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Laying the Groundwork: Our Historic Craftsman Home Renovation Journey Begins

Our hears have always been set on breathing new life into an old house. There's something magical about the stories and character etched in the walls of a historic home and we've started the journey to honor that legacy while carving out a space that's uniquely ours. Today, I'm peeling back the curtain and sharing a glimpse of the early stages of our renovation adventure and a view of what's to come.

Architectural elevation of existing craftsman bungalow home
Existing Side Elevation

The Underpinning Saga: A Foundation for our Dreams

Let me tell you, basement work is a muddy affair, especially in an area with a high water table like ours. It's been an eye-opener to the complexities of ensuring our home's foundation is as solid as our aspirations. First off, we're navigating through 5 phases of underpinning, taking a full 2-3 months alone to complete. For those who might be wondering, "What on earth is underpinning?" - it's essentially a process to strengthen and stabilize the foundation of a house. It involves digging pits around the base in a carefully planned sequence, reinforcing them with rebar, and then filling them with concrete. It's intense, but also utterly fascinating. It's as messy as it sounds, and yes we're living amidst a bit of controlled chaos, but every step in this mucky ballet brings us closer to our dream.

Tackling the Unexpected: Navigating Through Waters Unknown

Renovations are full of surprises and we fully expect to have our fair share. Just this last week the discovery of an old, mud-clogged clay drainage pipe during demo threw us a small curveball, but we've got plans for a sump pump system that will reroute the rainwater, protecting our new full-height basement from water intrusion. We're crossing our fingers that this is the biggest challenge we face during the underpinning process, but we're ready to tackle anything that comes our way.

Architectural Alchemy: The Art of Integrating New with Historic

The process of underpinning is crucial for us, as it lays the groundwork (quite literally) for the exciting additions we have planned. While this initial part is about the bones of the house, the changes we have in mind are all about beauty and functionality. Our vision for this home is clear: the additions will be a nod to the original craftsmanship and style as if they were always meant to be. We are adding a new living spaces on the back as well as a second story. Keeping true to our bungalow craftsman's roots, we reimagined the second story space through a re-pitched roof and strategically placed dormers to add that needed square footage. We want to respect the past while making room for the future.

In the spirit of preservation, we are recycling some of the original siding, moving pieces from the back to grace the front once the structural transformations are complete. It's a small gesture to the home's history, but a significant step towards our goal of a seamless blend between the old and new.

To give you a taste of the transformation taking shape, I'm sharing the elevations for our homes exterior. This plan has been over 2 years in the making, a blueprint for our dedication to preserving the essence of our historic home while making it our own. Stay tuned for an upcoming post where we share our interior floor plans and dive deeper into how we are crafting our dream space from the inside out.

We want to hear from you!

As we continue to document this journey, we'd love to know what aspects of our renovation you're most curious about. Is it the nitty-gritty of dealing with historic home quirks, the design process, or perhaps the landscaping plans? Drop us a line in the comments - your input will help shape our upcoming posts! We are just at the beginning, and I can't wait to share every step of this journey with you!

Until next time... Cheers!


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