Thursday, January 2, 2014

The beginning

I live in Capitol Hill in Seattle in a house on a busy street. It has 3 bedrooms and a bathroom, along with an empty unfinished room upstairs. I moved there in 2007, just over 6 years ago, and at the time, someone suggested turning that empty room into a bathroom so that it could be near the master bedroom upstairs which is the only other room on that floor.
I immediately got to work on that plan and six years later, not much had happened. At one point, I had a couple of design & build firms look at it and they came back with outrageously high bids replete with architect fees and so on. It became apparent to me that an architect is unnecessary for such a small project. Personally, I'd only hire an architect if I was at least doing a multi-room remodel with structural changes.
So here's how the room looked 6 years after I bought the house (and still does at the moment, complete with ironing board and random junk):
And here's a photo looking the other way. That window is the only one in the house with a view of any kind. It looks eastwards over the street but it also looks over the houses across the street and has a partial view of the lake and the Cascades.
It's an interesting room as it is under the gable of the roof and is crossed by the roof going in the other direction. As a result, it has a very high peaked ceiling.
There's no heat in this room (the rest of the house is forced air and it's at about maximum capacity for the registers that exist), there's no lighting nor plumbing. There are a number of electrical outlets but that's it. The floor is made of a variety of wood pieces including a table leaf. There's a loft with an interesting design painted on it and the stack from the furnace in the basement runs through the room too.

The procrastination got so bad that my friends made a verb, "to upstairs bathroom" something, which means to indefinitely postpone something. Then, this summer, my girlfriend moved in and the challenge of having four people in one bathroom loomed, as my parents visit every winter from Denmark. I also took some time off between jobs and had some time to think more seriously about this and find someone to do the work.

Here are some sketches of the room that I made with Sketchup which has proved invaluable in many projects: