I am looking to hire out as much of the project as I am able to afford. I set aside some projects for myself and marked them as grey but I wouldn’t mind finding someone who I could hire for a few half or whole days who can help me get started with those projects or other small things that come along in addition to quoting out the larger projects (namely the doors to the sunroom, larger windows, and adding insulation to the exterior.)
Remove property and furniture left behind, strip remaining ceiling and paneling. Remove carpet in porch. Remove any bad insulation. Prep space for work.
Remove paint from interior block.
(Assuming I can insulate the exterior). Strip down the interior to its basic materials. Use chemical stripper to remove the paint and follow up with grinder and brush (water and wet vac for dust?) This would be a first dirty job after stripping and removing. I am hoping to do it myself over a weekend but would gladly hire it out. Structure was built in 1964.
If paint doesn’t come off well I may need to pick a white or grey color and paint it all.
Insulation (on exterior)
I’d like to add insulation on the outside so that I can reveal the block on the inside and also keep as much space inside as possible. I am hoping I can add extruded foam panels and a cladding over it (unpainted cedar/a grey-black dark metal panel, unfinished steel type panel). I would be open to helping remove dirt from foundation possibly with pressure washing a trench.
- Modern Structures with cedar shakes.
- Do I need to insulate under the structure?
First floor Flooring
There is a possibility that there are some errors in how the subfloor was done. It was DIY from the previous owner. Overall it looks legit. There is one spot in the bedroom closet that has the previous subfloor intact (see photos). I am not sure if I need to remove the stairs to replace it. When I lay flooring for the first floor I could tile the front 10′ which is the depth of the kitchen-and then lay wood floor on the back 15′ of the living room and bedroom. Or I could do the whole floor in either wood or tile.
I am leaning toward a basic grey tile if I go with tile.
The front kitchen is 10′ deep x 12′ long or 23′ long if I go from wall to wall. The main space is 25’x11′ with the first 10′ possibly being integrated as part of the kitchen. The back bedroom is 9’x11′.
If I did the same knotty pine as proposed for the 2nd floor it would be $3750 in flooring + fasteners and finish.
Unknowns/Questions & Links:
- Do I need to (or want to) insulate under the structure?
- Link to Basic large grey tile option (grout would match hide effect)
If possible I would like to enlarge a few windows. Up to 3 depending on cost. First priority would be the window in the first floor bedroom to make it large enough for egress.
2nd Priority would be a larger window in the main 1st floor room (with fireplace). the goal would be adding more light so it would probably make sense to go larger with 1 window than do both. Depending on cost.
Second Floor Flooring
I believe the subfloor is fine. I would like to add a wood floor over it. The wood choice would match the flooring or wood type used on the first floor.
- Knotty Pine Flooring at Home Depot. $6.60/square foot.
Second floor ceiling and walls
The height is 7’3″ and the flat ceiling is 51″ across. The floor space is 13′ across and 25′ long.
I would strip away panel and ceiling tile. Id like to install shelves or dressers into some of the side wall space that is currently covered in 1/4″ stamped panel. This will increase storage and maximize living space. I’d finish the space in knotty pine siding and ceiling. The layout will stay the same although I may personally adjust the transition between the two “rooms” (repurposed door or french door? with built in shelves?).
Exposing more of the vault would be cool but probably not necessary or cost effective.
The following photos vaguely give an idea of where I imagine to take the space (average the ideas… nothing specific).
Additional Links or Info
Open front of House to front porch
There is currently a slider on the south-west side and window on the north-west side leading to the front porch. I’d like to make the window opening at least as large as the slider to open up the kitchen to the porch. Imagine dinner being eaten at a large table in the sun porch and multiple people are going in and out and not bumping into each other… lots of space. I would like the opening to be as large as possible but a crane is cost prohibitive so I think two openings for the widest set of windowed french double doors makes the most sense (if they can swing out… swing in could be an issue with fire place and kitchen) I am still exploring this and realize it might be a down the road project because of cost. Maybe it comes with a whole porch renovation later. I may be open to just opening the wall at both points as much as I can and having no door (use the money I would spend on doors to insulate the porch).
Ideal Vibe Photos:
Photos of Current Structure:
Multiple Issues with front porch/sunroom
This 11’x20′ space added on to the south-west of the house seems to have settled, the front block is bowing out and there are some cracks underneath and unevenness to the floor. An inspection will let me know more. The floor seems to be poured concrete within a block “foundation”. Maybe unsettled from frost heaving, high water, or poor drainage. I am assuming it needs to be supported and maybe the floor leveled. Eventually I will update doors and windows but I think a basic new ceiling and wall paneling is best for now. Roof was just redone, it previously had a leak. If not too expensive I would insulate. Same insulation and panel can stay in tact if larger windows are put in. Floor would be nice to tile, I am thinking terra-cotta tile.
- If it isn’t getting worse I might kick it down the road and rebuild fully in a few years. For the short term I’d paint and add cheaper panel ceiling.
Drainage around the structure
Because it is on a slope I think it may need a better drainage route. After (or during?) external insulation (if being done) I assume I need to fortify behind the structure with a more solid retaining wall. Currently there are metal sheets. I would do this with lower cost material. I may need to install a french drain as well or possibly just grade away from the structure and lightly trench and allow gravity to do its thing.
- Probably use wood to build small retaining walls where needed. Maybe I get to buy a post hole digger.
- I don’t think I would but maybe use standard block to match interior. Home Depot is closest store.
Exterior Stair repair
Replace a few boards. I think the structure integrity is in place. I plan to do this.
- No links at this time.
Install Mini Split
Maybe a 3 zone unit. I could possibly use the bulk head around the shower to put a unit in the 1st bedroom in the “kitchen” with enough space to drain and then place the 3rd above the window of the font second floor? We don’t need much AC in the summer mostly want to be able to come in the winter and keep the cottage from freezing.
Additional Notes & Links:
A 6’x5′ space that would function like a mud room. I’d like to place a window on the lake side to add more light. It has studs/stick construction and poured floor. Would just add vapor barrier if needed and panel/drywall. Tile floor similar to front porch or kitchen interior. Would like to add a bench or built in for storage but I will handle that later down the road.
- No links at this time.
I have quotes, I am hoping to make it 2-3 years before replacing but need to have the cash on hand to replace sooner. It will be pricy.
The septic drain field is probably off to the north-west side of the house and the well is within 50 feet of it. The well will need to be 50′ from the drain field and if I add a new septic it will need to be behind the structure as it can’t be located in the side yard (with an exception of getting neighbors written permission.)
The plan is to “lean in” to the existing cement block structure and rebuild around a modern minimalist aesthetic, eliminating facades and skeuomorphic materials created to look like something else and giving priority to raw materials.
The current plan is to design around cement block, cool large grey tile, knotty pine, and possibly a little paint (but not much).
I don’t want the structure to feel brutish so it will be essential to mix in wood and other natural materials (floor rugs with natural material and some long flowing curtains. Even with the modernist lean the cottage should fit into its context in the woods, by a lake, and around other cottages.
The 2nd floor will feel more warm and livable due to the wooden floors and lots of storage. We typically have clutter so I will design it to have extra storage in beds, walls, and shelves. It will be a cozy and busier space that will feel more private.
On the exterior I’d like to mix unpainted cedar shakes with a darker black/grey flashing or paneling as an accent. In the short term I can use the blue color or paint existing paneling the color of the future panel/flashing color choice. Eventually the roof will probably be done in the same color metal roofing.
Design Direction Photo Inspiration.
Photos are captioned with info on why they are included.
Current Exterior Photos
Current 1st floor Main Space Photos
Current Upper Floor Photos
Current Front Porch/Sunroom
- Get basic quotes to help with offer (by End of September)
- Submit Offer (1st week of October)
- Close (Cash offer, want to move quick and close by end of October).
- Will have keypad locks, work can be done at convenience between November and End of April. Hoping to finish up in May but can be flexible especially with exterior jobs.
6265 North Larson Road
Fountain, MI 49410