Here is a photo of the front of my house, taken just prior to breakup a few years ago.
Now, here's a photo of the front of the house taken just a few minutes ago.
OK, it probably won't ever be featured on HGTV, but I prefer my house be comfortable, and practical. Over the course of a lot of years and several owners, the place is basically built upside down, with the bedrooms on the lower floor, and kitchen, bath and living room upstairs. When I bought the place the space over the garage was wide open, with a flat roof. Quite a few years ago my wife and I built the structure over the garage to create a big, open storage area and most importantly to keep the damned flat roof from leaking every year during break up. Building this structure was actually less expensive than reroofing the garage.
The down side to that was it blocked access to a ramp that provided access from ground level to the upper level. The inside stairwell is steep and has a 90 degree turn at the top that makes it impossible to move long or bulky items up and down. So, for the last several years I've had to hoist my sleds and other large things I want to store in the cover of the bay up through one of those big windows.
Equally important is that there was no safe egress in case of fire or other emergency, other than that single stairwell. Now a steep, narrow staircase with a small landing and 90 degree turn is a paramedic's worse nightmare, and being a paramedic by trade I decided it would be smart to create a way to get stuff up and down without quite so many back aches.
When I asked my friends at SP Kennel how much it would cost to have them do the job, it was a very reasonable price, so I just said "Let's git 'er done." Now, here it is, complete with a roof to shed the worse of the snow during winter. With any luck I'll put it to it's most important test within a few weeks, when it's time to move my sleds off the deck and out into the SNOW.