Today, after leaving my full time job, I met with a home owner that I have been working with.  This client was referred to me by a friend who is also a contractor. I normally don’t do too much work on the side, since I am trying to keep my life in balance (one person can only take so many deadlines!)After meeting with her the first time, I figured this job was a right up my alley and wouldn’t take a lot of time. I am basically working as a consultant to guide her through her decisions as she acts as the contractor herself by bringing in the different trades to complete the work. She was in the middle of construction when she started not liking how things were turning out. That is where I was brought in.

Just for reference, her home was built in the 60’s in a classical exterior style, but wasn’t quite detailed that way for the interior.

Among the items we have been working through, today we met with a structural engineer to review 2 of our fixes.

S  T  A  I  R  S

This client wanted to move the stairs in their home. After talking it though with a stair builder, they decided that these  Existing lower level and Existing upper level stair and landing layouts were the only place to put the stair. But by doing so, she completely lost the function of a room – the dining room.

These two pictures show the condition first hand.

Entry   top landing

This plan shows our New lower level plan, and this is our New upper level stair and landing plan.

I did this sketch on site to show the client what I recommended.


The opening to the family room has already been framed per our new plan, and the stairs are next.


M  A  S  T  E  R   S  U  I  T  E

Another place of worry was the master bedroom. Two existing bedrooms were opened up to create a master suite, however, the current framed walls created more awkward spaces and didn’t capitalize on some potential natural light.

Here’s the plan: Existing master bedroom, and photos:

bedroom door to dressing hall   bedroom to dressing

The New master bedroom plan has more strengths and as such, works much better.

Some of you may be saying – “Those are expensive changes;” I was! When I walked into the home for the first time I thought, “They are never going to pay to have these items corrected…how can we work with what’s here?” But as we talked it through I realized they new something was wrong, but they couldn’t put their finger on what it was. In the end this client recognized that the money spent to do the redo would fade away, but every time they came down the stairs or walked in their bedroom, they would remember how it could have been.  For this Owner, that was a big reason to correct the change.


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