There are minor decisions I would make differently, but overall we are extremely happy with the end result of our remodel; and life now and in the future has been made easier by the changes that took place. We were most fortunate to have available a likeable and capable contractor who understood and accommodated our situation as we remained in our home during the process. He and his employees were courteous and helpful. By the end of five months, they felt more like friends than workmen and I still think of them warmly.
Allow me to take you on a tour of this “before and after” chapter of our lives….
Here is our “before” floor plan.
PHASE 1 created a sidewalk from the driveway to the door in the walkout basement (which gave me access to the lower level of our home) and an extension of our deck which doubled its size. This was our alternative to a stair lift since our stairs are not very wide.
The goal of PHASE 2 was to widen halls and doorways upstairs. We had two options for the remodel. Plan A would eliminate a bedroom and create a large kitchen. Plan B would retain the bedroom, move kitchen walls but keep the kitchen’s basic layout the same and have an addition built . I was uneasy losing a third bedroom on the main level. Although many people I asked said we should do what suited our needs and not consider resale, I knew that less than three bedrooms on the same level would be a negative for resale and would reduce the value of our home. So we chose Plan B.
To get into the house, we had an electric lift installed in the garage. The door that allows entry from the garage to the house was moved from the center of the garage to the corner so that a platform could be built to accommodate stairs and the wheelchair lift. To allow for that different entrance, pantry and laundry room were removed inside the door. Laundry room was replaced with a laundry closet and pantry was relocated – both are much more efficient now. We widened a hallway next to the kitchen, so the kitchen was remodeled. As I said, if we had expanded our master bath where it was, we would have lost a bedroom. Because I wanted to retain the three bedrooms upstairs, we chose to add a 10 x 16’ addition for a new accessible master bath and master closet extension. Existing master bath became a smaller bath and closet for the bedroom we would have lost, so instead of losing a bedroom, we gained a bathroom. An oddly placed closet for another bedroom was removed from the living room and door to that bedroom’s new closet was moved from entering from the master bedroom to entering from the bedroom on the other side of it. Under the new master bath is a workshop for husband which makes up for lost room in the garage due to the lift. Here is a comparison of the old floor plan and the new.
Having heard complaints from people through the years, I have repeatedly said that I would never want to build a house. Now I can add “or rebuild” again to that statement, but we made it through the inconvenience and have a very accessible and beautiful home with ample space to maneuver.
Keep reading to see how the house changed.