Our renovation process started last fall with discussions around the practical implications of growing our family. Our 1,700 sq ft, two bedroom, two bath cottage was perfect for the three of us (four including Tucker dog), but there was minimal wiggle room in Henry’s loft space for additional little ones.
To move or to renovate?
We browsed the market, consulted with realtors, interviewed contractors, and worked with a designer to make an educated decision. Through this research, we concluded that what the market had to offer was trumped by the love for our existing home/location and the proposed plan to execute our vision. Not only would a renovation afford us more space, it would also allow us to customize every detail.
To live through it or move out?
We did a pre-renovation walk through with our contractor to determine which rooms would be impacted by the work and during which phases. For us, this revealed that, with sacrifices, we could make do in our existing space. The challenge has been a fun one, including sleepovers in the living room and daily playtime in the dining room. It’s been exciting to be fully immersed in the progress and to work as a team to find serenity in the chaos. If we lived closer to family or had a practical temporary option, we may have more seriously considered the alternative, which has its own set of pros and cons.
To utilize existing space or rent storage?
During our walk through, we identified what needed to be moved and/or covered up during each phase of the project, which gave us an idea of available space and items requiring a new home. Although it has required an extensive amount of creative re-arranging, we’ve managed to keep everything in our existing space. The key is to divide the available space into two categories, accessible and non-accessible, and prioritize which items are necessities. From here we aligned the accessible space and necessities and the non-accessible space with the non-essential items.
We are a few weeks into the project and it is messy, loud, disruptive, and even inconvenient at times. However, I would make all the same decisions in hindsight. If you are about to embark on a similar journey, work through the questions above to evaluate the most fitting approach for your situation.