Thursday, July 8, 2010

A 3-D view of the addition

This is a 3-D view of what the layout will look like. This is probably the final draft and from here we will instruct our architect to draft some formal plans for our contractors. Construction plans are pending. JP and I have interviewed and discussed the project with three General Contractors. We really liked John Iles (and he happened to be the spouse of my husband's new practice partner). Anyway, John had the most honest opinion on the project and gave us several different options in which to pursue. Reliability is important and John has been incredibly helpful and punctual!

During the past couple of months, JP has been emailing the HGTV folks for a show called Renovation Realities. A production company out of Tennessee called RIVR Media produces and searches the SE for projects for HGTV for the Renovation Realities program. Breana Leader is our contact person and we were required to fill out a lengthy application form and make a video. My husband jumped right in, bought a digital video camera and software to produce an edited video tape of ourselves explaining the project. (Yuck, I hate being in front of the camera and seemed so artificial.) My husband was totally excited about it, while I was thinking that it would be such a hassle. He would prefer life as a budding film director rather than emergency medicine physician.

Ultimately we sent in the video, but felt they were probably looking for more charismatic characters. Oh well, all is well that ends well. JP had fun in the process.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sketch of new addition and renovation (Getting close)

David's sketch of what the kitchen and bathroom will eventually look like. Now the next step is to see if the footprint of the new structure will fit onto our property plat, taking into account the several hardwood trees that are on property. We don't want to have to remove the trees if possible. I am getting excited as we are getting closer and closer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A.H. Skipper Family House - 605 Laurel St.

Abijah Hollingsworth Skipper Family & House

Southeast corner of Laurel Street and Sixth Avenue, Conway, South Carolina

This is believed to be a photograph of the home of Abijah Hollingsworth Skipper and his wife Sarah C. Smith Skipper. It stood on the southeast corner of the intersection of Laurel Street and Sixth Avenue in Conway, South Carolina. A.H. Skipper was the sheriff of Horry County in the late 1860s and in the 1870s. His father was Joel B. Skipper, who served as state senator from Horry. Abijah was born near the Little Pee Dee River just downriver from Gallivant's Ferry in Horry District, SC. Sarah was from the Little River, SC area. Both are buried in the Conway First United Methodist Churchyard. Abijah and Sarah are sitting in front of the steps. I believe that pictured standing to the left of the steps is Henry Homer Burroughs, beside him standing on the porch is his wife, Isadora C. Skipper Burroughs, sitting in a chair on the porch is an unidentified man, standing on the porch to the right is Julia Skipper Causey and standing to the right of the steps and behind Sarah is Capt. Coleman S. Causey. An unidentified boy is standing in the yard to the right. Notice the "joggling board" on the front porch. The house was purchased by Dr. Henry L. Scarborough and around 1918 it was demolished to make way for the house that is currently (2006) located on the lot.

[Submitted by John Benjamin Burroughs]

Horry County Historical Society, 606 Main Street, Conway, SC 29526-4340.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Plat of Property

Click above for larger picture of rendering

In order to continue with our building plans we had the property surveyed. I forwarded the plans to our architect David Graham and he will determine based on where property lines are and setbacks needed to finalize our plans. We would like to avoid cutting down trees in the backyard as they provide a much needed shade canopy. Also, I have noticed running bamboo spiking up in the backyard along the fence. While I like bamboo, it is very invasive and will take over the yard if we are not careful. Every plant in the yard, is in fact invasive. Wisteria is growing bountifully on the iron fence beside the house, and Asiatic Jasmine is growing in the front yard. I am surprised that I have not found Kudzu growing there as well. Back to the plat, this is necessary for the final plans to be drawn. It will be up to us the take the plat to the city and to register it. Apparently, the current plat the city has shows that our property line is literally right on the house line. The corrected plans shows a good 20 feet leeway. I had visions of expanding the house from the kitchen, but our architect seems to think, as well as JP, that it is better to stay withing the footprint of the original house......Reality check ONE!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Narrowing it down

David Graham presented us with four rough drafts of our restoration project. With a week and a half under our belts to digest his recommendations, we decided to morph the plans to incorporate from each plan the things that we liked. We really liked his ideas for the kitchen in #2 and the living room and bedrooms in #4. We met again and decided to adapt what we liked from his plans to bring them together into a final rough draft. We have divided the work into phase 1 and 2. Phase 1 will focus on a total redesign of the kitchen and one of the bathrooms. Phase 2 will add a new master bedroom, master bath, double garage and potential studio / garage apartment. And yes, an outdoor shower, my favorite indulgent suggestion!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 7th, 2010

David Graham came by with some preliminary rough sketches for our renovation. They were imaginative, functional and would add heated square footage in progressively greater amounts . We talked of adding a master bedroom and master bathroom to the area that is presently our garage. Yes, I will gladly give up the covered garage for a NEW totally functional and level space. All of his renderings opened up the living space floor plan quite a bit making the house much more functional and free flowing. Now it is time to digest all the plans, assimilate all the information and come up with a single rough sketch that we can take to a contractor for some estimates.

This was also the first time Anna, Michael & Madison stayed with us at the house. We were all there for spring break. Additionally JP's parents (Michael & Phyllis) spent a couple of days with us "discovering" Conway. We dined at our favorite restaurant in town (The Rivertown Bistro) and put them up at the Moore Family Farm B&B (having a group breakfast the following morning).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Existing Floor Plan

The existing Floor Plan drawn up by our architect. 1876 structure plus add on from 1900's and 1984. I was surprised how little square footage that we have, roughly 1600 sq ft. Also surprised to learn that there is a flat roof section above the bathroom that was originally a back porch.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First night in "our old house"

Last night we spent our first night in our old house. JP had a last minute schedule change at work, so we jumped at the opportunity to rent a U-Haul truck and take a few necessities down to our new place. We loaded up our 2nd Washer and Dryer and some kitchen supplies, a spare bed we had upstairs and some modern furniture JP had from long ago in Savannah.

I was totally appalled at what I found under the pretty abused old Washer and Dryer the previous owners left us. It was totally nasty, and on top of that, the plumbing was Jerry-rigged in a ridiculous and half-assed manner.

Today after a good nights sleep we walked down to the Trestle Restaurant for breakfast and then stopped by to see Don at Crown & Country Interior Design (our new neighbor and owner of a high-end antique store in Conway) for a chat. He filled us in on who to call as far as contractors and architects. Invaluable information for us newbies in town.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finding the Right Architect

So many people have advised us to "just use" a contractor. I am very skeptical of this approach. Have you seen "Holmes on Homes" and all of the nightmares that come out of poorly done construction? Wow! It's enough to make you think twice before remodeling or building. Anyway I am a firm believer in doing it once and doing it right! Remember the old adage, " measure twice and cut once".

First of all, I am absolutely appalled by the number of people that you call and that they never call you back. What the heck is wrong with people? Looks like with the economy the way it is, people would be running to your door. Cold calls for architects is interesting, because some architects only do commercial, and some architects do new building, and I am specifically looking for someone that can work with "old" houses! Architects are good in that they will refer each other and even provide phone numbers.

I have spoken with two architects so far. One has provided references and those references have been favorable. Prompt responses and good references may be the tipping factor. Due to the fact that I am new to this process, I have been reading The Old-House Journal Compendium, edited by Clem Labine and Carolyn Flaherty. Everything I have read so far has advised on interviewing your architect as you would anyway you would hire for any job. Get references and meet in person to decide if this is someone that you could work with and someone that would work well with you. This is a give and take relationship, so unless you are willing to give someone carte blanche, have ideas beforehand. Get a portfolio of the things you need first and want second. I have been cutting pictures out of magazines for the right style. I am more the white cabinet, country sink kind of person. My husband is more the modern "Dwell" kind of person. Somewhere the two twains must meet!

Monday, February 8, 2010

We Close... 605 Laurel Street is ours!

We closed on our new "old house". We had a 1PM closing at the attorneys office (Robin Ciaccio) and prior we did our last walk through with Bill. All was well and the house was empty and cleaned up. The closing only took 36 minutes and it was ours. Now we had to figure out how and when to restore and remodel the structure.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Day on the Farm. The Conway Farm that is.

MLK Day in Conway at the FARM

We spent the day in Conway... Of course, if you are in the area, Myrtle Beach is well known for the outlet stores, which occasionally we can't resist, so hit there first . After that, we had an educational adventure at the L.W. Paul Historical Farm (part of the Horry Co. Museum) where there is an actual working 1940's farm. We were able to see the new pigletts and Michael fed the chickens, while Madison & Anna pulled the dried corn off the cobs to help make grits. We took in the blacksmith and watched them milk the cow. We also drove by our "new" home. Hopefully if the inspection went well, and we could acquire our financing. Closing was set up for Feb. 8th.