Maintaining a Historic Feel

We have  recently completed the whole house renovation project we've been working on in the historic university neighborhood in Chapel Hill.  This home was just waiting for the right owners,  who had the vision - and the patience to bring this majestic home back to life.

By updating the plumbing, electrical, and hvac components, modifying the master bedroom suite, and adding on a new kitchen and screened porch area,  this house was turned into a home with the best of both worlds!

One of the challenges to updating a home in the historic district,  is bringing it up to current building codes without losing the special feeling and design aspects of the original home.  In addition to salvaging much of the interior and exterior trim details,  the bathtubs, and the hardwood flooring -  one important way we were able to maintain the historic feel of this 1930's home was to re-use as much as possible of  the original stair railings.   As is often the case in historic homes, the existing railings were too low for current building codes.   The solution was to build ornate extensions to the structural posts, replace the  shorter pickets with custom code length replicas. and re-use the decorative top rail.

To read more about this project click here!

Insulating & Decking the Curved House

We are now about to spray foam insulate the roof and walls. The beveled cedar siding looks great. All the corner boards and trim are 5/4” cedar. Installing on the curved walls took more effort to get the measurements down but went well. The 5-V crimp metal roof also took more effort, particularly at the rakes since it all flares out since the south wall is much longer than the north wall and it shows up on the roof accordingly.

Installing the pine decking on the first floor and the Trex on the second floor took more effort as well, not to mention the deck railings.

The mechanical, plumbing, and electrical rough-ins, however, didn’t have to put in more effort than usual, unlike what I expect in laying the tile and hardwood flooring as well as installing the interior trim. Next week we hope to start hanging drywall and we’ll be moving into the finishing stages. The owners are pleased and challenged to get us their finish selections in a timely way. There’s a lot of running around to suppliers on top of living a busy work life! But I think that by seeing the house being built, with quality and good subs, is invigorating despite the stressors.

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