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The Idea(s) – and closing!

Well, it’s official – we’re homeowners! We closed yesterday afternoon on the date we originally specified in our offer. (Initially our lender, USAA, told us it would be at least 11 days after that due to internal lead time, but they worked super hard and everything was ready to go yesterday…after a last-minute kerfuffle over the settlement statement). So we’ve got the keys!

Now, for a proper plan: our original idea for this small house (did I mention it’s only 900 square feet? For three people?) was to to add about 500-600 square feet as an addition with extra living space, a master suite and a screened in porch. Plus the existing house needs some work: new siding, upgraded electrical panels, a new tub in the existing bath, fresh paint and trim. Then when it looked like the addition might not be viable, we considered enclosing the carport and transitioning the existing laundry room into a small bathroom plus completing the work on the existing structure. Budget: $75k.

Estimates? First one on the phone: $150k+ for the addition. Next estimate in person: $100k for the carport enclosure. Another one for the carport on site: $100k+. Just as we we’re about to throw in the towel, build a porch and live with one bathroom, we had one last on site estimate: $83k all in for a smaller (400 sq ft) addition with a bathroom.

So obviously we went with the last contractor, who has all five star reviews on Houzz and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Details and pictures to follow!








Texan, teacher, writer, reader: that’s me in a nutshell. Originally from Texas, I now live in London with my husband (he’s a Brit) and our two boys. I spend my time devouring books (especially young adult/middle grade fiction), baking cookies and generally going in ten directions at once. More than a decade ago, I moved to London for a teaching job, met my husband, stayed, and started a family. The last few years have been a whirlwind: in 2013, we moved to Austin, TX and I decided to stay at home with our son; in 2014, we bought and renovated a house in South Austin; in 2015, we welcomed our second son at a local birth center...and in 2016, we packed up and moved back to London! 2017 is set to see more changes as our eldest little starts school and I head back to the classroom. Read on for renovation info, book reviews, creative writing posts, and the general flotsam and jetsam of my life.

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