Friday, October 10, 2008

Gore-y Lake House

When our friends, Jeff and Jill Gore told us that they found a house on the lake that was super cheap, we could hardly contain our excitement. I think Jeremy actually considered moving back to Chattanooga to swipe the great deal (rug) from under them. We do love the water! When the closing was complete, we couldn't wait to volunteer for some good ole fashioned renovation work.

The house was built on a VERY steep hill with a large backyard and tons of waterfront yardage. Although it was originally a bachelor pad, it had excellent bones and the potential to be an estate that would be passed down for generations to come. But first it needed a little work.
The work began with a little reconfiguring of their first floor layout. They wanted to take their existing first floor and switch the guest bedroom (that was in the back of the house overlooking the lake) with the kitchen (that was in the front of the house overlooking nothing).

Here is a sketch up of half of their floorplan. In theory, they were correct in wanting to make the switch. Typically kitchens are one of the most used rooms in a home. And it would add value to a lake house to have that central hub have a view of the water. But in reality, the Gores didn't know much about loadbearing walls, creating doorways, studding out walls and drywalling. Enter Bower Power.

Jeremy and I grabbed our work gloves and headed up to help out. The wall above was our arch nemisis. We needed to find out if we could and how to open this sucker up so that the new kitchen would have easy flowin' into the great room. Nothing says perfection like being able to watch TV and grab a the same time.

Oh just wanted to throw in there how generous Jill is...she said we could have this green carpet. for free. Thanks Jill maybe next time (sic!)
The new floor plan would look a little somepin like dis. Taking out the hall closet and the former bedroom closet enlarged the kitchen space for cabinets, fridge and plenty of storage space. Building a wall to close off the kitchen from the hall would allow for a quaint little guest suite complete with a full bathroom without cutting off access for commercial "breaks". And drywalling over the former kitchen entrance made the Great Room seem more spacious and made room for a dining room table. This switcheroo also will allow guests to walk directly from their room to the bathroom without having to go through the great room - eek, bathrobe alert!

We went at it. Down came the drywall. And low and behold, luck was our lady! The builders had originally wanted pocket doors from the back bedroom to the great room (weird, I know) and had installed a seven foot header in the doorway. I guess they had changed their minds and just drywalled right over it. So that saved the Gores a pretty penny. And us a bundle of time.

I taught Jill how to measure, cut, and install drywall and we completed sealing off the former kitchen door in a jiffy. And we both had a good time swinging the hammer to break out the new door opening for the soon-to-be-bedroom.

The space for the new kitchen even had its own door to take food out onto the deck for future parties. We cleaned the floor and shoveled up the truckloads of drywall.

I don't have finished photos - but I can show you that Jeremy and buddy Jeff finished closing off the kitchen to the hall lickety-split and the Gore's are now officially finished with stud work. In an update from them, they said they are drywalling and loving their new floor plan.

Isn't it amazing how a little wall here and a wee opening there and you can change the flow of your home completely?! I know I totally dig the small changes that can bring you from the days of separate and distinct rooms to an age of conversation areas, open entertaining and keepin an eye or two on the little ones while multitasking. Have you made a change to your floorplan that you wanna brag about? Did you do some studwork or drywalling changes that you can't wait to share? I would love to brag on you too. Leave it in the comments or email me pics :)


Jen M said...

What a great makeover, I can't wait to see finished pics! The whole flow of the house is so much better.

Freckles Chick said...

Day-um girl! You're one handy chick. Is there anything you can't do?!

Katie said...

Actually Freckles, no - I am good at everything...a big fat SIKE! I could list you twenty five things I am really bad at right definitely don't wanna see our yard...although, it does look appropriate for halloween, as everything is DEAD!

XO - Katie

Nornie Gal said...

You know...all I can think about is, where's the wet wall? Are they going to have to reconfigure their pipes in order to get running water in their kitchen?
Looks like a great place though!

Katie said...

Hey Norn - remember the floorplan? One wall from the bathroom is shared by the wall from the kitchen, so that is where the fridge will get it's water line. The sink and future island will have to be plumbed in. Good question though.

XO - Katie