Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fun with renovation: prioritizing projects

We're now at this stage of renovation excitement:

Framing in the second floor!  Apparently there's a lot of framing happening inside too, but I didn't venture beyond the sidewalk last time I was there. Tomorrow, I get a tour.

Our job of the moment, while all of the hard work is being one by other more important people, is to finalize our window selection so all that can be ordered, and choose what colour we want for our siding (the house will be mostly brick, with siding accents), and commit to a particular type of roof (metal faux shingle, or asphalt actual shingle?).

Making these choices is not easy even if you're doing it exclusively from a design perspective, without considering expense.  There are tradeoffs everywhere.  For example, triple glazed windows are fabulous for cutting down on noise and temperature variations, but if you want the look of a traditional multi-pane window, you will have to settle for something that looks like the faux that it is.  Not to mention what the prettiest things cost.  By which I mean, OWIE.

Thankfully I realized something this week that makes our decisions easier, or at least, less painful.  You can prioritize where the money is going based not on appearance or function or cost, but by Mess.

A roof can be replaced at any time without causing any disruption inside the house whatsoever, beyond noise.  And it's fast.

Siding can be replaced too, and though it's probably expensive and messy, it's also outside.  Or you could just repaint it.

Windows can be replaced with a small amount of disruption around the perimeter walls, but inside the house, not outside.

A bathroom can be upgraded but tile removal is extraordinarily dusty and noisy and messy, and cleaning up after drywall isn't fun either.

A kitchen can be replaced only with weeks of disruption and mess and tears, when the counter you ordered isn't what arrives for installation (this happened in the old version of the house and I hope it doesn't happen again with this one.)

Hardwood flooring can be refinished or replaced, but you have to move ALL the furniture off of it.  On a main floor you can plan ahead and put something different into your kitchen, allowing you to pile everything up in there for the duration.  Either way: you may have to stay away for a few days because Odor.

Now that I've worked this out, I feel pretty confident that pursuing a really good kitchen takes priority over paying for a fancy shingle-style metal roof, which can be be installed any old time, even over an existing asphalt shingle roof.  And it would be smart to get really, really good floors, and choose timeless bathroom tile.  Yaaaaay.

And now I can knit.  See you tomorrow!


Mimi said...

All those choices are overwhelming, aren't they? I knew I would need to pick many things, but I was surprised that I had to choose hinges. (Who thinks about hinges?) And door knobs. And switch plates. And on and on and on. So many, many things. I like your method.

Laurinda said...

That's actually very good thinking! Besides, you LIVE in a kitchen, but you almost never look at your roof.
My kitchen floor needs to be replaced (very badly) but it took FOUR DAYS just to replace the kitchen sink! Which I swear to god is moving with us (it's a beautiful vintage metal cabinet base with doors & drawers)
I just don't think I can handle the stress of moving everything out to get it done :-(

Mary Keenan said...

Omigosh Mimi, HINGES? I hope I don't have to do that. I wasn't expecting to have to choose doorknobs either because Doorknobs, but after we had to upgrade the ones at the condo and saw all the different options we decided to go with black when we get to that stage at the house. We're doing black lighting fixture hardware too and a black railing for our stairway (too narrow to justify a big wooden one) so it should look pretty pulled together! I guess if I have to pick hinges, I'll hope black ones exist...

Mary Keenan said...

Laurinda your sink base sounds amazing!! you must have found that someplace very special - is the sink itself original to it or did you combine them yourself? I wouldn't move without it either, it's too unusual to leave behind :^)