Renovation Taking Shape

Progress is satisfying. Every visit to the house yields something on the punch list complete. Framing is 95% completed.  Plumbing is complete and electrical was being worked on this weekend and should be complete.  Once these three things are done, all three will need inspections from the city. Once inspections are completed, then onto insulation and then we can begin closing the walls and trim work.

The exterior of the house is being closed in as well.  I am hoping that we’ll be able to paint the exteriors at some point soon.  Although I haven’t picked the colors, I am shooting for a grey exterior with bright white trim.  But that is getting ahead.  Let’s stick to the inside.

A variety of pictures to show this week’s progress.

I hope your find some inspiration.



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The Physicality of the Space

-- Download The Physicality of the Space as PDF --

The physical feel of each room is starting to take shape.  This is meaningful because we are working with the existing foot print to carve out additional rooms; not by adding square footage to the foot print.

You can look at scaled drawings and imagine it in your mind, but neither of those things give you a real sense of the space.  Walls are going up, windows are being added and storage is being built in and all of these thing are starting to help me understand the physicality of each room.

It’s fair to say, this will be a cozy cottage with small but well appointed rooms.  Every room is getting a closet, plus some additional built in storage squired away because I am losing my garage for storage and I have to make up for it somewhere else.

Nothing illustrates this more than the master suite.  We have a bedroom, sitting area, bathroom, dressing area, closet and some generic storage.

Since the master area occupies the entire second story, it will become a true retreat.  I made the decision to build out an additional 120 square feet, the question becomes what is the best way to use the space.  They did some additional framing, but before we can do more, I need to decide what the configuration should be.  With some guidance from my contractor, I have settled on using it for closet space, storage space and a dressing area.  Picture and diagram below.  Other framing updates follow.

I hope you find some inspiration.






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French Farmhouse Window


This gem will be used in found condition.  With the exception of glazing; there will be no treatments of the surface.

This gem will be used in found condition. With the exception of glazing; there will be no treatments of the surface; it will be installed as is.

For the renovation, I have been searching for architectural pieces that I can use in found condition that will reinforce the age of the house.  With all the new construction, I have made careful design decisions that will keep the old cottage feeling old.

One piece I came across from one of my favorite downtown McKinney antique dealers, is the old French Farmhouse window.  It will have a place of prominence in the house.  It is in the direct line of sight as soon as you walk in the front door.  It will be set, with its current worn finish against a wall of white plank boards in the kitchen, above the kitchen sink.

The kitchen sink, by the way, will be an old zinc trough.  I believe the pairing of the old window and trough sink will be lovely reminders of the age of the house.   I have seen them at a number of dealers at Round Top, so I’ll add it to my list of things to get:



The cherry on the sundae will be an old brass wall mounted sink faucet…if I can find one.

As I was looking on the Houzz website this weekend, an old French farm house kitchen caught my eye.  When I clicked on the link and saw pictures of the entire house, I spied a window very similar to mine.  I am in heaven.

I hope you find some inspiration.




Beautiful French farm house bedroom.  I love the stone floors and the architectural salvage bed.  But mostly, my eye was drawn to the window above the door.

Beautiful French farm house bedroom. I love the stone floors and the architectural salvage bed. But mostly, my eye was drawn to the window above the door.

The window looks very similar to the one I bought from Chase Hall in downtown McKinney, pictured above the post.




A Lesson in Renovation Mathematics & Updates

I had about sixteen feet of unused attic space.  Part of that space is allocated for the HVAC unit.  That would leave about ten feet where I was just going to throw down some plywood and use as attic storage.  Then I had this thought, since we are doing all this other work, why not just build out the space?  It wasn’t structural, so (I thought) why not just add the insulation, some electrical, sheetrock and bippity boppity boo…I have additional square footage.  How much more money could it be?

Fast forward…things are not that simple.  Some engineering is required, the electrical is a bit more complicated, add duct work and we’ll need some additional hardwood flooring.  So my incredible contractor (who really is a great guy) got the numbers together and to build out this additional 120 square feet, it will come to about 45 per square foot.  But it would appraise much higher per square foot handing over some instant equity.

We had some windfall monies from parts of the renovation that we over budgeted, so those monies will fund the build out of the 120 square feet of attic space, keeping us within budget.

Bippity Boppity Boo is right.

Updated pictures from the progress from this week.

I hope you find some inspiration.



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