Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bouncing Ideas

So, I find myself thinking a lot of random thoughts - well maybe not so random - this morning.  My two first choices for people to bounce ideas off-of are not available now.  So, my wonderful blog readers get to hear me think.

What I'm mainly thinking about is adding on to our house.  Or maybe not.  I have such grand ideas, but although I've not actually gotten quotes on my ideas, I expect them to amount to essentially a second mortgage payment each month. I've been dreaming more about this since James' job has become stable again (well as stable as a job can be in today's environment).  Of course, I know this about myself - I dream big.  I have plans of adding on an addition to the back of the house which would allow space for a new family room, extended kitchen, renovated bathroom and laundry room on the main level.  I also have visions of revamping the upstairs so we could renovate the kids' bathroom and add a master bath and closet.  The cost of realizing these dreams, including time, money, and impact on our family (and 13 year old cat), is beginning to make me re-think how big I want to dream.  I am starting to wonder what I can do with what we currently have to make it feel new and improved without any major construction involved.

One step I took recently was to ask James to list his likes and dislikes about this house and any items he would like to add or change.  His list was way smaller than mine.  I have to admit, I was not too happy when he shared it with me at first.   I was grateful that he did take the time to make the list at my request.  I was just disappointed that we didn't have more in common on our two lists.  One thing that jumped out at me was that he liked our laundry being in the basement.  On my wish list was a laundry room on the main level.  I asked him why he liked it down there (of course I do most of the laundry) and he said he liked it in the basement in case of flooding.  As much as I hate to admit it, he does have a point.  And, with our new front-loading washer that has a mighty spin cycle, the house definitely shakes less with the washer on the concrete basement floor than it would on the main level.  Plus, if I don't move the laundry to the main level, there is more room to play with on the main level for renovated bathroom and kitchen.

I also am liking the idea of actually going ahead and redecorating rooms that with our big remodel would likely have to be put on hold.  For example, I am really tired of our living room rug and furniture.  We could reupholster the furniture, get a new rug and install a gas-log fireplace insert, plus update the room with some new paint for a lot less than an addition onto the back of the house.  I really do want to update the kitchen at minimum.  I could stand to live with it a little longer without a major remodel if it got cleaned up and updated just a little.  But I hope there is no lead paint on our original kitchen cabinets that are attached to our un-insulated, plaster walls!

Well, I feel better having put some of these thoughts in writing.  If nothing else, I can come back and refer to them later.  I think I need some professional advice to point me in the right direction.  There are a lot of things we could do with the money we could spend on a big remodel/addition.   Please feel free to offer feedback or suggestions, particularly the type of professional I should seek to help me make a good plan that James and I will both like.

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