My wife and I got the keys to our first home October 24th, 2008. Most people buy a home and move into it. We don't know when we'll be able to move into our home. Others would tear down our leaky, sagging, cracked, dirty, old ninety-nine year old home. For us, that is not an option. After this endless remodel, I can only hope for two things: that the process doesn't bankrupt us and that the house doesn't fall down. So we'll see.
Being an aspiring architect, owning a home and having a chance to remodel is a sort of dream come true. A friend called it a 'do-it-yourself graduate degree'. A co-worker described it as 'your every weekend for the next thirty years'. I am hoping to call it 'home'. Still, unknown challenges lie ahead. Time is restricted to evenings and weekends, money is limited, experience is minimal, the mortgage must be paid, and my marriage must stay intact.
To bring you all up to speed, we bought a home in San Francisco's Bernal Heights. It is empty (except for the spiders), we have the keys, and paid our first mortgage check at the beginning of the month. We've begun exploratory demolition, measured and photographed existing conditions, and talked to various people about how much time and money this will take. Briefly, the next steps are as follows: demolition of finishes, hauling debris, design work and building permit, and new construction.
I will be doing much of the work myself, and will be hiring others strategically as necessary. We hope to do the interior systems (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) and interior framing over the next few months before moving in. We'll live in an incomplete house and install finishes as time and money come along. Hopefully, in a couple of years, we will be able to remodel the exterior.
Photos, elaborations on what was mentioned above, and updates will follow on a (hopefully) consistent basis. Also, look forward to guest posts from my wife and her encounters with insects and adventures at Home Depot. Any advice, feedback, or criticism is welcome. Please feel free to contribute, and thanks for reading!