Since the last Renovation Diary update, things have progressed rapidly. Dismantling the old kitchens and hacking the walls took more than a week, but we’re on track. Hats off to the guys. Demolishing brick and mortar is not for the faint hearted.
We did hit a few speed bumps though.
That’s the thing about old houses. As we tore down, more and more problems cropped up. (Just know that when I say we, I don’t mean ‘me’ because I didn’t sledge hammer anything, but I mean the awesome team from Granbuilt Construction.)
We found out the water damage in the ground floor bathroom did not originate from said bathroom but from the ventilation pipe. The vent pipe goes through the ground floor bathroom to the first floor bathroom and all the way to the roof. Somehow water found a way down. I panicked a bit because when he was explaining the issue to me, all I could hear was an old Abba soundtrack.
Fortunately, the guys at Granbuilt were able to solve it without me needing to sell my uterus. Then, just when I thought I could breathe easy, we had the strange case of waste water not flowing into the sewer. That stinks, literally. We had to lay new pipes and we’re back in the flow.
You can’t help it when it comes to old houses. If there’s anything I’ve learnt, it’s you need a good contractor to help you troubleshoot on the fly. And make sure you have buffer in your renovation plan for way unforeseen stuff.
The old tiles in the kitchen, dining and bathrooms are also out. The much too low plaster ceiling is out too. And oh yeah, after we removed the plaster ceiling, I was horrified to see the ceiling beams at different levels. You may have caught a glimpse of them if you followed my Instagram Stories. I’m not quite sure how to fix this yet. Most likely I’ll expose them and learn to love irregularities.
At this point, we’re laying new cables for lights, sockets and smoothening the walls.
Renovation Plan – Layout
Okay, now let’s talk about the fun stuff. I promised you in my earlier post that I’ll share the renovation plan for the house. So here goes.
This is the original layout for the ground floor. I’m not altering much of the first floor except the master bathroom, which I’ll share another day.
And this is what we’re going to end up with.
Study (Home office) opened up
The study is tiny and I wanted my home office to feel open and a little bit more expansive. So we broke the wall down.
Miles better, isn’t it?
There’ll be a set of sliding doors for some privacy (like below), when I need it. And also to “close up” for the day, so my workaholic brain can clock out.
What’s my vision for the space? A bit like this.
Mood wise, I want it light and cheery, some what like Joy Cho’s office.
Renovation Plan – The kitchen
The major change is the kitchen. The previous kitchen was divided into 2 spaces – a dry kitchen and a wet kitchen. We’ve done away with the dry kitchen (which will now be the dining area) and enlarged the wet kitchen, breaking down a wall and door that previously led to a laundry area.
This was the first layout plan. I wanted two washing zones, mainly to take advantage of the existing pipes along the left wall, courtesy of the old laundry space. I thought an extra washing zone would be wonderful should I throw a party and need help cutting up the veggies or doing the dishes. And, maybe more than that, the java junkie in me thought it could be made into a nice coffee station.
Final kitchen layout
But … and it was big but … some issues still bugged me. For one, I had very little counter space. And the flow was less than ideal. The coffee station was off to the side and would not be a functional part of the kitchen. In the end, I scraped it and we landed with this.
No more coffee station. <img src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/2.4/72×72/1f641.png" alt="