Our friend Eve was finishing her house, and connected us with Marcello Apa her architect and contractor who helped us select our house, and discuss ways to renovate it. Since we're both designers we have plenty of ideas.
We started with plans made by the Geometra(surveyor), who would take the measurements for the Commune/Town Hall, for approval.
The process of assessing the flow we wanted would continue from August when we got the layout of the house, until October when we reached a decision based on what we wanted and what the Commune would allow. We had hoped to avoid a bathroom in one of the bedrooms, since it wouldn't be integral to a room with 16' ceilings; but in the end it was the only solution.
Because of the regulations, we had to have access directly from a bedroom to the exterior of the house via a door or window. This meant that the "Veranda" to the garden would have to be demolished for a direct exit. Since we wanted 3 bathrooms, we decided to add one outside next to the steps the the Terrazzo(Roof), and redesign the bathroom connecting to the bedroom #7.
An additional code requirement does not allow bathrooms to connect directly to living rooms, or kitchens. This meant that the passageway on the side of the house couldn't become a kitchen without an anteroom between it and the kitchen.
Below are the plans showing the house before any adjustments; but including the shape of the opening we would add into the center room #2 and room #6
Through discussions with Marcello on the computer, often with Eve assisting we decided how to proceed. I took the plans and added furniture to see how things sat in the rooms, and layed out tile patterns to see how they would fit.
We also agreed that the old kitchen on the back of the house would be removed, mostly because it was too small to use, and also because it had a structural crack and would be complex to repair.
The "Technico" surveys the house with Marcello to decide the best position for the AquaPol system which will help dry out the house, and places it, at least temporarily for maximum effectiveness. There are multiple skeptics on the usefulness of this system; but Marcello seems to think it works, so we're going to spend the money and install it. There is a lot out there on the web calling it a fraud; but I'll put in my own review if the system actually works.
After making an account for electric and gas, the lights are turned on.
Signed documents for the Commune to get the permits so demolition could start next week.
The first thing that will happen is the removal of all the plaster from about 1.5 meters on every wall. The wall will be allowed to breath for about 5-6 months before the plaster is put back on.
We will leave for Italy November 17, and arrive in Spongano on the 20th. Hopefully we will see a construction site.
Here are the final arrangements of the rooms we came up with while working with Marcello. They include the opening of the center wall, the window openings to the rear patio, moving several door openings, the bathroom addition on the back of the house, and the interior bathroom in Room 3.
We were waiting Marcello's bid to come in around December 20th, and a meeting was schedule for Monday the 23rd for us to go over all the technical details of the house.
The changes and call came on the 23rd. I don't think the estimate will be ready until after the holidays which in Italy end on January 6.