Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Upstairs, downstairs?

The last week has seen some serious reno discussions regarding the back half of our house.

Our current floor plan
When we first moved in, our plan was to work with the footprint that we had and make minimal changes to the layout. But it's so true what they say about living in a house for 2 years before making any major decisions/changes- our plans have changed significantly since then.

Our thoughts late last year were that we were going to pull down the 70's "lean-to" at the back of the house and rebuild it with a second floor. In addition to this there would be some internal changes to the layout of the front of the house. We certainly hadn't locked in the details, but we definitely had lots of ideas and were pretty close to engaging a draftsman.

We also had some discussions with our brother in law (who is a builder) about some possible options and the best way to do it without moving out (what are we thinking?!). He had some really good suggestions and thought our best options would be for three stages of building starting with re-stumping (boring, but necessary) and the front bathroom, back half and upstairs (we live in the front) and then front half (we live in the back).

We thought that we were on track until Boxing Day when we were having a casual lunch of leftovers with my Mum and Aunty outside and I realised how far I was carrying the food from the kitchen to the back deck. I had planned to keep the kitchen in its current position, flowing into an open plan dining and living room with bi-fold doors leading onto the deck. But with the kitchen in its current spot, it just doesn't quite work with the image I have of all the amazing alfresco dining we're going to be doing! I definitely want the lounge area opening onto the deck so that it has an indoor/outdoor feel so moving the kitchen in that spot wasn't really an option for me. After much thinking and staring at the space (people think I'm weird, I'm not sure why!) I thought I'd found the place for it. The dining room could go where the kitchen currently is, the kitchen where the laundry and bathroom are (including an amazing pantry) and the lounge stays where it was always going to be. Great so we're pretty much sorted then right? Hmmm wrong!

I think reality started sinking in over the weekend and I had a bit of a panic about the cost, time, upheaval, 2nd floor, overcapitalising etc etc and so I put the "working with what we've got" option back on the table including lifting the height of the roof in the back half. Paul has been pretty good (after the initial "are you serious?" reaction) and so we've been tossing around ideas. We're in the process of running through a bit of a pros and cons list for each of the options. I have a feeling I know which option we both prefer (bigger is better, right?!) but it is important that we consider all the options in the hope that we make the right decision for what is going to be a pretty major change either way.

So that's where we're at right now, but I would love your thoughts...should we go upstairs? Or just stick with downstairs?

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