Spring cleaning for my bank account

The soot I’ve found inside my walls is a fun reminder of why spring cleaning used to be an important yearly chore. I don’t have too much soot to deal with, though, so I need something else to clear out. Coincidentally, I’ve also decided that my house’s floor plan could use some improvement. I have 3 bedrooms, but 2 of them are crazy small, the bathroom is cramped, and there’s not one decent closet in the house. I’ve bounced a few ideas around, including using one of the bedrooms as a walk in closet and enlarging the bathroom, but it seemed like I’d still be wasting space. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the best way to lay out the house would require moving the bathroom. I would lose one of the tiny bedrooms, and add 3 feet to the other. At 9×12, it would still be pretty small, but that’s better than tiny! And better yet, I’d have lots of big closets everywhere! Except none on the first floor. None. Here are some floor plans I drafted on SketchUp.

second floor existing and proposed

If I do this, it will involve these changes:

  • Most of the former Bedroom 2 will become the new bathroom. The toilet remains near the waste stack (very important!)
  • The bathtub moves about 14 feet toward the front of the house. This will mean cutting and shoring up some floor joists, and it’s probably the biggest expense.
  • The wall between the existing bathroom and existing Bedroom 2 moves about 2 feet toward the back of the house, reclaiming part of the existing bathroom for the new one.
  • The rest of the old bathroom is split between Bedroom 3 and its closet.
  • The landing at the top of the stairs will shrink to the 36 inch minimum required by code in order to make the back bedroom bigger. Keep in mind that the rest of the hallway is and will remain 26 inches wide, but that’s fine because it was legal when it was built.
  • The back bedroom is enlarged from 9×9′-8″ to 9×12 1/2 or so.
  • The front bedroom’s closet is removed. There is currently some wasted space around the chimney. I show even more wasted space in this area so that I have a wall to put my bed on. The recessed areas on either side will eventually be built-in bookcases.
  • The front bedroom’s closet is 8×30. The back bedroom’s is 5×30. I can have a small coat closet, abotu 24×32 carved out of the bathroom next to the bath tub. The existing upstairs hall closet, which is too shallow for clothes, becomes a linen closet.
  • The bathroom is larger and has a wide vanity with lots of storage, and a nice long window behind the toilet. Blinds or curtains will obviously be necessary.

So what’s everyone think? This is scary. It’s a huge project, and I certainly have to get it right the first time.

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17 thoughts on “Spring cleaning for my bank account

  1. Melinda

    Okay don’t take this like a crazy stalker or anything but any time I find a blog I like that posts floorplans I do a quick 3d mockup for myself in Home Designer so I can get a feel for the actual dimensions they’re talking about, and I think your changes here are definitely the way to go if you can spare the loss of that 3rd bedroom. šŸ™‚

    I am curious about the difficulty of this though.. our house lends itself fairly easy to this kind of thing since it’s only one story and has a crawl space under most of the house. Your job will probably be much more tricky, but you know that already. šŸ™‚

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      1. Melinda

        Ha, sure, lemme spend a little more time of them makin’ it look nice. šŸ™‚ I assume you’re more interested in seeing the post-renovation version, correct?

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      2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

        I love it! I wouldn’t call it WILDLY inaccurate (except the fireplace in my bedroom – that won’t be possible), and I’m amazed that you were able to throw that together so quickly. But then I clicked on your name.

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      3. Melinda

        Aw bummer about the fireplace. Maybe you could do a fauxplace instead, with a reclaimed mantle and some decorative logs? ;D

        As for my speediness, I do work as a 3d artist professionally, but I used a custom program to do these since it’s faster than working from scratch. šŸ™‚

        I use a program called Home Designer Architectural. It’s good for throwing stuff together quickly, but not as good for intricate details. I’ve heard great things about Sketch-up for that sort of thing though and I may have to try it once we get to the cabinetry-building phase of our reno. šŸ™‚

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  2. Jennifer McCracken

    Seeing your plan in the architectural drawings that Melinda did, I would put a sliding barn door on your bathroom, going back toward the back bedroom. Then you wouldn’t have to close that door to get to the closet in the bathroom. It’s the little everyday things that can get in your way, like getting into the bathroom closet! Just a suggestion.

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    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      Actually, Melinda’s drawing is inaccurate. I already have a shallow (original) closet in my upstairs hall that I’ll be fitting with shelves for linens; the closet next to the bathroom opens to the hallway so I have a place for coats. I put in a pocket door to access the new closet since the hallway is only 26 inches wide! I agree though about avoiding doors that block each other. I think this way works well though; the little bit of extra wall space in the bathroom is nice and I don’t think it’s any hardship to store towels in the hall.

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  3. Terri

    Here’s a thought… Spiral staircase? Lots more square-feet gained for lots more purposeful use. They can be fabricated to nearly any spec, made from aluminum if weight is an issue, and can be modern or ornate… The possibilities are endless and open up SO much more room for your have-to-haves. I had one fabricated to open up “outside” space. I didn’t want to cover walkout basement windows with decking and elongated staircase to get from second floor to ground-level. Worked wonderfully! It’s also a real eye-catching much talked about solution. Enjoy the creativity and think out of the “box”!

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    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      Hey,, thanks for the advice, but I think the straight stairway works in my house. I need a hallway to run front to back anyway, so it works well to have it tight against one side of the house. Plus, the very narrow 26-inch width of both my staircase and my upstairs hall (36 inches is the minimum for new construction) conserve a solid 30% of the floor space. Also, altering the structure of the house would cost a fortune and this would make moving furniture in a nightmare, and the old and original railings my house came with were among the house’s best original features. It does sound like a great idea for a deck though, and many houses in the city have them to access roof decks.

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      1. Terri

        Understand, only had a quick glance at your blog as I caught your comment on Victoria’s post which I follow sporadically in my few fleeting moments of non activity from projects. I live in a small Iowa town where inspiration is somewhat stifled, but I’ve found great insight viewing Houzz.com for photos of infinite idea categories. Maybe you’ve already found it. Also, we have discovered many architectural period replacement salvaged finds at (Habitat For Humanity) ReStore. Maybe you’ve already discovered the one in your area too. It not only helps you to shop or donate items you no longer use but when doing so any profits are used to help those in need.

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      2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

        Yep, I understand! I’ve been to my local ReStore but have done better at a for-profit salvage yard in the city for the kinds of things I’ve needed (read:wanted) so far. I was very pleased with the interior doors I got there. Also, Craigslist has been helpful. I’ve donated flooring and a few other things, but unfortunately, most of what I’ve ripped out had no value due to poor quality and poor installation.

        As for Houzz and sources of inspiration, I did use it some when planning my bathroom. For the most part the things I’ve focused on up to now haven’t had much to do with decor though. I’ve been all about the floor plan and invisible things like the plumbing, wiring and insulation, and framing and hanging drywall. I’ve been really, really anal about things like doorknobs if you’ve gotten that far into my blog, but when it comes to decorating, I’m probably going to get my stuff in the house first and then think about that. Thanks for reading and for the advice!

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    2. Terri

      Okay, I’ve had a few minutes to view more of your blog than the prior glance at your floor plan… Looks like you’ve been VERY busy thinking out of the “box”! I’ve just come upstairs and scrubbed the primer off from working on my own current project to catch my breath and read on! Good luck with your endeavor!

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