A Wo(man) with a Plan

Whenever I get an idea in my head, we have officially entered the danger zone πŸ˜‰ Since we moved into the house, Jay and I had some pretty big plans to bust out the back wall on the house and convert that space to our dining room. And I still really love that idea – but the more I thought about it, the more I really wanted to try working with the space we already have. If we land up staying in this house long term and and have a bunch of bambinos in it, we might still opt to do the dining room off the back BUT in the mean time, I think there is a ton that can be done with the slightly smaller space. Before our revamped plan, I was dreaming of a dining room like this:

Dining Room
Dream Dining Room Layout

Flowing right off the kitchen, and into the back yard from french doors, this would have been a great space for entertaining. Le sigh, a girl can dream, no? Really, it all boils down to affordability. If we can find a way to make an addition off the back affordable (by doing the vast majority of the revisions ourselves…) than we might still tackle it.

Here is the layout again of the house, to refresh your memory.

First Floor Layout
Layout of First Floor

The current potential hurtles in place to converting the back space into a dining room are:

  1. The fact that we may have to hire a contractor to do some of the work. The room currently only has lattice under it, so we would need to route HVAC into the room (or perhaps install some underfloor heating?) and add some additional supports a la new foundation for it as well. The inspector casually estimated the addition would cost $30,000. I think that is bonkers – but that was his professional opinion. That would be to have the entire thing (from start to finish) contracted out, so if we are only looking for assistance with HVAC, and foundation support, that cost may decrease substantially.
  2. The cost is obviously a big deal – we could divert that money into SO many other projects/things that it’s hard to justify
  3. If we can get the same/or similar function with a smaller dining space, I feel like we should at leastΒ tryΒ that first. Well at least that would be the rational thing to do… πŸ˜‰

The pros of a smaller dining space:

  1. More money in our pocket to tackle some of the projects we’ve been hoping to get to, instead of pinching all our pennies to contract someone out.
  2. I can start to bust out some of the really exciting/labor intensive projects on our list (kitchen remodel and attic conversion)
  3. It gives me something else to plan – I’d the good Lord knows I’m a girl that likes her plans

The cons:

  1. Space constraints – our combined kitchen and dining space is 18′ by 9′, floor print referenced above, so it’s not the largest
  2. Layout – optimizing everything in this small of a space will be tricky
  3. Room ambiance – I really like the idea of a formal dining space, and we will lose that a bit with a more open concept living/dining space

The good news, I think I’m up to the task! πŸ˜‰ The jury is still out on our final plans for the space, but either way, I’m pretty excited to get the ball rolling so we know our options a bit more. We intend to meet with a few contractors to let them know about what we are thinking, and then once we get some direct feedback from them on the costs, we will make a final decision on how to proceed. Right now, we are either going to convert the screened in porch into a really nice, open and airy sunroom, or we might opt to just slowly DIY the space into a legit dining room. Here is another inspiration picture I have, since this is of the exterior, these shots will work for both scenarios.

Exterior French Doors
Exterior French Doors

Drool. I would pretty much cry tears of joy if the back of my house looked like this. Funny, by the end of writing this post, I’m already back in limbo land. I really can’t decide what I want to do – ugggghhh. First world problems.

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