We’ve done about all we can do to stimulate the economy and yet another long-delayed ‘change’ to our home is about 90% complete.
When we first had our home built back when I moved to Georgia in 1992, I made a lot of changes to the basic plan. In fact, I made so many changes that our house was technically a “custom” home and even the crews building the house weren’t quite sure what they were building. It was a new plan with a big breezeway and added a sitting room to the master bedroom, but was otherwise your basic, Georgia “Five, Four and a Door” type of home (i.e., five windows across the 2nd floor with four windows and a door in the center on the first floor).
While I wanted a basement, apparently they didn’t put basements in Georgia homes unless they were building on a slope that needed a basement to create the foundation. I asked if they’d dig one out, but they quoted a price for that which was high enough to make that a non-starter. So, the compromise was to add a 3rd garage bay, a spare room over the garage and a second attic. There were a lot of other changes throughout the house, and that caused me to pull back a bit on adding a veranda to the back of the breezeway, noting that the back of the house looked somewhat incomplete per the original design, made even more-so with my extra deep, wide and tall garage “wing”.
I’d ignored it for the most part since our backyard was not something we did much with for the first 16 years. Yeah, we did a lot of landscaping, but none of it survived because there just wasn’t enough sunlight given all the trees we’d left standing to screen our neighbor’s home… plus quite a few others that I added to further screen their home from view. After cutting down 90 some-odd trees and large evergreens in Spring ’09 and redoing our yard, we realized that we now had a back yard we could enjoy. I wanted to add the rear veranda to our breezeway as a compliment to our front gallery, but the cost of the complete overhaul of the backyard and installation of the Tennessee fieldstone retaining wall & Meyer’s Zoyzia sod pretty much consumed our discretionary resources.
As I worked on my shed project this summer I was constantly reminded of how ‘incomplete’ the back of the house looked, so the seeds were sown for adding the veranda that I first conceived in 1992. Once the shed was done and the garage was underway, I was contemplating moving on to the veranda as my next project, but at the same time realized I was getting a bit burned-out from spending every spare minute working on the house instead of cycling with Debbie on our tandems. During the August PEACHES (aka, Tandem Club of Georgia) ride our friend Roger — who was missing his better half and riding solo — mentioned that he had a crew on site installing a screen porch and new deck on the back of their home and noted that they were doing a great job. I got the name of Roger’s builder and asked them to give me a quote for adding the veranda, which they did… and a few weeks later the project was underway.
While I cringed at the cost — mostly labor — I really didn’t have the experience and help needed to put a no-kidding addition on our house. So, in retrospect, we’re both really pleased with the nearly completed veranda… noting that after the electrician finishes installing the ceiling fans it falls back to me to finish the project by staining the ceiling and painting all of the trim and siding.
Ironically, the closer we come to getting our home “just the way we wanted it to be all along,” I’m reminded that this is typically when most folks end up having to sell a home. I’m not actually aware of any upcoming changes that would require relocation, but I’m reminded that the minute I finished a large part of the restoration of my 100-year old brick cottage back in Redlands, California, and adding a deck around the pool installed by the previous owners, I was headed to Georgia. Time will tell…