In 2017 my husband, Lane, and I bought a major fixer upper just over the Golden Gate Bridge in Mill Valley, CA. Built in the 1950s, it was a 2200 square foot home that had been owned and occupied by the same family since it was built. It was completely falling apart (we're talking holes in the roof/ceiling, crumbling tile in the bathrooms, exposed sewage out back - gross!). It was in rough shape! But we fell in the love with the location, the flat lot (Mill Valley is one hilly/mountainous town), and the promise of a home we could design ourselves!
We really hemmed and hawed over how to approach the project. We basically had three options: 1) renovate the house as it was and keep it at its current size 2) renovate the house and do the work needed to bolster the foundation so that it could support a second story down the road or 3) Do it all in one fell swoop: bring it down to the studs, bolster the foundation, and add a second story.
Well.....we ended up deciding to just go for it! And what started as a renovation has now turned into a full blown construction project! As many people before us have experienced, once walls started coming down we just found more and more things that needed to go (hello, dry rot!)- so now we're working with this:
This photo above was during demo- the quickest part of the project so far! After demo, the house was taken down to the studs. We then added concrete footings to support the foundation in a few places so that we could add on the second story and the guys from Nolan Construction have started framing. Framing has certainly been the most fun part to see- we're starting to get a feel for the layout of the house and how it's all going to flow.
This process has been SO much fun so far. And let's be real, it's also been sprinkled with its fair share of middle of the night panic attacks :) So to keep me mildly sane, I'm going to keep updating the progress here on our blog. I'm finding that the design overlap is endless and I'd love your help as I make decisions along the way! First up, have you been through a renovation? Built a house? Give me all the advice!