Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Progress on the Sleeping Porch

So - most of our projects have been rather short-term and distinct - we like to push through and get things done as quickly as possible to avoid projects just dragging on forever. This project is the exact opposite - we have been working on the sleeping porch in fits and starts for several years now. I think it's time to finally post this one, in hopes that this will encourage me to actually finish it all the way.

2012 - Starting Point
So, when we first moved into our house (>4 years ago), there was a wide but shallow room along the back of the upstairs that had really nasty crankable window panes, that was completely unusable in cold weather and obviously in need of renovation. Because the windows were made of many small panes of glass, it was completely open to the weather and thus freezing in the winter and filthy - so we didn't use it at all.

original sleeping porch with floor-to-ceiling crankable windows

2014 - Contractors Fix the Windows
In 2014, as part of our big renovation which fixed up the basement and did some stuff on the first floor, our contractors removed the nasty windows and replaced them with walls and a few real windows. It was closed off but not insulated, so still freezing in the winter and not really usable. At this point, we figured out that our long-term plan for the space is to make half of it a master bathroom, and then other half an office (with a wall in between), even though we couldn't actually make all that happen yet. So - the windows were placed based on the long-term plan and nothing else happened for a while.

after the contractors close in the walls and install real windows

2015 - Good Intentions but No Real Progress
Then, in early 2015, I boldly laid out my design plan and goal to have the room finished in a couple weeks. This was part of the push to finish up big projects before the baby arrived - which didn't happen for obvious reasons. I got only as far as removing the nasty paneling from the ceiling, which made it slightly more attractive but just a bit colder in the winter - so still not usable space.

view to the right

view to the left. basically just a spot for a litter box to go. 

2016 - Impending Deadlines Make Things Happen
So - last year we decided to refinance our mortgage, based on the value of our house increasing. We were told that an inspector would need to come see the house and that nothing could still be under construction, so we got to work finishing all the open, constructiony spaces. We decided to go ahead and finish the halfbath and mudroom, but were torn about the kitchen and sleeping porch - knowing that we weren't ready to really renovate those spaces. So instead, the plan was just to patch the holes in the kitchen and stick up sheetrock in the sleeping porch - minimizing our costs for things that would just get torn out later. We hired a contractor for some of the plumbing and electrical work in the half bath, which included venting the toilet all the way to the roof through the sleeping porch. So they didn't do anything else to the sleeping porch except to install a huge pipe right through the middle of the room. Then, we spent all summer and most of the fall on the halfbath/mudroom project, leaving only a couple days before the inspector was scheduled to arrive. So we finally just took a couple days off work to get it done. We stapled up insulation, rented a van to get sheetrock and a lift to put it up, and then I mudded and primed almost everything (until I ran out of paint). I also used leftover cement paint to fix up the floor. When the inspector came through, it looked like a livable space, but certainly not a nice room. And once that deadline had passed, no more work happened.

 the pipe in the middle of the room

sheetrock going up

more sheetrock going up

the last piece of sheetrock goes up around 2am. there is joy and mirth all around. 

mudding the walls. making a mess. 

after priming and moving some plants back in
(shout-out to our Vienna contingent - Rubberto is still alive!)

view to the right - looking sort of like an office

2017 -  Finish it Up
So, my goal is to finish all of the remaining renovations to the house this year. That means that in a couple months, we will hopefully make the whole master bathroom thing happen. In the meantime, I can finish up the office space myself - which will make the house better organized in the process. My goal is to paint the walls, trim the windows and add some curtains, add some bookcases, get a new desk and chair, and basically do everything that can be done now that won't have to be ripped out for the bathroom project (ie, no floor yet). Meanwhile - we are moving forward on the bathroom and kitchen projects, so more on that hopefully soon.