The alternate title to this post could be “How an Angel Architect Saved our Sanity”. So here’s my first bit of advice to anyone who is DIYing an addition to their house… do the whole damn thing, from foundation to drywall on your own, but for gods sake, hire a professional to do the house plan.
The trick, I imagine, is finding a good architect. And if you’re in the greater Toledo area, I can help you with that. Her name is Edit Karakas. Even if you’re not in this neck of the woods, I suggest you contact Edit and see if you can work with her remotely because this is the woman you need to design your home.
MysteryMan and I spent the previous eleven months sketching up, discarding, and redrawing house plans, because really, we thought, how hard can it be? By the time we bit the bullet and walked into Edit’s office we were skeptical, downtrodden, and feeling a lot like we’d given up. So we took everything we had, everything we wanted, laid it out on the table and said “Edit. Help.” And boy, did she deliver.
The blue outline is the original house. We knew we wanted 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a big kitchen, vaulted ceilings, an open area for the computer, and some nice outdoor living spaces that get sun throughout the year. All in all it’s not so much to ask for, but we are restricted on three sides of the house with a well, leach field, and main road, and we don’t have enough room for a second floor.
Some of my favorite things that Edit included: The first floor laundry room (maybe I’ll actually do some laundry then), small closets everywhere, the open “study” area with the stone fireplace in the middle of the great room, and the wrap-around porch… something both MysteryMan and I wanted but figured there was no possible way we could make it work, so we didn’t even bother to ask if it could be done. (And yes, that is a 7’x10′ closet in the Master bedroom.)
As far as what it looks like?
The “front” entrance is to the right of the steps there. We have a couple of minor tweaks (and picking out the actual colors and materials for the exterior of the house is already giving me a twitch in my right eye) but I would say we’re 97% of the way to finished, and both of us are thrilled.
There’ve been some moments of acute pain in the last year, being a young, non-traditional (and by that I mean happily unmarried), headstrong couple that is building a house with the plan of spending the next 70 years there together. And I’m glad we went through all of that to end up where we are… but boy it wouldn’t have hurt us to find Edit six months ago either.