Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Renovation: Lounge before and after wall removal

Before and after pictures are my favourite, and even though our lounge is far from finished (it needs a new window on the north-facing wall, wall linings in several places, the ceiling to be completely relined, everything painted and the floorboards repaired and refinished... So very far from finished) all the structural work is now complete, which means we can now enjoy the increased light and space.

These before-and-afters aren't the best, and not just because the room isn't finished - the removed wall makes it tricky to even tell that you're looking a the same space. And the "afters" were taken hurriedly, late at night, and in pre-Christmas panic mode.

Same photo, different week

The room we've made our lounge was the master bedroom. It had the best aspect in the whole house, so it was kind of an obvious choice for a living room - at least to us. I guess that's not how the original builder saw it, but priorities were different in the 1920s.

Original main level floor plan / proposed final floor plan
We've chosen to have the kitchen as the hub of the home, in what used to be the lounge, with the dining room in its original location and the lounge in the other end of the L-shape. There are french doors between the kitchen and lounge, so that we have the option of closing the spaces off from each other, but (except when they are being played with by toddlers) they are pretty much always open.

The two braced areas, pre-lining

There were some structural and bracing components to this work; our builder had to run a new beam in the roofspace to replace the old wall, which also required new studs at either end to support the beam. In terms of bracing, we had to create braced areas on the front wall and the opposing wall, with angle brackets and braceline. There was also one wall in the old kitchen (now our guest room / playroom) which had to be gibbed to meet the bracing requirements.

Because we're scrimping and saving for our downstairs bathroom - the next big project - we had asked our builder only to complete these elements, which he has to sign off on for the building consent. That means that he's packed up and we've still got lots of gap filling to make the room look like a finished space - but it is safe and we can chip away at those jobs as we have time (we'll have to get a pro to do the new window too, but that might be a bit down the line - it'll be pricey).

Before and after, taken from the same spot 

We were planning to put in a door between the lounge and the entrance hall too (shown in the plans above), but since that's purely for livability we're reserving judgement on that until we've used the space for a while.

The proposed doorway would go in the space behind the black armchair - but it could equally be left open

What do you think - would you prefer to have the more open space or do you like having the option to close the doors to separate rooms from hallways?

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