Slow Home Studio

Season 2012 Episode 07.11.12

Mike and Denise's Virginia House Remodel - Part 1

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Mike and Denise write John and Matthew looking for help with their home design problem: "Hi John and Matthew, Your book "Whats Wrong With This House" gave hope for the design problems that my wife and I are trying to solve with our 24' x 36' south facing hillside house in the mountains of Virginia. We are getting discouraged about making it fit our current needs. The house only has 1 real bedroom. The 2nd bedroom is a low ceiling loft space that was never intended to be a bedroom. We would like to remove the temporary walls that made it a bedroom and turn it back into a library-study open to the living room below. We could build a bedroom/bath/laundry addition on the west side of our house but question if we can also fix these never resolved problems: 1. No interior entry/transition space for the north door that is now the main entrance. It became the entrance so we wouldn't have to walk around the house and climb the exterior deck stairs. A new porch makes the entry very welcoming, but the door opens directly into the kitchen next to the laundry. 2. Furniture arrangement along the main floor south half is compromised by the woodstove hearth and loft stairs. A bigger dining table would be nice but the hearth already constricts traffic flow. We also wish for a more inviting living room furniture arrangement. Changes we are considering: 1. Remove main floor bathtub and existing laundry, leaving a powder room and area for kitchen pantry as well as entry/transition space. 2. West side addition for relocated main bath, laundry and 2nd bedroom. 3. Our new wood stove can safely be moved closer to the wall, reducing the hearth footprint. We wonder if the problems can be sufficiently solved without major structural changes of moving stairs and relocating the woodstove chimney to the LR west wall. All bath walls could be removed except the load bearing wall between wood stove and bathtub plus the 3' section between the tub and stairs (contains 2nd floor bath pimoreless

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