Contractor: ReCraft Home Remodeling
Architect: Christie Architecture
Before we stepped in to do a whole house remodel, this well-loved 3-bedroom, 2-bath 1926 Craftsman home was in dire need of restoration. A long-time neighborhood resident, the homeowner wanted nothing more than to age in her home but had deep concerns about the condition and accessibility.
The kitchen was victim to a disjointed 80’s update that didn’t mesh with the rest of the home. Other areas held original details that were well beyond repair. The second floor housed vast underutilized attic space, while high-use areas such as the bathrooms and stairs, were falling apart. The partially finished basement was prone to collecting water and had been rendered useless over time. There were also concerns about the safety of the original knob and tube wiring. It was clear that getting this home into tip-top shape through a whole house remodel was going to be a heroic undertaking.
Whole House Remodel Process
When the keys were handed over for the whole house remodel, we carefully gutted the entire home, including all HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. The fireplace, brick chimney, furnace flue, ceiling joists and roof were removed. The few items in decent shape were donated. A total of 660 square feet was added to the home in the form of a back and dormer addition. A covered deck was added to the back of the house and the front porch expanded.
The completed whole house remodel was awarded a high-efficiency gas furnace and air conditioner, water heater, electrical panel, gas fireplace, and security system. Having retained the existing basement foundation walls, a waterproofing system and sump pump were added to protect their sizable investment.
The new whole house remodel boasts all new finishes, hardwood flooring throughout, 4 bathrooms, a master suite, and 4 bedrooms. The stairs to the basement and second floor were stacked allotting space for a fully functional kitchen. The new windows and doors keep the home comfortable and dry year-round.
During this whole house remodel, period details were reincorporated out of respect to the original home and neighborhood. With superior craftsmanship, our skilled carpenters built the Doug fir columns and fourteen identical 48-inch corbels for the exterior of the home. Instead of creating a 2-story monstrosity that would have been out of character with the surrounding homes, dormers were constructed that provided needed square footage but were in keeping with the neighborhood.
A new gas fireplace is flanked with custom cabinetry to mimic the original. The glass cabinet knobs were saved and reused. A stunning limestone hearth is recessed within new oak flooring. The firebox is surrounded by silver crackle ceramic mosaic tile. The opening to the Den was enlarged and cased with beautiful trim that ties into the mantel.
Keeping the details of this room consistent with the original during the whole house remodel was a high priority. Custom corner built-ins with glass mullion doors flow right into the window trim and sill. Lovely crown and ogee base molding trace the perimeter. Warm, creamy wall paint gives the room an inviting and airy feel. A period chandelier grounds the space illuminating the table.
Having borrowed space from the old basement stairs, a once cramped and dated kitchen is now vast and bright. The arched opening between the kitchen and nook was removed to create a more continuous and accessible space. Ample storage, extensive countertop, efficient appliances, LED under-cabinet lighting, and an under-mount fireclay sink, are any chef’s dream. Period fixtures collaborate with recessed can lights to maximize brightness.
Custom white painted shaker cabinets, ceramic tile, and Belgian Blue Satin Quartz counters give the Kitchen a period look, while satisfying all modern needs. Beautiful crown molding is meticulously carried from the kitchen throughout the entire first floor during this whole house remodel creating continuity.
The addition on the back of the home during the whole house remodel allowed for a master bathroom and dressing room to be added. Floor to ceiling ceramic tile lines the shower walls and ceiling. White polished quartz shelves are tucked in the back wall corner to hold necessities. Stylized chrome grab bars and a quartz bench seat bring a touch of universal design.
A high-end linear shower drain sits flush with the gray ceramic hex tile. Necessary plumbing was installed to accommodate a future steam shower, air-tight with an elegant frameless glass shower door. Belgian blue satin quartz is repeated on the lengthy bath vanity. A Robern recessed medicine cabinet provides further storage.
A combination of period fixtures, recessed cans, and larger windows helps to light the rooms throughout the house. Immense storage in the new Master Dressing Room lines the wall into the Master Bedroom.
Beautiful oak stairs replace the narrow, winding staircase. A decorative iron railing capped with a warm wood handrail and bottom plate invite you up to the enlarged second floor.
Many of the master and powder bath finishes are carried upstairs to the second-floor bath. A long narrow recessed niche spans the length of the tub with a polished quartz ledge capping it off. The showerhead mounts on a slide bar for versatile use.
During this whole house remodel the Basement gained one bedroom, one full bathroom, a laundry room, and a mechanical room. The existing foundation walls were retained. We focused on adding functional living space, while fully finishing out the bathroom. The homeowner opted to wait on the cabinetry in the family room kitchenette, fireplace, and laundry room.
The basement bathroom takes on a more modern approach with natural stone floors and vertical grain rift white oak cabinetry. The brushed stainless plumbing fixtures are clean and simple, as is the vertical offset ceramic tile. Similar to the other floors, white polished quartz appears in the shower niche shelves. A warm and neutral color palette makes the basement warm and inviting.
- Managing the infinite number of materials in this whole house remodel project was a huge undertaking. A different brand, style, and finish of door hardware was selected for each floor, and various fixtures and finishes were installed in each of the four bathrooms. Extensive planning, tracking, and cataloging was necessary to assure everything was ordered correctly and arrived at the appropriate time.
- Items such as the steam shower components took careful planning up front to assure necessary parts were available and installed at rough plumbing. On the same token, finishes had to be ordered months in advance and stored to guarantee availability.
- Increased blocking was necessary on the exterior of the home during framing to support the massive corbels that would be installed towards the end of the project. Long lead times and exorbitant material costs prompted us to switch gears and build fourteen 48 corbels and front porch columns in house. This was a significant cost savings and helped us keep the project on schedule. It also afforded us greater quality control.
- The Basement floor required significant concrete leveling the entire length of the house. It took persistent project management and collaboration with the concrete contractor to ensure it was poured and leveled to our quality standards before we could move further with the project.
- COVID-19 hit in the last half of this project. We kept working despite the major changes to our work and jobsite standards and protocol. It took some navigating around the sudden lack of availability and increased lead time on materials. Fortunately, the client wasn’t living in the home during the remodel.
Despite the challenges that come with working on whole house remodel of a 1920s home on a narrow residential street during COVID-19, we managed to finish the project on budget and within a few days of the projected schedule. The homeowner is thrilled to have a beautiful new home that she can reside in for years to come.