Porch to Living Room Renovation

As our home business continued to grow we found ourselves in desperate need of a shop that Lenny could use year-round.  Along with that need, we had renovated the current upstairs living space and created an open floor plan with a dining room, meaning we no longer had a living room upstairs.  Here's a step by step of what all three of our major renovations have looked like as far as planning goes.  

Step ONE: Establish a MUST-HAVE List

  • Shop that could be heated and cooled
  • Easy access from house to shop
  • Upstairs living space for crafting, painting, homework..
  • Large view of the yard

Step TWO: Create a design page

Gather ideas, everything from floor plan to color palette.  Use Houzz, Pinterest, magazines, other people's homes, wherever you get inspired.  Collect these ideas as you talk design with your spouse and/or General Contractor.

Here's our original idea page for the living room renovation.

The space we were working with was a screened in porch right off our kitchen on our upper level and the space below it would become our shop.

Step THREE: The Nitty Gritty - Budget and Timeline

Establish a budget.  Get estimates.. create a spreadsheets.. get more estimates.. decide what can be done DIY style and what needs a professional.  Get a projected timeline down on paper.  With the caviate that it'll change.. you'll run into problems, you won't pass an inspection, you'll fall behind.. but having a timeline down on paper may help your sanity to see an end in sight.

STEP FOUR: Get to work. 

Demo, framing, electrical, new HVAC, windows, insulation, dry wall, flooring ... Oh glory that makes it sound so easy.  Not easy.  Renovation is messy, long, tiring, frustrating, and not for the faint of heart.  Oh did I mention I was 6 months pregnant?  Lenny and I have a thing about adding chaos on top of chaos... see Renovation #1. 

Step FIVE:  Finish work.  Drywall, Trim, Flooring, Ceiling (more on that later), all primed, painted, and installed.


And here's what the rest of my house looked like for a good 3 months. 

The moral of the story is... Lenny is amazing! He took my drawings (done during craft time with my toddlers) and turned them into our reality.

Jennifer Leininger