our minds. We had paid the mortgage down fairly a bit (from the proceeds of Thomas’s first dwelling) so there was lots of fairness to play with. So basically the home is paying for its personal renovation. 

Our finances would possibly restrict what we are able to truly do on our want checklist. Our architect first advisable a small addition off the entrance, in entrance of the storage, to make sufficient area for a real eating room.

We crunched just a few numbers and realized that was in all probability out of the finances to do, even with Thomas’s staff doing the challenge. So we’re attempting to work inside the footprint of our home and “work smarter, not more durable” inside. 

Seeing how we felt in regards to the eating room on this spot. We determined to depart it linked to the lounge to make room for a correct mudroom. 

The place and When?

The plan is to start out rather less than a 12 months from now. We’ll undoubtedly have to maneuver out for about 6 months. 

There was a sizzling second after we thought we may transfer into the basement, which can largely keep untouched, and we remembered we have now two children and no kitchen down there and that was a tough what are we considering!? (If it had been simply the 2 of us we’d undoubtedly contemplate that.)  

We truly simply discovered a rental dwelling in our identical neighborhood and have it reserved for March – August of subsequent 12 months. It’s furnished so that can assist with all of the transitions too. It’s quaint however has the proper area for us (3 bedrooms) and might be so good to nonetheless be near the boys’ colleges. 

Shifting Ahead

Whereas we’re transferring ahead with this plan, issues may undoubtedly change! We may discover a dream lot or have a monetary or architectural purpose why the reno falls by means of. I’ll share extra as we get nearer to the time. However as at all times, I needed to convey you alongside for a glimpse into our life!



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