A New House Macheesmo

We purchased our home in downtown Denver over five years ago and have absolutely loved it. We love the location, love the city, and we are close to friends and family.

The house we purchased was on the market for a long time and had kind of a weird layout. It has an old shed attached to the back of the house which isn’t exactly a great use of space in the city. It’s missing a bathroom on the main floor (not uncommon for old houses) and the kitchen is okay, but not laid out ideally for me.

When we purchased the house we thought that if we continued to like the neighborhood we might someday want to do a large renovation on the house to fix some of these issues and make it truly a dream home for us.

Well, that day has come!

Actually, it has been coming for over a year, but it is finally here.

After over a year of planning, decision making, budget crunching, and city negotiations, we moved out of our house over the weekend so people can come in, tear it apart, and rebuild it!

It’s exciting, scary, and expensive, but I’m very ready to go through the project! I thought I would share some of the basics with you all!

Putting Together a Team

One of the first decisions we had to make on the project, which we made over a year ago at this point, was to forego using a traditional design firm for the project. Instead, we put together a team of independent professionals to help us including a designer, an architect, a general contractor, and a structural engineer.

Turns out there are pros and cons to both, which we quickly learned.

The biggest pro of using a design firm is everybody is on the same page. The team that’s working on your project has probably done many projects together and they have a streamlined process.

The cons of the design firm are that it’s way more expensive and you also lose some control over the process.

By putting together our own team, we’ve been able to really get into the nitty-gritty on the project and we have saved lots of money so far over what we would’ve spent with a traditional firm.

The con of the independent team though is time. It has taken us SO much longer to put the project together because we have to coordinate schedules and plans for a bunch of people who haven’t worked together regularly.

But, if you have the time (we weren’t in a rush to do this project), it’s definitely something to consider!

The New House Plan

I took some rough screenshots of our finalized plans. This is how our house sits as of today:

You can see the weird shed in the back and how the kitchen is kind of crammed in the corner. It has worked fine for us, but it’s not a dream layout for sure.

Here’s what our final main floor will look like after the renovations!

We are gaining a huge new kitchen with island in the new addition space, converting the current kitchen into a media/living room, adding a powder bathroom on the main floor, and getting a sweet new deck that opens into the kitchen.

We are also going up a level on the addition and adding on a guest room and bathroom and office which is great!

What’s Next?!

Well, right now we are waiting on a few final permits from the city of Denver and then we will start construction!

I’m not planning on posting many posts on the construction process, but I’m planning on doing a lot of Instagram story updates on it, so be sure to follow me on the Gram if you want to see some nitty-gritty construction updates! There will be sledgehammers!

Advice or Questions?

If you have done a massive renovation and have advice, I’m all ears!

Also, if there are things you’d be curious to see about the project, I’m open to sharing! Leave a comment with what you’d like to see over the next 6-8 months as we work through this crazy project!

Most importantly, wish me luck. I’m gonna need A LOT of it.

7 comments on “A New House Macheesmo

  1. You are brave to start the project just as winter arrives. Looking forward to progress reports.

  2. Looking forward to following along! We’re planning on a similar renovation at some point in the future – blowing out the back of our house and building an addition, new, bigger kitchen and porch/patio. It’s such an overwhelming process to even know where to start. I’d be curious about how you determined what your goals were and how you figured out the general cost of making those goals a reality (not looking for specifics obviously, just more curious about starting the process of developing a budget). Good luck!

    1. It’s still overwhelming to me Hannah, but I guess my general advice on starting is to go in with an open mind and be willing to work slowly so you can learn as you go. We’ve changed the plans probably a dozen times and the budget has jumped all over the place before we landed on where we are now. I’m a stats nerd so am actually taking really specific notes on every cost for the project… I might actually share the breakdown at some point as I think people might be interested in it.

  3. Love your new architecture plans, Nick. We made the same decision after living in our 1920’s-era house for five years. Moved out for six months, remodeled all of the rooms, moved lots of walls around, added a bathroom, created a family room and a much better kitchen space, all very similar to your design goals. The best advice we received was: Think ahead 30 years and add everything you might possibly want all at once. Worked for us – it’s now been 30 years since our remodel in 1990 and we’re still happy with everything in the house! Can’t wait to see the pictures of your beautiful new home.

  4. Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to follow along with you and see pictures as the project progresses. I have a few smaller-scale plans for my house coming up… mostly just refinishing floors and walls that are in rough shape. Looking forward to your updates!

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