Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lights! Camera! Action!!!

We're in a bit of a holding pattern now until the Major Design Review is officially, officially done...the city won't let me put in any more building-zoning applications until then...super...so...

We Have Lights!!!!
The PO's apparently took all the light fixtures with them when they left...so the selling Realtor came in and installed some super-duper sweet Home Despot $9 Specials!

After much, much, much searching on the interwebs for lights that we liked that didn't cost a zillion dollars (sorry rejuvenation hardware) we went with lights from a company called Quorum International and the collection is called Barcelona....and yes the lights cost more than $9 each.....

Here's the collection of boxes we got via UPS.

Notice how the box in front is totally destroyed! That box also has the most expensive light! Hurray!!!

Now here's the pile of crappy lights that we took down.

Here's a training montage of me trying to figure out how to hang the lights. EVERY SINGLE LIGHT had to be custom mounted. The mounted screws had to be cut much shorter and the central threaded brass rods had to be cut to fit also (with out munging up the threads!)....so, it took a lot longer than I was expecting...what doesn't.



That and hanging lights on 11' ceilings single handedly, was a bit of a challenge.

On To Pretty Pictures Of Our New Lights!!!

The dinning room light!

The dinning room light up close.


There is some disagreement between me and Mrs. MadMadScientist about how high this light should be... I think it should be where it is at like 6' off the floor. Mrs MadMadScientist thinks it should be higher. What do y'all think?


Here's a shot of the new entry light and stair landing light in context.


Now here's a close of shot of the 'birdcage' entry light.

And the landing light.

The second stair way landing we had to do the same light flush mounted as the ceiling is lower.

It's odd but to us when the same light is on a chain it looks older and more authentic.

Continuing on up the stairs to the next landing..ya that's a lot of landings, we put in this sconce.

I was worried that it was going to stick out from the wall too much and be in the way but it looks pretty good in that respect.

Back down in the main entry area we hung another semi-flushmount light. One thing to notice here is that the 10" wide home despot lights can hide a myriad of problems...



Here's the big chandelier half way done.

And here it is all done! Pretty!

One thing that I should know but don't is. This chandelier has 6 40W light bulbs...shouldn't it be as bright as 2 100W bulbs? It sure isn't...in fact its exactly perfectly dim for a party but it's not going to be bright enough to read by or clean by...hmmm...

Another thing we realized AFTER all the lights were up... All these ceiling lights on the main floor NEED ceiling medallions....which means when we do install them I'll have to probably take most of the lights down to install the medallion and then re-install the lights.... Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!

We also installed the Gargoyle light from Chez 2.0 into the library. One thing that we didn't realize when we installed the light is that when standing on the sidewalk outside the window perfectly frames the light! Like we meant to do it!

Closer up shot.


That's it for now.. next up, Down Spouts!!! How exciting!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Conversion of Two Studios into a Single One Bedroom Apt.-Design Ideas

Okay, so now I've got a rough draft of what we want to do with the basement. I need a plan for converting the two studio apartments into a single one bedroom....

Here's the existing layout.

Here's the design conditions.
1. Do as little rebuilding and demo as possible.
2. Be able to keep existing tenant in place while work is going on.

This was my first idea.

But duh, problem with this is that I would have to put the tenant out to do this as she lives in the lower unit.

Then I thought, well why not use the other kitchen as the bedroom.

But that makes for a VERY small bedroom...

So then I thought up this uh, dodge?

With this idea I end up with a big bedroom and a huge closet. I admit I'm sort of designing this for the current tenant who is a grandmother with two young grand sons who spend a lot of time with her. With this design she can have her private space by closing the door to the bedroom and the grand kids can run around in the other room. That, and she won't have to share the bathroom with them any longer.

Of course, there's nothing stopping someone from using the huge closet room as the bedroom and using the master bedroom as the living room.

I also like this idea as I think I can do all the work on the one vacant unit without disturbing her too much, and then hopefully the reframing of the closets and hallway will not be too much of a PITA and that can be done relatively quickly.

So, that's my best idea y'all have any others?

Update!!!

Went down to the city yesterday to speak to the zoning folks.

Good News On Two Fronts!!!

1. The major design review for the deck is just about to be approved!!! Yahoo!!! That means I officially have 6 parking spaces and the deck does not have to be torn down!!! YAY!!!!

2. I was told that the planning approval for the switching around of the units is an over the counter thing!! Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!! That means no $2500 major design review!!! And it can happen quicker.

So, now I need to get the planning packet together which has seperate conditions to the actual building permit packet which I also have to get together.

So, we celebrated with tasty margarita's (it was Cinco de Mayo) and nacho's.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bottom Floor Apartment Ideas

Some Ideas On What To Do With The Bottom Floor.

Oh man, have I mentioned recently how big a pain in the ass it is to do really, really accurate as-builts of a house? Not some boring square tract house but a crazy friggen Victorian with all sorts of weird features??? Walls are all sorts of weird thicknesses and everyone is a little bit different...no rhyme or reason to anything apparently....ugh.

To review, here is the existing basement floor plan.-Still not 100% right but its close.

Yep, we've got ~14" thick wall around most of the basement!

So, it turns out that we have a couple different sets of friends who are basically begging to live in our basement! Weird huh? They've got a couple small kids and would love to be in the Franklin school district this close to Franklin park. If I can get this apartment legalized we could help them out with hopefully a nice place to live and they could help us out with the mortgage, a win-win.

Here's my first try at reconfiguring the space to make what I think a family with two parents and a couple of kids would think would be an acceptable domicile.
I really wanted to figure out a way to make a 3-2 while using the existing locations for the bathrooms but just couldn't figure out how to get the far bath included...

Turning the 2 bedroom into a 3 bedroom with a good sized master bedroom.

One of the problems with the original layout is that the kitchen area is just too darn small. I think that it needs to be big enough to be eat in as there really is no where else to eat. To accomplish this I moved the two walls of the bedroom for the other apartment and moved the door and removed the stairs leading up to our unit.

The layout above works I think but the existing door to the one bathroom is just in a super awkward place in terms of the kitchen layout.

2nd Stab at a reasonable 3-1 with a workable eat-in kitchen
I moved the closet in the master bedroom to the other side and moved the door into the bathroom over. I think that this makes for a much more workable kitchen. One thing that I'm surprised about is just how much of the bottom floor this decent sized 3-1 takes up!
At this point I'm not even sure if its going to be possible to move the walls for the master bedroom...I've got to check and see what (if anything) they are supporting above.

Well, I think I've made a reasonable apartment what do y'all think?
One odd thing is that the kitchen and the bath is going to be windowless....not sure how  weird that's going to be...The plan does show a lot of lights in the kitchen but....also the family room and the one bedroom are kinda on the small side...

Egress Windows...dang this issue is going to be a tough one...all the windows from the bedroom need to be official egress which means they need a clear opening of at least 5.0 sq ft...and the minimum openings have to be 20"wide by 24" high...not a single window makes the height cut...the rule is supposed to be so a firefighter can get in through the window....but firefighters don't open windows the smash their axe's through the windows and yank em out so they have a nice BIG opening...to meet this egress rule I will probably have to switch out all the windows for casements that open fully...which won't look right for sure...

But, wait, there's more..on the interior the sill height can only be 44" from the finished floor...right now I'm at 45.5".....I'm going to have to lower the windows (which I don't know if possible cause there is going to be a bottom plate possibly in the way) or raise the floor or a little of both...

Hurray!!!

I've got someone coming over today from the city to take a look at my plans and weigh in...hopefully it will be good news...

Update
After talking to some people I had this idea

I really, really, really, like this idea as I don't have to remove any walls!!

I will completely lose any storage space in the basement but the unit will now be a 3-2!!! With a Master Bedroom Suite!!!

One of the design considerations is that the laundry area and the utilities area need to be accessible from common space. I will need to gain access to the utility room where hopefully the 2 new house heaters and water heater for this unit will be kept. The laundry room is for both units so that needs to be not in private space.

From Breaktime Classic we have this idea.


And from Jessamyn we have this one.


Thanks so much everybody for the ideas.

Just got done meeting with the city's man and he didn't see any problem with my, 'take over the bottom floor' for a single apartment idea.

I'll have to work on refining the design and I'll need to bring in the plans for converting the two studio apartments into a single one bedroom at the same time...which, don't exist yet...

So, there is some hope!!!