Wow! It’s Been Two Months! Lots of changes


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The door color has been chosen! Porch outer beams replaced and columns and peers have been made plumb again.  The leaves start to fall and sun sits lower in the sky

IMG_1127The far right column had begun to lean so the porch was supported, jacked up and the brick pier was realigned and the column mad straight.  If you look at previous pictures you can see the obvious lean to both.  It is the little things.IMG_1126Detail of door with paint and happy to have saved the original mail slot which is back in working order and made of solid thick brass.  The blue on the ceiling is quite nice as well.  Such a solid house.

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The spacious downstairs half bath now has light in the form of three can lights.  We will be installing an exhaust fan in each of the 3.5 baths to be externally vented.

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These two kitchen shots will show you the extensive framing and wiring that has gone on this past week.  The wall to the left now is flush with the pantry wall and will allow for a long cabinet/counter run down the North facing kitchen wall.

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Openings from Dining Room to Kitchen and Kitchen to the former Pantry will enable us to offer a modern and far more open kitchen with plenty of cabinetry, pot drawers, a pantry and some really nice finishes.  The wood floors are going to look amazing!

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The cabinets will be ordered this week and we have removed the rear window from the pantry to allow for the whole wall to be cabinets and a place for a refrigerator that did not exist in the previous kitchen (it was stuffed in the pantry)

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Another view looking into the pantry with the new opening.  The rear of this room has two double windows and one will be removed to allow for a floor to ceiling pantry at the end but we will leave the other window.

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Standing in Dining Room looking into kitchen through what will be a pass through with cabinets bottoms and a wine rack with breakfast bar.  The old has been completely removed and new wiring has been installed with all new boxes and appropriate GFI boxes and circuits for the appliances and disposal.  Do it right or go home.

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I love a can light in a kitchen.  I have specified 6 of the smaller profile 4 inch that will accompany under counter lights and a pendant over the sink in front of the window.  One can see that the side wall had to be framed out 6.5 inches to make it flush with the pantry wall to the left to enable an uninterrupted long cabinet run along the North wall.

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New siding was installed on the pantry addition when the window was removed to make way for the expanded kitchen.  The window where the ladder is placed is the current kitchen window.

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Drywall!  We have drywall!

Upstairs hall also has…..a drop down staircase to access what is a truly huge attic.  The air handler and new flooring is also going in.

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There is no better way to improve one of these homes for so little money than in investing a few hundred bucks into a drop down stair to make access to the attic easier.  So worth it.

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Where we had no wall last week, there is now one!

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Bedroom 2 – Above and Below – completely new ceiling (if you look back the previous day you will see it had caved in) and it is starting to feel really nice.

LOWER LEVEL: The Big Dig

There is a lot of interest in what I plan to do and why I am planning on doing it as it seems to some, well most, to be a Herculean effort.  Well, it is, but the payoff is proven here.  You are adding, in this case, 780 sq feet of heated/cooled space and you get paid for it.  About $100 a square foot in this neighborhood for below ground square footage so another $78,000 for spending $30,000 a pretty great return if you ask me….or anyone.  A full bath will be the biggest expense on this part of the renovation.  Having an extra bath and spare room makes this a great place to put family or even have a roommate live due to this home having a private side exit off the basement.

My clients have proven to me that having an extra living space is something they are willing to pay for.  Today’s lifestyle is more conducive to having a separate room for TV and keeping the first floor as a more formal and less cluttered quiet space.  If they have kids or a family this bonus floor allows them to give the kids a play space that would not normally have in a house of this era.  Time will tell but it is already happening in the neighborhood.  It is also fairly rare to have a full sized basement in these homes as many are just half the size of the first floor.  Rare is one that has over 6 to 6.5 feet of headroom.

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Concrete floor was busted up with a jack hammer and we have dug down another foot creating a very nice 7.5 foot basement ceiling height that will allow for this to be a wonderfully livable space.   The middle column will be removed to open up the space for a media room and reinforced with the beams on the ground behind it.

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This angle shows better the difference in floor height between dug out and not dug out.  There are four nicely sized windows which let in natural light and it will be well lit with can lighting throughout.  There will also be an office/playroom and full bath/laundry room in addition to the large open media room/family room.  We have also been digging the French drains to ensure the basement will stay dry with a sump.  Again, on brick column will disappear and be reinforced to better open the space.

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A small mountain grows as the basement grows…..

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The red clay of good ‘ol Virginie!  Basement dirt to haul away.