September 2014 Newsletter

Featured Project: Bringing New Life to an Old Home

This month, our featured project is a major refresh and remodel for a repeat customer. We had built a custom new home for these owners back in 2010 and were asked to come back to remodel the old guest house that their parents used, which was on the same property. While the guest house didn’t have anything major wrong with it, it did need some serious updating and repairs.

We worked with Laurie Driscoll Interiors to make sure we kept the vintage look and feel throughout the home. She coordinated and supervised all of the furniture and decorating throughout the home. Some of the pieces of furniture were removed, stored and brought back into the home. Other items were reupholstered and repaired so they could be used. The main goal for this project was to bring the home up to date, while keeping the overall style of the older home.

We made cosmetic updates throughout the entire home including repainting all the walls and ceilings, installing new carpet, and tile and refinishing all of the existing wood floors. The existing wallpaper was removed, new wallpaper was installed in some areas, and a fresh coat of paint in the others. New painted crown molding was added to most of the rooms and hallways to give the home a more elegant look and feel.  Click on any picture below to see the before picture.

Due to the age of the home, we made many improvements aimed at increasing efficiency and safety, and to bring it up to the current building codes. The existing box sill did not have any insulation, making this old home especially drafty and uncomfortable in the winter. We sprayed all of the box sills with three inches of closed-cell spray foam and replaced all of the old windows with new Pella replacement windows. The old wood front door was also replaced to help seal the building envelope from the strong winter winds. Inside the home, the old furnace and water heater were replaced and the electric system was brought up to code. The existing porch had electric baseboard heat but no cooling system, so ductwork was brought out to the area to make it usable in the hot summer months. The railings going up to the bedroom on the second floor were removed and replaced with code compliant, metal balusters and stained wood handrails for a safe, warm feeling. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors were added to ensure the safety of the guests.

One of the repairs that this old house needed was a new chimney cap. When it rained, the water would run down through the chimney cap and actually fill up the block chimney with water. From the lower level, you could see water coming out of the clean out access hole before it covered the basement floor. Needless to say, this was repaired and fixed resulting in a dry basement.




A split heating and cooling system was installed in the upstairs bedroom so that the temperature could be easily controlled. Built-in shelving was also added along one of the entire walls to utilize the unused space due to the low ceiling. In addition to replacing the wallpaper and carpeting, two 14” Velux light tunnels were added to the ceiling to help bring in natural sunlight. The result is a bright, clean and comfortable room that guests will love staying in.


The first floor bedrooms were given a facelift including new flooring, wallpaper, paint and reconditioned furniture. 



Back entry/ Laundry:

The space in the back entryway was previously used as the laundry area. The connections went out through the uninsulated exterior wall. After discussion with the owners, it was decided to move the laundry to the basement and use this space as a mud room instead. New cabinets, storage cubbies and a bench were added to better utilize this space.




The existing recessed bathroom  was stripped down the the studs and completely rebuilt. A new shower with new plumbing now allows users to enjoy a comfortable shower without scalding themselves if someone was using the kitchen sink. The old mirror/medicine cabinet was reinstalled along with the recessed rotating soap holder but everything else was new.




The kitchen was in remarkably good shape. The plumbing under the sink was replaced as well as a few other items that did not meet code. New appliances, granite countertops and a tiled backsplash were installed to replace the old, damaged items.