Dustman Remodel - The plan

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Looking back at the Dustman Remodel, having a plan really helps. But being too stuck to your plan can also hurt.

At the beginning of the project in the fall of 2017, I was dreaming. I made a gingerbread house of the inspirations I had gleaned from many houzz searches and trips around town perusing the area. Thankfully my gingerbread house was much worse than final product. My poorly planned licorice roof was definitely not made in proportion. Thankfully, that’s not my job!

Personally, I think another reason a plan makes a huge difference is because of family. Moving a little slower through the remodel and allowing time during planning at the beginning to get your family and loved ones involved was wonderful for me. Granted, I have an awesome family. I was able to share my vision, which definitely evolved along the way. I needed to communicate the details I was looking for which gave me necessary practice before attempting to pass long this vision to builders and skilled craftsman.

Even now that most of the remodel is over, there are little glances around the house that remind me of the advice of various family members. Having french doors in the bedroom in place of the window. Getting rid of the empty door jamb to open the doorway completely up. Having a wooden door stained to match the pergola. Leaving space to add another hot water heater if necessary later on. Adding electric for a fireplace in the future. And I’m sure so many other details wouldn’t have come to my mind without the thoughtful deliberations with family members. And their experience became so helpful for this project. So to all of my family, thank you!

Another piece to the planning that might shock some people is that I never ended up with an exact set of blueprints. Gasp! Being my own contractor meant I had to let go of some of the handy rewards of hiring a contractor. And that’s okay! I wanted to learn and there were many schematics along the way that I got to keep a copy of. Oh and pictures help a ton as well. Such as when my uncle helped mount some grab bars in the shower and I needed to make sure the studs had been blocked correctly. Thank you to a phone camera. Exact measurements would’ve been even better but I didn’t have them and that’s okay.

And even with a plan, I needed to let go of some ideas that seemed to perfect throughout the planning. Like, I really wanted to have a huge south facing window above my oven. It’s the perfect view for the house and there’s no other view like it from the other windows. However, structurally as I learned after a few headers were put up, there was no cost efficient way to make it happen. When I found out halfway along that the part attaching the house the garage didn’t have a concrete foundation (which is an extreme no-no) part of the budget had to be reallocated. It was even more surprising when I came home from work one day and found that area completely torn down, shock! But it’s better to do it right than fix a little and have mold and a rotting foundation a few years after a huge remodel.

Plan well, friends, in life and work. But be willing to let God rework the plans along the way. Know the details and the vision while holding them loosely in your hand.

My shock moment when I came home to find the house and the garage with no structure connecting them. I’m glad it was rebuilt correctly but I had no idea it would all need to be removed (and super quickly) to do things right.

My shock moment when I came home to find the house and the garage with no structure connecting them. I’m glad it was rebuilt correctly but I had no idea it would all need to be removed (and super quickly) to do things right.

Javon SteffenComment