Design+Develop : 53 Sussex : Phase 1

Before I share some down and dirty demolition pics (hot and sweaty construction workers NOT included), I think it makes sense to share the existing and proposed floor plans so you can get an idea of the 'Before' and soon-to-be 'After' layouts.
The second floor is where you enter the house via an exterior stairway leading to the front door.  The current configuration of this level is very tight with walls separating each room making for a very blocky cell-like feeling.  Its such a shame too because the fantastic back window view can only be enjoyed in the existing kitchen vs. other rooms on this level.  I can only compare the spatial feeling to the likes of a hamster house - where the tubes serve to join one space to another.  Each room is its own entity and doesn't feel connected to other areas of the floor.

There isn't much to the existing lower level.  The majority of this floor is unfinished (see pics from previous post) and the parts that are live-able have slanted floors and a 7 ft ceiling (a height comfortable for tall toddlers).  Most of the lower level was added on without permits hence the wonky ceiling height and uneven floors.  You'll notice that there really isn't a bedroom fit to be called a 'master' in these floor plans either.   

Walls be GONE!  The biggest change in the proposed second floor is the removal of walls in the main areas to create an open space.  Once you enter, you're welcomed into a space that is seamless from the kitchen to the back glorious window.  The stairs, no longer hidden by surrounding walls, will be exposed and serve as a subtle divide between the front kitchen and back living room.  Other nice additions are the adjacent dining space from the living room and the cozy corner fireplace that connects them.  Its hard to fully see and understand in a 2D drawing but once construction starts to take form (the next phase), I think you'll agree. 

After some necessary excavation is complete, the ground will be level and have an 8.5 ft ceiling height.  The design takes advantage of the entire floor (versus before) as live-able space adding to its original square footage of 1350 sq ft to 1600 sq ft total.  You'll notice a proper master bedroom now too complete with large private bathroom and closet space.  

Ok now for the fun part... >insert gong bell sound here< ...Let the demo phase begin! 

I'm always amazed at the massive amounts of wreckage/materials you see when a demo crew get in there.  I really hope they're able to re-use or re-purpose a lot of the wood+ that gets excavated so it doesn't go to waste.  (that was very SF of me to say)  This crew literally consists of 3 guys (why are all contractors here Chinese, Mexican or Irish only?)...and they've taken down A LOT in just a few days...Anyhoo, see for yourself! 
Original framing of the 2nd floor bedrooms 
2nd floor bathroom and hallways
2nd floor front window
2nd floor back window (with picturesque views)
Stairwell to 1st floor
1st floor low ceiling
The original concrete floor needed to be lowered.  The red paint shows the original level.  
Workers had to excavate below the red foundation and put new concrete to reinforce it.

The hillside dirt is exposed after the ground level floor is removed.
Since the 1st floor had a 7 ft ceiling, it also needed to be lowered.  
This picture shows the floor framing.
Shot of the back exterior of the house