The Pop Top - Move Out + Demo

Move out day was stressful but thrilling. I remember telling the girls that in one year’s time, we’d be back in the house. We’d celebrate Thanksgiving back there and put up our Christmas tree in our newly renovated house. All of our bedrooms would be on the same level! Our contractor had told us we’d be back in the house in 6-9 months. We’d been through construction before, so knew that his timeline was extremely optimistic, and instead planned for a year. That would mean around November 2022.
 
 
October came and went. We got ourselves comfortable in our rental, met the neighbors, explained over and over again to our girls that this was a one year adventure- we’d be back in our old house soon! Throughout November, we waited in vain for Xcel to demo the gas line. We couldn’t do the real demo until that happened, and they ignored our calls and emails. It was painful. And then one day it happened, and the demo began. We watched the old plaster walls come down, said goodbye to the beloved archway separating the living room from the dining room, and bid the galley kitchen adieu. 
 
 
From Top: Interior Demo; Excavation for back addition; Prepping for shoring piers 
 
Meanwhile, excavation for the side and back addition was in motion. Before the excavation, structural piers had to be set to ensure that our neighbor’s house didn’t cave into the earth. It was wild. I remember laying awake at night hoping Joanne’s house (our neighbor to the west) didn’t fall over because of us. Thank goodness for structural engineers.
 
The new year rolled in and with it came bitter cold temperatures- freeze and ice and snow every week. There was no chance foundation could be poured, and to risk it was silly. In Colorado, if you poured a bad foundation, you’d pay for it later with structural repairs. So we waited until the contractors gave the green light. 
 

The Design

While we waited, I poured myself into design planning with my very talented and methodical friend, Libby, also our hired designer for the project. We ordered tile samples, went to flooring showrooms, met with kitchen cabinet manufacturers, picked carpet and windows and exterior doors. We revised the floor plan, and then revised it again. We edited windows, widened walkways, changed doors, added closets and moved plumbing. We talked lighting and trim and plumbing fixtures and hardware and paint colors and drywall. Appliances and countertops and railings and more tile. So many options. So many decisions. Thank goodness for Libby and her expertise!
 
I loved it all; relished in the fact that I was designing my own custom home. After seeing so many different styles of homes in Denver, it was incredibly special to be able to select my own finishes, in the house I picked, and in the neighborhood I loved. I like so many parts of other houses, but never walked into one that was exactly what I wanted. This was my chance to pick out exactly what I wanted! I felt so lucky… until I started seeing the budgets come together...
 
 

READ ON

 

Construction Progress

 
From Top: Selecting accent paint colors to match the original grout. This color was painted on the eaves and doors in the finished house; A westward view of the side of the house. We had to keep 40% of the original structure, per the permit, so we opted to keep as much as possible of the existing gable end on the west side (and rebuilt the other side of the gable). The existing gable was later patched and painted the cream and brown color to match the new stucco and trim; Interior demo and framing photos of the basement, which was gutted; Looking south, you can see the two levels of the house and the original attic, as well as the new foundation for the addition that was poured.

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