Monday, July 3, 2017

Kitchen Remodel: Part Eight


Back before we made an offer on this house, I took a bunch of pictures so that we could refer to them when we were discussing the pros and cons of all the houses. We naively thought that we would actually have a choice. In reality, we looked at a long list of houses that were run down or needed lots of work, some more than others. When we looked at this, it seemed to have good bones but hadn't been updated since it was built nearly 45 years prior. It really hadn't been maintained either. We hated the way it looked in front and the kitchen was tiny compared to the house we were leaving. The "Cons" column was really long and there was only two items listed under "Pros", one being the good bones. The second item which tipped the scale for us was that this was the crappiest house in a really nice neighborhood. You just can't go wrong buying that!


We did some interior work right away and then fixed the driveway and front landscaping. If you recall, the garage side of the house, left third on the top picture, had settled several inches after it had been built due to the fill on that side. I jacked up the house and got things releveled out and poured. We moved the sidewalk out several feet which allowed up to put some better landscaping out front which looks totally different from this picture taken in the dead of winter after we did the landscaping a few months earlier. Everything has grown and filled in now. This is a picture I took of the newly installed siding out front looking at the inset area which is our kitchen. Much cleaner looking than the original picture and by removing all the fake posts, the house appears much bigger than it actually is. In our neighborhood, the next smallest house is probably twice the size of ours and most are three to four times bigger! Though much better, the curb appeal for our house was still lacking.


Behold an rendering of what our front might look like when all is said and done. The front porch definitely adds a lot of interest to the front of the house and the modest bump out will provide us with the larger kitchen while not size-ably changing the square footage of our house. (We are adding a mere 140 square feet of space.) Although not likely to be used by me since it is in front of the house, I will also cross another thing I have coveted for my entire life, a covered porch. I might reconsider though once all is completed and a nice hammock chair dangles from the ceiling invitingly.

8 comments:

Vince said...

In that design you need the door to be in the middle. If there isn't a door there it will look wrong, look blind, for the design is as old as time.
And the reason why it's shown from that angle is to get around that issue. But it's only from that angle the whole will look right.
You should get another designer to take a look at this.

Ed said...

Vince - The problem with that is that you would have an entryway in the middle of a large space, dividing it into two tiny and really unusable spaces. If I were designing a house from scratch, I would probably design it as you suggest but working with what we have limits our options.

Kelly said...

I do love the covered front porch - something I mentioned earlier was a mistake not to incorporate when I designed our house.

I can see what Vince is saying about the door, but in reality it doesn't bother me that much. I rarely use my front door and don't face a road where others can see it, either. So it would be a bit of a non-issue here. Besides, focal point can be tweaked with what's ON the front porch. To me, the inside design and how well it works is more important than how the outside looks. Then again, you might be in a neighborhood where exterior looks are vital. It just all depends on how y'all feel about it.

Ed said...

Kelly - For the most part when I walk the streets in the evenings and look around, doors do face the street though the majority aren't centered to make a symmetrical house. Not because of some design intent but very few of the houses are symmetrical to start with. Had we lived on most streets, we would probably have kept the door facing the road but instead we live at the junction of a street so that anyone who pauses at the intersection, sit staring right through the door, down the hallway and into the living room, assuming the door is open. (That is a large reason for why we planted fruit trees between the door and the road a couple years ago.) For people coming to see us and walking down the sidewalk, the door will be readily visible so perhaps the only ones who might be confused about the situation will be the those sitting at the intersection and are just passing through.

Vince said...

The solution is to put a window sized door exactly in the middle, and in proportion. I cannot overstate the issues you'll have when you go to sell if you do it without going with the Greek Portico design. And in the USA of all places where the comfort of the Greek temple portico resonates in every State than a designer would produce this seems nuts. For what would be a comfort for anyone viewing as a prospective buyer would become a jarring discordance.
It really does matter. You'd be better leaving it off than do this.
Now that's my last on it. I couldn't allow a friend to sail that coast without letting them know there's a bloody great rock in the way.

Ed said...

Vince - There will be a double window in the center though due to cabinet heights, it won't be equivalent to the door opening. Also, there is an added window where you are suggesting to put the door which will keep things symmetrical. I appreciate your comments even if I probably won't heed them in the end. I always welcome people who disagree with my thoughts. However, I think having the door facing the driveway versus the road will create better flow and won't be noticeable once the deep overhang and all the design elements of the porch and landscaping are in place. (I.e. people won't be able to tell a window from a door because the lower half will essentially be hidden.) If we are both still around blogging in five to ten years and I have to sell the place, I will be the first person to admit you were right if credit is due.

Kelly said...

Whether I'm right or wrong, I'll offer my last two cents on this, too... A side facing front door is not as uncommon as one might think, especially in a bungalow or ranch style home - particularly one with a covered porch or a semi-enclosed courtyard. I've seen enough of them. And based on how your home is situated in relation to the intersection, I can understand that part of your reasoning. But, I'm perfectly willing to eat crow, as well. :)

Bob said...

I grew up in a home without a "front" door. My parents built it in 1966. My father died in 2006 and we had no trouble selling it.