Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Life For a Century Old Farmhouse

The Perfect Southern Farmhouse
I recently wrapped up plans to ready a picturesque farmhouse, built in 1912, for it's next 100 years. Built by the owner's great grandparents and lived in by the family since, the large (over 3000 square foot) house originally had no indoor plumbing or electricity. While loaded with charm, the heirloom house was short on modern conveniences. A small basic bathroom was added in the 1960's, but it was located on the first floor, which meant none of the upstairs bedrooms had convenient access. The kitchen, though large, was not functional and very dated. The house, true to it's age, had almost no closet space, no insulation, and no central heat or air. While the current owners wanted to keep the house in the family, it was hardly a place to raise a young child and the baby on the way. They had contemplated tackling the project a bit at a time, but soon realized that it made more sense to just do the work all at once. The house needed a proper kitchen, a master suite, second floor bathrooms, and general updating of the mechanicals, as well as tackling some deferred maintenance.
So let's take a look at the "befores!"

The only bathroom was small, dated, and frankly, a bit scary. 

Though twenty feet in length, the kitchen had only a few cabinets confined to one corner. The tattered vinyl floor, ancient appliances, and damaged walls hardly made it a place for family meals.
Horrible as the bath and kitchen were, the rest of the house was brimming with charm. The foyer and stair hall are to die for. The original plank walls throughout the house add such warmth and character.
One of the house's SIX original fireplaces. 
The original floor plan showing the single first floor bathroom and general lack of closets.
The existing rear of the house. By raising the original one-story areas at the rear up to two story height, we were able to capture the space necessary to ready the house for it's next 100 years.
The renovated main level plan.

The owners wanted to make certain that the house did not change at all from the front. Fortunately, the existing first floor was large enough that no expansion (aside from a small covered rear porch) on that level was necessary. We widened the openings to the kitchen, removed some of the original doors (saving them, of course, to be reused in our second floor addition), reworked the kitchen/mudroom/and bath area to include a gourmet kitchen with farm table style island, a six foot bank of refrigerator and freezer towers, and plenty of cabinet space. Built ins at the back door (where the family will enter most often) catch clutter before it makes its way into the house, a small closet is outfitted with a stack washer and dryer, and the existing bath is gutted, renovated, and it's access is moved to the mudroom to hide the view of it from the front door.

The biggest changes happen upstairs. By adding a second floor over the original kitchen, study, and mudroom, we were able to give the family two new bathrooms--a large compartmented bath for the secondary bedrooms to share, and an enormous spa-like master bath with freestanding tub, walk-in shower, and double vanities. The new master suite is rounded out with a room-sized walk-in closet that offers convenient access to the new second floor laundry room. While we were able to give one of the secondary bedrooms a new walk-in closet, we opted to leave the other two in their original state, and take care of clothes storage in those spaces "the old fashioned way" with armoires and dressers. 
Construction on the project just started this month! Follow us on Facebook to see the progress!

1 comment:

  1. That's a beautiful home. Was it hard and or expensive to give it the maintenance it needed? I am excited to see your after pictures. I bet it will all look wonderful. Good luck.