Tag Archives: design plan

Windows, Tubs, & Doors

Hello, friends!  This week I feel like I have been wrestling with my ever-growing to-do list, and even though I planned on posting this Monday, here it is on Thursday!  Like most people I’m sure, I have a love/hate relationship with my to-do list.  Without it, I’d be lost; but with it, I can get so overwhelmed!  Sigh…

[Y.O.G.A. @ 2pm.  Breathe.]

First off, how ’bout that new blog header, eh?!  My wonderful friend Aubrey whipped that up for me this last week (literally, she’s so talented I think she just wiggled her nose and it was done), and I adore it!  I’d love to hear your feedback on the design, too, so please leave your comments and let me know what you think!  Also, if you need your own graphic design services, let me know and I will get you in touch with this dear friend of mine.

Now, on to a house update!  With the nice(-ish) weather that we had last weekend, Mr. Fixer started putting in more windows at the back of the house.  These windows were a little more time-consuming because they weren’t just replacement windows — we (cough, cough, I mean, he) actually had to pull off the siding and cut new openings.  Saturday he was on his own while I hung out with sneaky surprise visitors (thanks again, Mom and Mike!), but on Sunday we had some great help thanks to our friends Jamie and Caleb.  What troopers, too — Jamie was coming off night shift as a nurse at the hospital and hadn’t even napped before she came over to dig in!

Meanwhile, I feel like I have been all over town looking for one piece shower-tub units that do not cost an arm and a leg.  One piece units are not commonly found at your run-of-the-mill hardware store (like Home Depot or Lowe’s) because those types of stores mostly cater to remodels, not new construction.  In a remodel, for instance, it is almost impossible to get the one piece units inside your home.  For us, though, since we have exterior wall openings that are moving (and a one-level home), we have a good opportunity to drag them through the house. In the end, the search will have been worth the trouble — no ugly caulking lines and mold/mildew build-up at the seams.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Fixer and I have also been discussing doors.  Yes, friends, doors. Fascinating stuff, really (ha!).  Seriously, though, do not pass over this design detail and make hasty decisions, because an annoying door can be, that’s right — annoying!  Consider the way it swings, what it will be running into, whether a pocket door/barn door/bi-fold door/double door/etc. might be a better option, and so forth.  Cost, of course, comes into play, too.  Who knew doors could be so expensive?!  Our initial quote from Home Depot was over $4000! We’ve since found less expensive (and better) vendors, but it has been a process.

Well, that’s about it for now!  I have to get a move on with the rest of my to-do list, so I hope everyone has a wonderful Thursday! 🙂


Mrs. Fab

New bedroom window

Mr. Fixer enjoying a smoothie break.

Pile of siding

Guess who got to clean up this pile?! 😉


Future kitchen & bathroom

Walls are opening up! Our future kitchen and bathroom space.

Jamie on bucket

Post night-shift worker bee. You rock, Jamie!




You too, Caleb! 😉




Eeek, blood! Caleb’s battle wound.



Mr. Fixer framing new window

Mr. Fixer is framing our new tiny bathroom window.



Lumber difference

The age difference in this lumber is amazing! The piece on the left is from the original 1950s house, and the piece on the right was just purchased.



I worked on removing old insulation from the addition done in the 80s. We will update this with warmer, up-to-code insulation.


A yucky surprise that I found in one of the walls!



Corroded pipe

More corroded pipe. Seriously!

Jamie and Caleb

They made amazing progress and were such a huge help! Many, many, thanks!





The Building Permit Process

Happy December, friends!  Thanksgiving is now behind us (though I am still eating leftovers!), and the Advent season is upon us!  This is a time for anticipation and preparation, something Mr. Fixer and I have certainly been learning a lot about in the last several months!  I think we all have moments in our lives where we can relate to this, whether you are getting engaged or married, buying a first home (shoot me now!), waiting for a precious baby to arrive, praying for resolution in difficult situations, or simply standing in line for your favorite Black Friday sale (shoot me twice!).

For Mr. Fixer and I, we are currently experiencing the anticipation and preparation of our building permit being approved.  As I mentioned on the page Our Design Plan, permits are crucial for remodel projects because they ensure that a third, objective party (the building inspector) has reviewed your plans for safety and feasibility.  Sure, they cost time and money, and you may think you don’t need one, but friends — just bite the bullet, do your due diligence, and get the permit.  Your peace of mind will thank you!

Our peace of mind (and house progress!), however, is currently on hold as we wait to hear back from our plans examiner.  This is round two of submitting documents, so I am hoping that what we’ve provided will now be sufficient to get things finalized.  We are replacing and slightly altering a couple beam/header locations, so we need to show what the current structure of our house consists of (load paths, structural member sizing, etc.) and what it will consist of after the changes.  The changes are very slight, so the process is slightly annoying, but it is good practice nevertheless.

Here are some examples of the construction documents that I have been creating for the permit submission:

Site Plan

Our site plan. This is usually a more crucial document when you are doing an addition, as there are codes in place to protect you from entering into lot setbacks (a fire concern) or overbuilding your lot (creating too much impervious surface, which affects drainage).

As Built Roof

A snapshot of our roof plan. This details the location of hips, valleys, and ridges, in addition to identifying structural members likes joists and beams.

As Built Ceiling

A snapshot of our ceiling plan. Like the roof plan, this details the structural members that carry the roof load down to the ceiling.

As Built Foundation

A snapshot of our foundation plan. Since our house is only one story, this is the last piece of structural information. It shows the final load destinations that are carried through the roof, ceiling, and floor.

In the meantime, Mr. Fixer has been working at ungodly hours (ask him what time he woke up to work on the house this morning!) to finish odds and ends around the house — clearing out the insulation in the attic, de-nailing flooring, and tearing down what we’ve affectionately termed the “kill shed” (a sad and decrepit little playhouse in the backyard).


Creepy, right?!

And that’s it, friends!  Think happy permit thoughts for us this week!  Once that gets underway, the fun stuff begins!  🙂


Mrs. Fab



Design Revisions

Happy Wednesday, friends!  I don’t know about you, but I am especially looking forward to this coming weekend.  I have a wonderful beach getaway planned with 10 awesome gals, and I can’t wait!  I feel a teensy bit guilty that I am leaving Mr. Fixer to work on the house all by himself, but quality time with girlfriends is so important for Mrs. Fab’s soul!  And maybe some of my gal pals’ hubbies will join Mr. Fixer and have their own manly-man time (hint, hint). 😉

For the last couple weeks, I have been meaning to update you all on a couple small changes to our design plan.  As Mr. Fixer and I were discussing the mechanical/electrical plan for the house, we decided that it would be less cumbersome to figure out a venting strategy for the range if it was on the exterior wall where the sink was originally planned.  Here’s an explanation for why this decision was made:

  • Every range needs to have a ventilation system to get grease, smoke, and moisture out of the air while one is cooking.  For ranges that are not against a wall, the ductwork has nowhere to hide except in the cabinetry and/or flooring below.  This creates a space issue, and when you are short on space like us, it just doesn’t make sense!
  • The ubiquitous microwave.  I am not a big microwave user, so it gets forgotten in my design programming much of the time.  Mr. Fixer, though, thoroughly enjoys zapping his food, so he was the one who pointed out the issue of where we were going to put it!  In a large kitchen with plenty of cabinetry, the days of the microwave being over the range are pretty long gone.  However, in a small kitchen like ours, that really is the best location for it. [Because, ugh! — who wants a microwave taking up their entire kitchen counter-space?!]

The second small change we made was simply flipping our built-in at the new back entrance to the opposite wall.  We chose to do this because of the future desire to have that back portion of the home a lovely master suite (instead of its current designation as a rental unit).  By locating the built-in on the other wall, therefore, that leaves room for future french doors to lead into the master.

Take a look, and please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!


Mrs. Fab

Changes are noted in red.

Changes are noted in red.

The new design, with the aforementioned changes.

The new design, with the aforementioned changes.