Progress! (or) Non-Livable Space

It's been over a year since I wrote anything here. That is a really long time, and I'm sorry that I haven't been able to get much done. There are all sorts of projects that have been left unfinished, but sometimes, life gets in the way.

That said, we've finally begun step one of The Big Project! As a planner, a dreamer, and a super-logical person, I have always had big plans, and this house is no exception. I have a huge spreadsheet with all sorts of bells and whistles that tells me what I should work on, what projects cost, and even how far I have to go before I am done with everything. It's a staggeringly huge project, overall. That's why I've chopped it into smaller pieces. For instance, the top-level plan includes "Finish Upstairs", which has the sub-task "Build Addition", which includes "Complete new bathroom", which includes "install toilet"... you get the idea. Well, up to now, I've been stuck with working on all those smaller pieces: making drawers, filling holes, that sort of thing. Today, however, I am pleased to show you the really, really big piece I've been working on.

This is the existing house...
As you can see, the image on the left is the original house plan. This is the second floor view. Note, if you will, the porch; it's 43 feet, 6 inches long, and 5 feet, 8 inches wide. As a porch, it's... tolerable. Of course, I already have two balconies (the lower right and left sides of the picture), if I wanted to look down on humanity. Until recently, I've used that space to store wasps, dust, an empty paint bucket, a handful of rusty nails and staples, and a paint roller, complete with dried paint.
...And this is the new design.

On the other hand (the right hand, as it were), this is my new design. It's much the same, but if you look closely at the porch, you'll realize it's not actually a porch at all, but four rooms. Well, technically, it's two rooms, a hallway, and a room extension, but you get the idea.

The new room on the far right is a walk-in closet. It has a door that opens into the bedroom, as well as a door that opens into the hall. The hall hosts an arch from the entryway, and opens to the closet on the right and the bathroom on the left. The bathroom is a full bath, with toilet, sink, and bathtub/shower. I can't wait until it's in use, as right now we're limited to a single bathroom!
Finally, to the left of the bathroom is the master bedroom nook. It's a small area connected to the master bedroom, with a window and space for a chair or two (and Lindsay's sewing machine). It leads to the master bathroom via a sliding door, and to the great outdoors via the door shown. It has a three-way switch connected to the porch lights, so I can turn them off from upstairs, too. The master bathroom is currently in a state of disarray; I'm replacing fixtures, but that's a project for a different day.

There is a reason for the title ("non-livable space"); when we were getting our building permit, I learned that a room must be 7 feet wide to be considered a livable space. Bedrooms, living rooms, bonus rooms, all must be 7 feet across in both directions, at a minimum. Since the porch is (was) 5 feet 8 inches, that means that no rooms added can be that small. The nook is fine, since it's part of a bigger living space; the hallway is fine, since it's not considered a livable space. The bathroom is also exempt. However, "bonus rooms" (playrooms, studies, and so on) all have that 7 foot rule. We didn't want to build another bathroom (that would be silly), and we didn't want to add a kitchen (also silly), so we took the only option left to us: we made it into a very large walk-in closet. With a door opening into the hall. Hey, it works; no one said kids can't store toys in a walk-in closet.

Siding: not all the same.
Oh, and I almost forgot! I'm also replacing some of the ugly siding on the downstairs bathroom. As you can see in the picture, the new siding is this weird bump-out stuff that not only looks bad, but as you can see at the bottom, it's already starting to rot. It's only 10 years old, too. So, happy day, I'll be replacing that once we start putting up siding! It shouldn't take long at all, and it'll look so much nicer. And will be made of cedar, which withstands rot a lot better than yellow pine.

As an added benefit, I'll also be able to add some desperately-needed insulation there. Why no one added any insulation when it was first installed boggles the mind... I can understand there being no insulation in 130-year-old walls, but built in the last 10 years? Sigh. Amateurs.
Screens and peeling paint and holes, oh my

Finally, a parting picture: this is what the porch used to look like. Stay tuned, and you'll get to see the new work! Yay progress!

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