Hello people! I thought I’d be back with this post much earlier, so instead of chopping them up into multiple posts I’m going to give it you all at once. Be ready for three months of real life to fly by in the time it takes to read this blog post.
Let me get you to up to speed. In April of 2022 we broke ground on an addition to our 1910 Minneapolis home. The addition was going to solve a few problems for us. It was going to give us the space at the back of our house to create a main floor mudroom, half bathroom and pantry/utility closet. The addition of these three rooms will allow us to remove the walls where the previous mudroom and pantry were, therefore making the kitchen twice as large. The old kitchen, mudroom and pantry kind of all inhabited the same space and together it all felt very clunky. On the exterior of the house the extension of the house gives an opportunity to create better flow to our our backyard, and works as a screen to create a private patio area near the back of our house.
The addition itself is not large, it’s approximately 110′ square feet, but does so much for the flow of our house. For previous progress and plans you might want to check out these posts: Kitchen Plans, Kitchen Update #1, Kitchen Update #2.
We’re starting this update with drywall, which makes all the difference. In a matter of days the place feels entirely different. It’s wild to see years of planning come together and finally be real! Dry wall rocks.
The far wall is a funny one. We’ve got a lot going on here so let me walk you through it. Starting in the corner on the right. That nook is what used to be a backstair case that connected to the main set of stairs to the second floor. The stairs were removed long before our time. To the left of “the nook” is the chimney, and to the left of the chimney is the main plumbing stack behind drywall. This wall has a fuck ton going on, and we used cabinetry to give it a cohesive-ass look. Hang tight for that part.
This is the larger opening to the dining room. We increased the opening from 30″ to 84″ to mimic the size of the openings from the entry-to-living room and from living room-to-dining room.
I was able to do a lot of the finishing work in the addition. It was a way to save money, and honestly, I was eager to work on the project and contribute to it as well. The entire addition is tiled in a hex mosaic mattern, I was able to find this tile for about $9 per square foot, which rocks – it was a great deal and made Jeff real happy. It took me about a week from start to finish to prep floor, install tile, and grout this bad boy. I worked in tandem with the floor bros who were laying the maple floor in the kitchen, I felt like a real worker dude.
Flip Yerp! Flooring is in, we rock.
Getting the floor to look right with existing maple flooring took a little time. The problem is/was that our current floors have a coating of oil based poly on them which rules because thet are tough as nails, but the floor does amber in the sun. I’ve noticed that it’s changed over the 13 years, and it doesn’t bother me, but to match it with the new was tricky because the way in which it ambered changed from the dining room to entry way flooring based on the amount of uv light that those spaces received. Long story short, after matching the new floor with stain to the dining room we decided it looked weird. Instead we sanded it down to raw and went with no stain and straight poly. This will amber overtime, but for now there is a slight difference between the two. I don’t mind it at all and think that visual evidence of the history of the house is cool. Floors Rock.
Paneling arrives! This panelling is going on the long wall and is an exact duplicate of our quarter sawn oak panelling in the dining room, except this paneling will be painted.
This is that crazy wall with the chimney and old stairway that I mentioned above. See how the cabinets solve the problem of all that wonky crap?
We made a time capsule and hid it behind the cabinetry in one of the corners. I included an old photo I found in the house, some photos of us, a zip drive will the entire blog on it, a letter, flowers from the garden, a few personal things from Jeff and I, and a few things the kids wanted to include too.
Let’s go drink some rum on the island! Let’s play some beach volley ball and stick our toes in the sand on the island! Islands rock.
The slatted part in the center of the island is inspired by our radiator covers on the main floor, another nod to the original architecture and design of the home.
We add three new interior doors to the house and they are identical to the original five panel doors. Doors rock.
The hood skeleton has arrived. It will be covered in a new arcylic-like-plaster down the road. Everything is custom to fit this 6’4″ dude, including the range hood. No bumping heads! Hoods rock.
Let’s take it outside shall we. The backyard has been torn up all summer and is about to begin its transformation back to something that resembles a patio and yard. The plan is to make a large arching patio with sidewalk that gracefully wraps around the back of the house, all of my patio dreams are coming true. In my head I’ve played around with the idea of a deck over the years, but when I began to draw it out, the amount of space something like that would cut into the backyard was too much. We needed something that nestled in, and our designer came up with this great plan. All of my garden beds have curved edges and I love that the new patio will be the biggest curve of them all. Keep scrolling to see how it all ties in.
But first, can we please take a moment to notice all the exterior trim work around the windows and doors? After removing the aluminum wrap from around the old window, we found the original trim. Instead of wrapping the new windows to make them look like the rest of the aluminum-window-trim-wraps on the house, we decided to reproduce the original trim, with the hope of replacing or restoring more of the window trim on the house in the future.
The view from the top of the new stoop. There will be a stepping stone path where those 5 gallon buckets are.
This is how the walkway will connect to the path on the side of the house, and the path leading to the garage service door entrance.
A giant hug of concrete. This design also creates a few new small garden beds that were non-existent before. Once is directly under the bathroom window, and the other tapers into my sun garden along the privacy fence.
This makes me so happy. I legit bits am equally excited about the potential of the new outdoor space as I am the kitchen. You can probably see our neighbor’s three story deck that perches above our backyard. The new addition blocks the view and gives us so much more privacy, plus having enough patio space to move comfortably around an outdoor dining table or seating area is very much needed. Patios rock.
This pic gives you a feel for how my garden and lawns turned into a wasteland. Don’t pay attention to those square pavers out where the lawn used to be. Those pavers are there only to limit dirt on feet when the backyard turns into mud. The fire pit was completely buried after all the trucks came in to move dirt land needed to be excavated. On the positive side, the house is getting painted!
This pic was mid-painting, but it’s the only one I have from this summer where you can see how they used a thin piece of 1x to trim out the addition? See it there? So how come we needed to have this border around the addition at all? Why not feather the new siding into the old? The answer is, the old siding is all asbestos. Basically, to remove siding would have required abatement, which would have required more money, and therefore we opted to use the 1x as a transition.
As soon as the cement was poured in late August I began new grass seed. I seeded the lawn everywhere except for a path to the temporary shitter in the alley. There was no sense in seeding an area that folks might walk on. The grass takes really well in the cool fall months and I have high hopes to see it this spring. I got tipped off by my BIL who is a grass expert that the best seed is this stuff right here. I plan on ordering another bag to finish the job and overseed this spring. I’ll keep you posted.
Oh also, I went to this brickyard in North Minneapolis this summer that salvaged all the old brick ‘PURINGTON’ pavers from under historic minneapolis streets. I have 100 of those saved and plan on bordering the patio with them this spring. They are similar pavers to the ones seen around the fire pit which I nabbed from Nicollet Avenue when it was torn up a few years back.
Paint begins on the interior too. This will take the next 5 whole ass weeks before the masking comes off! Primer coat is white.
First peak at the green cabinets and we love it! This is Vintage Vogue from Benjamin Moore.
Appliances trickle in! We are so stoked to move in and start using it all. I was superbly annoying our builders the last few weeks because I would secretly (or not so secretly) be trying to move in all the time, but the space wasn’t ready yet. All of the trim work is an exact copy of the original. We had fucking knives made at the lumber yard and they cut everything exactly as it was. The new double hung windows are clad in quarter sawn oak stained perfectly to match the existing dark stained oak. It really looks like its always been there.
An example of me moving stuff into the space at night, and then moving everything out before the worker dudes come back in the morning.
Lighting goes in. The pendants can be found here. Lighting rocks.
Look at the finish on these doors. They are perfect! Doors rock.
Small but mighty cabinet for coats, hats and mittens. The door on the left is the 6’x5′ pantry/utility closet. It will hold some tools, broom, vacuums, seasonal outwear, and overflow pantry items. The door on the right is the bathroom. Symmetry rocks.
Somewhere in the fall there is a long weekend and I have time to sneak into the bathroom to install trim, and two different styles of wallpaper. The bottom paper is a historic paper called anaglypta and can be painted, which I do in Tricorn Black.
The sink was salvaged from the alley and cleaned up. So proud of her and love that she’s old as fuck. Sinks rock.
This is the utility closet and overflow pantry. I bought some off the shelf storage and installed it over a few days. Those drawers are where all my in-use tools go. Closets rock.
Radiators go in the nick of time. There were a few weeks at the end of October where we heated the house with portable electrical heating units. This radiator was reused from the old kitchen. Two additional radiators were salvaged for the mudroom and half bath. Bauer Bros rock.
These dumb idiots approve and are very excited to see that they have a special cabinet full of their gross cat food. I need to dust off the old camera and head back here with some photos to share the final reveal. Wish me luck. My hope is to have it much much sooner than later. I won’t let you down.