A Groundbreaking Day for AAAD - Construction Begins!

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We started the primary phase of our AAAD home remodeling projects today!

The first crew is working on hardscaping at both our front and back entrances. Not a project that has a lot to do with AAAD, but necessary nonetheless.

The second crew is working on rough-in for the basement - and that DOES have some home-automation aspects.

First off, the landscaping and entry work.

Phase 1 of this project involves removal of the existing steps to our front and back doors (both of which were dealing with settling issues), and replacement with substantially better-designed entryways.

Our home's entrance used to be a large concrete slab step, which had settled about 4 inches.

As of this morning, that was gone - replaced with bluestone steps and a paver-path carriage walk.


What you see in this photo is that the step closest to the house is being clad in bluestone, while the second step has been demoed - and the ground underneath is being tamped and prepped.


At the end of work day 1, the stoop was completed, and the structure for the stairs was in place.

The steps from our back door to our back patio have settled to the point that they're a hazard. The rounded paver steps will be replaced with a larger, squared-off step incorporating Unilock ledgestone.

Phase 2 of the landscaping project - set for the spring - will involve low-voltage lighting in both the front AND back yards, with a photo-sensitive timer.

It will also incorporate an expansion of the back patio, and adding a fire pit.

The basement project (AAAD Project 4) is also being tackled in 2 phases.

First off - my original plan has been altered and improved by people who knew better.

I originally envisioned a single, wide-open space, with a pool table, and a theater area.
So much fun. So little value added.
After talking with two remodeling experts, everyone agreed that the pool-table area, which has an egress window, would be better utilized as a 5th bedroom.

Adding finished space to the house is a plus, but turning our 4 BR / 2.5 bath house into a 5 BR / 3.5 bath house is the best way to maximize our return on investment.

(It will also make it possible for us to host our entire family again!)

This project is currently awaiting approval on the necessary permits.

for Phase 1 of this project, our contractor is going to do all of the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work required, as well as insulation, framing and drywall.

It will be up to us to perform the Phase 2 "finish" work - primarily, painting, and adding carpet & trim. (However, we're likely to re-enlist our contractor team on much of this effort.)

One thing that we're going to tackle during this project is adding wired internet to the entire house.

This used to be an AAAD headline project. Then, we got Airport Express-happy, and things seemed to be working well, so why rock the boat?

Now... if we're gonna close up the ceilings downstairs, I'm putting CAT-6 wire everywhere. This will involve putting ethernet connections in the first-floor office, the living room home theater, and throughout the basement.

We're also going to be adding our home server, at long last. Plex is just sitting there on our AppleTV, waiting patiently for someone to start a Plex server on a computer somewhere in the house.

That place will be the storage room we're adding at the "bottom" of the blueprint above - the stairs will be turning much sooner.

So.... after years of prep work, it's ground-breaking day. I'll be posting more as these projects continue.

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