Saturday, August 31, 2019

Here we go again

And...we're back at it with another renovation project!  After looking at what seemed like every house for sale - with our wonderful realtor, Heidi Robbins of Buck Realty - we settled on a project that is new in more ways than one.  Unlike our prior projects, we're not intending to completely change the exterior look and feel of this one because we love the original style.  Also, it's already bigger than any of our other houses originally were so, hopefully, we have less to add to it.  And instead of aiming for a Craftsman-style look, we're thinking of a more modern design this time around.  All in all, there should be plenty of new challenges ahead!

Starting from the exterior - the house is a Federalist style, built in 1940 and designed by Louis R. Moss, a DC architect who also designed the Chevy Chase Arcade and Yates Gardens in Alexandria.  Some exterior shots:

Hi new house!

Our neighborhood is called Country Club Hills for a reason - our house sits up on one of the hills

With our trusty pickup truck in the driveway

And from the back (with more hills)
And another from the backyard
We found the original blueprints in the basement when we were cleaning things out - check them out!  We'll frame them and eventually hang them in the house.

There were a few changes to the house (most notably, the garage and room above are wider than shown) but the house today still looks much the way it was envisioned in 1940

Another blueprint of the exterior

And the back of the house

Moving to the interior, we forgot to take photos on moving day so instead of a big roundup now, we'll be posting before and after shots by room.  We're working with our architect and engineer to draw up plans but have also started deconstructing the house.  Now that we're on our third major project, we have the (over?)confidence to start demo before our plans for how to rebuild are finalized.  We both took a week off from work in July and spent the time gutting the basement and starting to demo the family room.  Among other things, we took out a half bathroom in the basement and a full bathroom on the first floor - so as Brian likes to say, we're in the stage where our house is currently worth less than we paid for it.  Which to me means, there's no turning back and the renovation is officially on!

From the basement:

The basement is/was partially finished, with a storage room and a game/family room off to the side (with the plaid carpet)

View from the other side - all these walls made for some tight spaces

Partially finished laundry room

Getting the demo tools out - time to get to work!

Oh hey, a whole room is gone!

Just taking stuff apart
Now that is a demo job!  Still need to get that carpet up but one big room is done

Much better
Then we moved up to the family room.  You'll be shocked to hear we aren't keeping the wood paneling:

This side of the room had two closets and a full bath

Same side, different direction of photo
Given the location, this was the easiest demo of anywhere in the house - we just built a little ramp to the dumpster and opened the window and tossed everything out.  Minimal carrying required!

Side view - since this was temporary, we used clamps to put the side rails on
Taking out the formerly full bath and small closet
We forgot to take an "after" shot with the other closet and that side of the room demo'd but here's a good before and after of the dumpster!

Getting going in the basement
Nearly done!  We packed this thing completely full by the time the week was over


Saturday, March 30, 2019

(Not so) Suddenly Done!

After many months of neglecting this blog, we're back with an exciting update...the house is officially finished and under contract!  Happily, we negotiated a long close period so we have a couple of months to figure out our next move/project but for now - the professional pictures from BTW Images (with commentary, of course):

All the landscaping work paid off - looks lush and green!

Walking through the front door - the formal living room.  And so much wood floor!  We remember installing every piece...
Close up showing the fireplace with reclaimed barn wood beam for the mantel

To the left of the front door, a den/reading room

Moving into the family room/kitchen space, featuring Brian's custom built barn door to the pantry

Close up of the island with marble countertop and walnut bar top slab

Eat-in kitchen, featuring custom walnut table built by Brian and built-in banquette

Same space, different angle
More kitchen

Is this overkill on the kitchen pictures?  Probably, but I never get tired of this space

I'll miss you, Wolf range

One of my favorite features (and one that was replicated from our last house): double outswing French doors.  It feels so airy and spacious when they're open
Just rounding off the kitchen space - please note the stairwell, which very nearly killed us with its difficulty and stress

Finally moving on - into the pantry (with giant wine fridge
Formal dining room (with yet another custom-by-Brian table)
Mudroom with built-ins
And starting the parade of bedrooms and bathrooms.  With six bedrooms and five and a half baths, I'm not sure I'm going to post pictures of each one but this is the first floor bedroom (with en suite bath)
And one of the five full baths (so much tile work)
Moving upstairs - hello stairs!  You look so nice for something that was so time-consuming and stress-inducing!
Entrance to what we like to call the second-floor living room (but will probably end up as a kids playroom in its next life).  More barn doors.  Barn doors seem to be becoming our signature look
Master bedroom with accent wall
Some of my other favorite spaces - the master bath

Definitely going to take at least one more swim in this tub before we leave

Hello closet!  You make it so easy to be organized.  I'll miss you when we're living out of boxes again

Another bedroom
Another en suite bathroom
And another bedroom
The jack-and-jill bathroom with double sinks
Down to the basement - another reclaimed barn beam mantel over the fireplace

Wet bar in basement
Another bedroom

And another bathroom (no wonder we're tired of tiling!)
And, finally, the media room

The outdoor patio with fire pit

Longer view

The twilight photo shoot!

And from the backyard