Kyle and Karen's House Addition Project

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Click on the images to see them larger.

The project finally got completed, yay! See the bottom of this for a project retrospective.

Moving In!!!, 07/11/04 (Day 198)

Garage Doors

Garage Doors

A Place For Everything

Everything In Its Place

We got our certificate of occupancy and immediately started moving from the old garage to the new. Here we finally got the cars moved over to the new garage. It was a tight fit, turning between the old garage and new. OH, this looks so nice!

Destruction, with extreme prejudice, 08/27/04 (Day 245)

Garage Long Bench

Garage Rear Workbench

Garage Rear Workbench -
SUPPORTING the back wall

The rotted back wall

Garage Disappears
Tearing down the garage
Tearing Down the Old Garage

Now that the junk has all been removed from the garage, we can see just how bad things really are. We knew that the back wall was rotted, but it wasn't apparent until the garage was empty just how bad things had really gotten. As you can see above, the rear workbench, which was originally secured to the wall to support the workbench, had actually become the one main support for the rear of the garage! It is actually possible (and probable) that if I had kicked the rear workbench legs out, that the rear of the garage would have popped off the pad and collapsed. Uh, I didn't try it. :-)

Check out the big version of the cool animation I made where the garage disappears. It took a lot of forethought before dropping the garage to get everything just right so that animation would come out correctly. I know it takes a while to load, but I think it's worth the wait. The other animation of the garage being demolished doesn't have a bigger version. I just made the one size to sort of summarize the destruction. It took just over 3 minutes to tear down the old garage. Of course, it took us weeks of working out there every evening to get the old garage area cleaned up and usable.

Final Pictures

A New View

Here used to be a cliff across this picture, just this side of the old oak, now smoothed into a gentle hill.

From This:

To This:

Old front of house

New front of house

Old front of house

New front of house

Back of house before garage

Back of house with new garage

Conclusion and Retrospective on our House Addition Project

Since we moved into the new garage and tore down the old one, many things have taken place. First we spent weeks cleaning up all the debris. That job was far larger than we thought. As of this writing (December, 2004), we still have a pile of old garage wood debris to burn and a pile of concrete debris to dispose of. We also spent a great deal of time landscaping (a nice way of saying, "moving dirt around") the back yard, behind the garage, and in the pasture. All the extra dirt we had to have to pour the concrete and hold our forms was able to be dug back out from around the house and put out in the pasture where we were landscaping. This served a dual purpose of making nice level areas around the house, and finishing the pasture reclamation project that we have been working on since the last millenium. The last thing to do for that project was to back fill a cliff. After this, where that cliff was, it has been smoothed in and blended between the different original grades. Now it looks like this has always been the grade. I am very happy to say that project is now finished along with the post-construction grading.
The next big project is to put three bedrooms and two baths in the 1000 square foot area upstairs. Unfortunately, that project will have to wait until we get some $$$money$$$. This project really broke us financially. Although we only just barely went over budget, I would say we bit off exactly the amount we could chew. If there are any generous folks out there reading this who would like to help us out, I figure with a gift of about $30K we can finish the house and then finally have some kids. But until we finish the upstairs, there is just no way for it to happen. We have significantly improved the value of our house, so we had considered flipping our loans and getting more money to finish the project with. But by the time we got this phase finished, interest rates had gone up and we cannot afford to pay a higher monthly payment. So unless a generous philanthropist comes into our lives sometime soon, it may be a very long time before we can afford to do phase two and have kids.
Even knowing that we cannot afford to do phase two, this has still been a great project and has enhanced our property value and our lives. It was a great learning experience. Not only has it increased the usefulness of our house, but it has also made it look very nice on the outside. Quite frankly, the old garage was an eyesore and was embarrassing to own. Now we have a building and layout that will be very nice to live with and raise a family in for many years to come. It is nice to look at and no longer feels like the poor farmer's house we bought. There is still much to do, but what a great start we have accomplished. When I look back now I cannot think of anything I would really do differently, except perhaps to fire the electritian - any moron who crawled out from under a rock would have been better. Vince, wherever you are, the day you lose your license, and it is coming, it won't be soon enough. But other than that, we do not have any regrets and are very thankful that we were able to pull off such a large scale project.


End of Stage 1

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