I’ve mentioned before that if my house doesn’t sell (though of course I’m still hoping fervently that it does…and does so in time for me to get the “new” one I want), I’ve two projects left here I could tackle.
One is the kitchen, for which I’ve a fairly solid idea of what I’d do (see here). The other is my third floor (atop which sits a gabled roof so there are all kinds of crazy wall/ceiling issues), for which I’ve but a vague plan … not really a plan at all. Just a collection of disparate possibilities, all of which seem pricey and not DIY-type stuff. I mean…I’m good, but not THAT good. And I hate plumbing and am scared of major electric work.
Right now, the third floor is broken up into three rooms that are accessed off a small landing, plus a full bath…sort of. The toilet and tub are tucked into the front of the house under the eaves of the front window. The sink, however, is around the corner in what I call “the room where things go to die.” So the sink plumbing backs up to all the other plumbing, and I can’t figure out even to where I would move it if I felt like getting out the pipe wrench.
And anyway, there’s no room in the bathroom proper to add a sink. I’d also like to add a shower – which won’t work with the tub tucked under the window. But, the walls between the two could come down with little trouble…other than the plumbing
One of the other rooms is the guest room our company intern is renting for the summer (she apologizes for the mess). The walls in that room are load bearing, so they’re not moving anywhere (I have neither the energy, expertise or money for that). Plus, the single air vent on the third floor is in that room, so it’s the only one up there that can be billed as a bedroom. Any work therein will be purely cosmetic…like rethinking the Venetian plaster effect I applied 10 years ago (ditto on the closet wall treatment below).
The return for the bedroom air vent is in on the landing (so not very effective), and crosses partially in front of the bathroom door, which means that space is off limits…unless I move the return – which would, I think, be the easiest way to slightly enlarge the bath enough to make room for a sink and shower.
Anyway, the ducts in this old house really aren’t sufficient for heating and cooling four floors above the furnace and blower. To make the entire third-floor space comfortably livable, I’d need to investigate HVAC wall units; they’re pricey, but effective, efficient and quiet.
Alongside the guest room is my crazy-big walk-in closet (and no, you needn’t comment on the fact that I’ve too many clothes, thanks). The front of the closet is divided from the “sink room” (a.k.a. where things go to die) by simple slats – those could easily be removed to make the front room larger, which could then possibly be reconfigured into a bedroom while also carving out a little extra space for the bath.
So here are my thoughts – keeping in mind that I don’t know how to do some of this stuff. Looking again at the landing (left). I’m thinking I can remove the return (and install three of these nifty wall HVAC units instead, one in each room), then move the bathroom wall out to where the right edge of the closet door is now, and push the bathroom door as far to the right as possible. That would give me 40″ square in which to install a small shower alongside the toilet, and a sink could go just inside the door. Of course, to do that, I’d have to rip up the floor to run the plumbing, but I wouldn’t miss the peel-n-stick vinyl. I’d also have to learn how to reroute plumbing. Then there’s the backer board, drywall and a lot of tiling. (I actually like installing tile; what I hate is grouting.)
The wall between the front room (where things go to die) would be pushed back into the closet, and the closet door would become the access to that room (which would be done up as a guest room, thereby forcing me to get rid of all the crap therein…and thereby providing another comfortable room to “rent” to WIA visitors). The slightly smaller closet would be accessed through the front room.
So to all of you who said a kitchen remodel was a major pain in the tuckus, I give you my third floor. I’m betting the kitchen is the easier of the two potential projects.
But let’s say I stay here and have both of these projects to keep me entertained (and increase my usable space, home value, etc.) – I still won’t have a proper shop. And no, Christopher Schwarz, I do not wish to give up my dining room…though it may come to that.