Our initial contact with this client was for replacement windows, insulation and to replace the knob and tube wiring. in parts of the house. We replaced the old double hung windows with Andersen Woodright replacement sashes and kept the charm of this Old Victorian. With minimal disturbance to the plaster walls we were able to blow open cell insulation in all the exterior walls. Where walls were to be removed or replaced we used closed cell once that phase was ready. We also sprayed closed cell on the underside of the roof giving our clients another conditioned floor and us space for the Unico air handler. We succeeded in making this structure energy efficient and comfortable. The next task was to replace the knob and tube wiring which we were able to do with very little disturbance to the plaster walls. We also added a new service and sub panel to bring the house up to code and meet the new requirements as older homes rarely have sufficient circuitry.
Under sized, over spanned floor joists in the kitchen and the bathrooms required some innovative thinking as the balloon framed house gave us some challenges. Plumbers had hacked the joists back in the day. At any rate it became our problem. We laid out the fixtures in the baths to fit the framing, added flush girders to cut the span in half and when the drywall had been installed you couldn't tell there ever was a problem.
The old brick foundation joints were falling apart, so we excavated to the bottom course, removed the deteriorated material, pointed up the joints, power washed the remaining brick, parge coated and applied two coats of tar to water proof the foundation, remove and replace the side porch to give them more square footage in the kitchen with a balcony above it with access from the master suite and replace the old back stairs to the basement which had no foundation and was bearing on, I kid you not, a bed of Oyster shells
The kitchen was remodeled in the 70's our task was to bring it up to today's standards. Our clients chose a cabinet maker they had done several kitchens with before. We removed the sliding door going to the side porch, removed the listing brick piers, rotting floor joists broken windows and antiquated door. Installed a foundation, new floor joists that cantilevered the foundation giving us an additional 16" of floor space. A wall of Andersen windows facing east and a new slider facing south created a beautiful breakfast area off the kitchen increasing the footprint by 65%. We found stock moldings , then modified and joined them together to create an almost perfect match to those in the rest of the house created in the late 1800's. The old pantry became the powder room. The old bathroom which was over the basement stairs from outside became the laundry room. With a little innovative thinking we were able to install a slop sink between the washer and dryer over the stairwell which had limited head room. We renovated 2 bathrooms. First we removed two back to back closets making a hall between the Master bedroom and the hall bath then closed off the old door to the hall. We created a walk in closet and balcony over the new breakfast room in the kitchen instead of a shed roof. We were able to re-purpose the transom window and door, and utilized another door for the pocket door to the walk in closet, They were very innovative with the tile selection and left the layout up to us as is evident from these photos. The whole waterfall effect in the showroom wasn't exactly practical in the field as the tile were too large for the shower floor.
The old brick chimney had seen better days. The salt air had eaten through the mortar above the roof and the rest of the joints deteriorated to such an extent that the brick were popping off with little effort. They wanted a fireplace in the Family room. We found a beautiful gas fireplace and modified the old surround and mantle to fit the new unit. In the same space we were able to run the supply duct to heat and cool the first floor. Unico Systems are big space savers. We are very fortunate to have such conscientious subs to help steer us and our clients in the right direction.
For us, it's imperative to match finishes and styles so the new blends seamlessly with the existing. Although some suppliers replicate time period pieces that can get pricey. We have found ways to use stock items and mill them to meet our needs. When it comes to replicating certain architectural features such as post or corbels we have suppliers that can do that for us. We've spent many an hour in salvage yards trying to find just the right item for the project also.
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