Thursday, February 10, 2011

What We Moved Into

With my family, I moved into a midwestern ranch that has been in the family since it was built in 1949. Out moved my in-laws, two people with very little stuff and in moved my family of five with significantly more stuff. This was our plan:
1. Figure out how to remodel.
2. Move out temporarily.
3. Gut it and enlarge it. Keep the details we liked, replace those we didn't.
4. Move back in to a home well designed for our needs.
Well, the economy tanked and so did our plan. The location is great and the plot is big, so moving to another house was out of the question. And where would we find a house that fit us without remodeling anyway?

The house has only one bathroom (very dated, the tub is original), an ineffective kitchen and laundry area, a back hall of 12 square feet and a slightly damp basement where the floor leaks about once a year. We are one bedroom and one home office short.
On top of that, it has too little insulation and a dysfunctional heating system. The kitchen and dining area on the east side are always too warm while the two bedrooms over the crawl space on the west side are too cold unless you are tucked in under the covers. That cuts down further on play and homework space.
The house is oriented with the long walls facing the street to the south and a huge back yard to the north. However, the windows on the south side are quite small and let very little sunlight in during the winter. The back yard can only bee seen from the living room window, which is big and drafty. The rest of the north facing side has a badly proportioned, enclosed porch (yes, facing north). The kitchen and dining room on the north east corner only gives us a view of the neighbor's yard and house.

This is the most inconvenient house I have ever lived in and something had to be done. New paint on the walls and other minor fixes has made the house feel a bit more like a home, but cosmetics won't fix the rest.

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