When you decide to build a house the first question you’re going to ask yourself is – How do you live? What’s important to you in your life? Is it a big kitchen because you entertain family and friends? Is it a large master bath with a steam shower and a whirlpool bathtub? Do you spend a great deal of time outside? All of these question center around your life and how you live.
For people who are staying in their home and want to remodel the same basic questions still apply albeit on a much smaller scale. For most people in today’s remodel environment space planning centers around making smaller rooms bigger. That means taking out walls and opening up the entire area. This makes a huge difference in what’s possible for your new remodel. What’s probably happening is you are essentially eliminating the dining room to make the kitchen bigger. What a beautiful thing that is. Formal dining rooms have become a thing of the past.
Walls that separate rooms seem like such an old idea. And, when you take the walls out you immediately ask yourself why didn’t we do this a long time ago. This exact thought happened to us when we decided to remodel our kitchen in our small three bedroom ranch.
We were configuring a display kitchen from Dream Kitchens.
The first thing the space planner did was come in and place tape on the walls that had to go. It didn’t matter if the wall was a bearing wall or not it was coming out. The carpet was coming out in the living room which was divided by the wall which separated the kitchen from the living room and a new wood floor was going in that covered the entire upstairs.
Another wall was coming out that blocked the stairwell that led to the finished basement to “open it up” because what did we need it for? I guess we didn’t. Doing this provided a view of the interior wall of the stairwell that no one ever saw unless you went to the lower level. This was a brilliant move because doing that was so easy and the look is amazing plus it added four feet of interior room even though it was only a visual effect. Removing that wall also allowed us to see the interior wall of the stairwell where we could use that wall for art that we could light up and see from the entire upper level. Another hidden benefit we discovered from removing one small wall is that it opened up the view of the patio where you could see the outdoor stone fireplace we built. I’m now into open areas with no walls.
Someone with space planning ideas could easily see the improvements as we were blind to the possibilities even though we had saved hundreds of photos from Houzz and other home sites. We didn’t even know what we were saving them for except for the fact that we liked the house and the room.
Space planning is hugely important and something I never really thought about before. I thought I knew what I was doing until Keven and Terri came over and set me straight. Once you eliminate the walls you basically have a blank canvas to really put the room together. We were amazed when all the walls were gone and it was a plywood floor and a huge area to live in. Even the state we were in right now was better than the old house we had before. We could see the future.
Another brilliant move that freaked me out at first was when Terri pointed to a large window we had in our kitchen that went down pretty low to the floor. This was where we had two little swivel chairs that we could sit in the kitchen and have coffee. We loved that little area. Gone! She said, “take that window out and raise up the opening so we can add an entire row of cabinets and countertop below the new window.” I really didn’t want to do that at first but when she explained how easy it would be and all the benefits of the countertop and cabinet space we would get I was all in on that idea and it was the third or fourth brilliant move in our remodel. Hint: It took about one day to take out the old window and build up the opening to support a custom made window from the Window Design Center. I covered up the opening with a sheet of plywood until the window was ready. Done! She was right again.
Once the walls were gone I started ripping out the old cabinets, sink, and countertops in our galley kitchen. This was easy since there was nothing to be saved so everything went right into the back of my truck and straight to the dump. It’s amazing how much you can do and how fast you can do it with a Sawzall. The first thing we noticed when all the walls and kitchen cabinets were gone was that we turned our house into an open floor plan condo. It was very cool but different and we loved it.)
After the demo was complete I then laid out the electric for the walls, ceiling, and island and I know that you can never have enough outlets so there were plenty of drawings for electrical including a TV I wanted inside an opening that would normally contain a countertop microwave. I did not want a countertop microwave. I wanted an under countertop microwave.
The next thing we did was repair the ceiling as taking out the walls tore up the ceiling and all the drywall needed to be replaced. That’s where Drywall On Call came into the picture. These guys are the masters at drywall installation.
The floor was next and we laid the floor in two days. Not hard but not easy either… It’s time-consuming but so pretty when it was finished. When the floor was complete the cabinets were delivered and the install began.
When it was all said and done the completed project took four months and we absolutely love our upper level remodel.