Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Details, Details, Details!

There has been lots of detail orientedness going on at the house this week. With the impending deadline of drywall starting on Monday, making sure everything is fine tuned inside the walls is of the utmost importance. This morning at 8:30am was our final building inspection before we begin insulating! I can't believe it!

I had Susan our architect meet me at the house on Monday for 3 reasons. 1) To walk through the sub-contractor rough-ins to make sure everything was properly placed 2) To address some questionable areas in the mudroom with cabinetry, trim and door sizes and 3) To help me dimension out the exterior brackets so I can get them ordered.

Allow me to elaborate on the mudroom conundrum...

As you can see from this elevation drawing, the two different elements of cabinetry and the two different doorways on this particular wall in the mudroom are all supposed to be at the same height. The only currently existing of these elements is the doorway between the shoe cubbies and the charging station. This is the doorway that leads down to our basement.

The idea was to build the other elements to match this doorway (since raising that doorway isn't an option with the upstairs stairway directly overhead). However, the door height down to the basement is not a standard height...but rather considerably shorter (6'8" is standard, this was more like 6'4"). Now while this door height makes sense for the basement considering everything going on above it, having the door height match this into our most used bathroom doesn't really make sense. While it's true both Jeff and I only DREAM of soaring to such heights, we do have friends and brothers who were gifted with such elongated appendages that it actually would become an issue. There's nothing worse than directing a guest to your bathroom and following it up with "WATCH YOUR HEAD!" So, the question became how do we make sense of these elements that all share the same wall space, but are of different heights. Here's how we (and by 'we' you know I'm referring to our fantastic architect Susan) resolved the issue.

After we decided to keep the bathroom door at 6'8", it became a puzzle of figuring out how to make the remaining three elements seem like one. We first explored the idea of joining them all together with trim, so running one long piece of trim across the top of all three elements vs trimming each one out individually. However, we ran into issues stemming from the particular trim profile we chose and how different areas would join together leading us to quickly veto that idea.

The next idea we (Susan) came up with meant trimming each piece out individually, but filling the empty wall space between each element with the look of a cabinet panel. So basically, making the three separate elements appear as one large built-in unit spanning the entire wall space hence keeping the taller powder room door as its own entity. Brilliant! This is the idea we ultimately settled on and after she quickly sketched it on a nearby 2x4 for reference, we were on to our walk through. Here's my 1st grade interpretation of how it will look (I even autographed the photo as my drawing skills are sure to take me places!)

This is a perfect opportunity to once again bring up the importance of an architect on a remodel. I truly believe that what distinguishes one home from the next are these minute details that make your home really special. Now I completely understand that everyone's priority isn't necessarily to extract creative thinking in every solitary surface of their home, but why not customize your space with personal touches that make a lasting impression on you and yours. Amidst the chaos of construction, its easy to take the simplest option rather than taking the time to think through the alternatives. Had Susan not been at my fingertips, I most certainly would have forged ahead on this space without first tying up the loose ends.

Remember the nuky sisters?

Well, they are no longer. Gloria is the squirmiest creature known to mankind with her determination to crawl despite generous sized abdominal cavity. Here's the best picture I could get of the newly nuky-free sisters!

And here's what the rest of them looked like:

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